Health and Nutrition
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
We care about our children and families. Children, who have good physical health, dental health and mental wellness feel good, are pain free and ready to learn. That is why (with parent permission) we are dedicated to making sure:
- All families have secure health and dental health homes.
- All children receive growth, hearing and vision screenings.
- All children receive developmental screening using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and social and emotional growth screening using the Ages and Stages- Social Emotional Questionnaire.
- All children have a health history completed and in child’s file before children start attending in a classroom.
- Individual Service Plans are developed with parent(s) to meet special health care needs and ensure children are safe, comfortable and ready to learn.
- Staff make keeping kids safe in our centers, outside, and on the bus their number one priority.
We work collaboratively with parents, local health departments, a local federally qualified health care center and primary health care providers to ensure children receive beneficial screenings, preventative care, and treatment and are as healthy as possible.
Eating at Head Start and Early Head Start is fun. Family style meals are provided for every child that will meet 2/3 of the nutritional needs they have for the day. Our parents report that children leave our program more willing to try new foods, with new self-help skills like scraping their own plate, etc. and using good manners.
We ensure all of this by:
- Following federal guidelines for what kinds of foods should be provided and what portion sizes to provide.
- Developing a cycle menu that is healthy (low in sugar, fats, sodium and high in nutritional value), diverse and culturally friendly and tastes GOOD!
- Accommodating special needs like allergies and restriction requests from parents, etc.
- Vending with school districts to provide food when our classrooms are located in public schools.
- Obtaining nutrition screening information from parents on initial home visits.
- Providing height/weight screening and monitoring.
- Working with a Nutrition Consultant (Registered Dietician) who:
- Oversees our menu development
- Does quality reviews at our centers
- Talks to staff and parents to provide education, support and recommendations when appropriate
We also help participating children and families understand the importance of an active lifestyle.