#HealthyECE Blog Series: Brown's Family Child Care Focuses on Fiber

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Location: Franklin, PA
Type: Home-based
PA NAPSACC Focus area: Nutrition: Increasing children’s intake of fiber-rich foods

Goals:

  • Offering fruit that is fresh, frozen or canned in its own juice every time fruit is served

  • Offering high-fiber, whole grain foods two times per day or more

  • Offering vegetables (not including French fries, tater tots, hash browns or dried beans) two times per day or more

  • Offering dark green, orange, red or deep yellow vegetables (not including corn) one time per day or more

Brown’s Family Child Care took off running, gardening and sharing healthy snacks when they were one of 23 Early Care and Education sites that piloted a Farm to School continuous quality improvement intervention.
 
Through a combination of an online resource, GO NAPSACC, and technical assistance provided by The Food Trust, Brown’s Family Child Care set goals for their site to increase the children's intake of fiber rich foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and got to work. The team at Brown's focused on gardening: over the course of the year, each child planted a garden to take home and an onsite garden. The children enjoyed watching it grow and helping pick the vegetables and fruits which were then eaten at snack or lunchtime. The efforts engaged families – children took home seedlings and fresh produce harvested at the site. Brown's also started incorporating 30 minutes of physical activities, which include walks, yoga, or exercise videos for kids. Says Brown's staff, “It was a lot of fun and I plan to have the kids make a bigger garden next year.”
 
Brown's Family Child Care is a home based facility located in Franklin, PA. They participate in CACFP for meals and snacks and they continue to work on nutrition and physical activities goals. GO NAPSACC is an evidence-based program for improving the health of young children by enhancing child care programs’ practices, policies, and environments. The continuous quality improvement intervention helps child care providers improve the nutrition and physical activity practices within their early childhood care settings.

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