The following resources have been identified by the Early Childhood Working Group for early childhood providers and teachers. The purpose of these resources is to pull together in one place links to existing resources that support healthy eating and physical activity in an early childhood setting. Additional resources related to childhood obesity prevention can be found on the Links page.
Follow the links below to take you right to your section(s) of interest:
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Dental Health
- Brochures and Fact Sheets
- Color Me Healthy
This curriculum supports healthy eating and physical activity for early childhood classroom settings. Components include: teachers guide, picture cards, posters, CDs with original songs, and reproducible parent newsletters. Free trainings and certification offered through Illinois Nutrition Education and Training Program. Workshops are available in English and Spanish.
- Ellyn Satter Associates
This website provides resources on healthy feeding/eating from birth through the teenage years, and eating/snacking tips for the whole family.
- Choose MyPlate
The website features practical information and tips to help Americans build healthier diets. It features selected messages to help comsumers focus on key behaviors.
- Participant-Centered Nutrition Education Toolkit
This site, hosted by Altarum Institute, provides resources and training on how to provide participant-centered nutrition education to parents of infants and children.
- Participant-Centered Nutrition (PEC) Education Videos
The Arizona Department of Health Services has produced a series of training videos on how to conduct PCE:
- Share Our Strength/Operation Frontline Chicago
Offers a meal planning and preparation workshop for early childhood providers.
- Team Nutrition
The USDA’s website for early childhood nutrition includes information, tips and other resources supporting the Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines. Infant feeding guidelines can be found here.
- University of Illinois Extension
Multiple facts, guidelines and ideas for working and eating with children.
- Healthy Start
This curriculum for ages 3-5 is designed to teach healthy lifestyles in the early childhood classroom setting.
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2. Physical Activity
- Teaching Children to Walk Safely as They Grow and Develop: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
This guide provides age appropriate safe walking skills development activities for parents
- Animal Trackers
This classroom curriculum for ages 3-5 teaches physical activity and motor skills in a fun and interactive way.
- Healthy Hops
This curriculum for ages 3 - 5 teaches nutrition and health concepts along with active play.
- National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education
This organization provides free guidelines and fact sheets for health and safety in early childhood programs.
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3. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- HealthConnect One
A nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency which promote the health of mothers, infants, and families. The organization works with grassroots social service providers to transform distressed communities throughout Chicago.
- Illinois WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program
This federal program provides food and health services for low income pregnant women, new mothers and mothers with young children. Participants must meet specific income and health requirements.
- La Leche League International
Helps mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
- National Women’s Health Resource Center
Helps soon-to-be and new mothers on all aspects of health related to pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Offers tips for each trimester, exercising during pregnancy, keys to successful breastfeeding, etc.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
This organization has a variety of resources, including information on its Head Start initiative, funding for Head Start dental health programs, and a parent resource center.
- American Dental Association Early Childhood Tooth Decay Page
The ADA has facts, facts sheets and information about the causes of an ways to prevent early childhood tooth decay. This site also has a curriculum for ages 4-7 to teach children about dental health.
- Bright Smiles from Birth
This program of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has a variety of information, education and links to additional resources.
- National Center for Dental and Craniofacial Research
This center in the National Institutes of Health has resources in English and Spanish about how to support healthy infant teeth.
- National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
The Focus on Early Childhood Caries page linked here is a source for scientific journal literature as well as educational material on early childhood dental health.
- Healthy Living for Ages 2 - 4 Years: A Resource for Child Care Providers