Site Administrator: Arlene Porter
- Why does early childhood wellness matter to you?
Our program realizes that the availability of wholesome meals to children makes for a positive learning experience. Early childhood wellness matters to me because many studies show that “hunger affects children’s academic performance and behavior.”
- What motivated you to become a designated Ohio Healthy Program?
What motivated me to become a designated OHP was Former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Let’s Move launch in February 2010, along with my belief in health and wellness. This is a three-fold program that will benefit everyone; the children, parents and staff.
- How is your program changed since becoming involved with Early Ages Healthy Stages?
There are a wealth of resources and opportunities available for everyone to enhance their knowledge on eating healthy and being healthy. The children are more receptive to trying different foods that they didn’t think they’d like. They’re even allowing those foods to be on their plate (not necessarily touching, but in a small section of the plate!) Their plates at mealtimes are colorful. They’re also learning the names of different foods and their origination.
- What advice do you have for other programs that might be interested in becoming a designated Ohio Healthy Program?
Ohio Healthy Programs provides you with a wealth of information, resources, family engagement opportunities, training, assistance and incentives to be successful statewide.
- What information would you like to share with parents who are not familiar with Ohio Healthy Programs?
OHP’s commitment to providing a healthy environment for children and families is evident. I am proud to be a part of this movement to stop childhood obesity, raise wellness awareness via physical activity, reducing screen time, promote healthy eating, encouraging more water intake, and being more receptive to breastfeeding.
- What is your proudest moment as an Ohio Healthy Program?
A colleague introduced me to the phrase “No thank you portion.” This phrase encourages the children to try all foods being offered at mealtime. The child puts every food group on their plate. For those foods they don’t desire, they put a small portion of that food on their plate as well. The teachers model the same. We announce to the children that we’re having a “No thank you portion,” along with the name of the food item. Many times the child wants more after trying it! Sometimes they initially say they don’t want an item just because they hear another child say it. It’s a meaningful strategy.
To learn more, visit: http://www.ceogc.org/buckeye-head-start-center/
Preschool students at Buckeye Head Start did movement activities and listened to a story called, “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!” by Candace Fleming to learn about healthy eating and active play. After the story, the children taste tested cauliflower, cream cheese, and celery.