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March is National Nutrition Month

Guest columnist

This month created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and physical activity habits.
Juliana Whitaker, childcare health consultant for Lincoln County, works to improve the health, safety and nutrition of children ages birth to five attending licensed child care centers and family care homes. Whitaker’s activity is administered by the Lincoln County Health Department and funding is through the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.
An intervention in place to assist childcare programs is the NAP SACC program, (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care Centers) which offers targeted technical assistance and is aimed at improving nutrition and physical activity. The goal is to help improve the nutritional quality of food served, the amount and quality of physical activity, staff-child interactions and the center nutrition and physical activity policy.
“NAP SACC is a wonderful program that helps child care providers and families by giving them background information and tools to shape the positive health habits of our young children,” Whitaker said. “By working with our youngest community members, teaching them and exploring the vast world of healthy foods and physical activity, we are helping them develop lifelong healthy habits that will in turn help create a more healthy community for everyone.”
What you can do at home for your child:
Plan for at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Weekend activities for the family that include enjoyable physical activity are great.
Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Drink water instead!
Limit television time to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day.
Encourage active play!
Prepare and eat more meals at home and enjoy as a family. Children can be involved in cooking and menu planning.

Spring Book Recommendations

  • Spring: Signs of the season around North America – Valerie J. Gerard
  • Crafts to make in the spring – Kathy Ross
  • Spring things – Bob Raczka
  • Hurray for spring! – Patricia Hubbell
  • It’s Spring! – Linda Glaser
  • Spring is here! – Will Hillenbrand
  • And then it’s spring – Julie Fogliano
  • Wake up, it’s spring! – Lisa Campbell Ernst
  • When will it be spring? – Catherine Walters
  • In my backyard – Don Curry

Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?

The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.

Connect with us:

  • www.pfclg.com
  • http://www.facebook.com/pfclg
  • Flickr, www.flickr.com/pfclg
  • Twitter: Ready4School

Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator for the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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