The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) encourages local and community child care, early education, and afterschool programs to establish and implement policies and practices that encourage healthy lifestyles in children. These policies and practices should create an environment that consistently supports children’s health and learning by:
- providing clear and consistent messages that explain and reinforce healthy eating and physical activity habits;
- helping children learn to make healthy lifestyle choices;
- providing developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant nutrition education;
- providing quality physical education and daily opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity; and
- supporting and engaging families in promoting healthy habits.
The CSDE’s Action Guide for Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies includes best practices for promoting healthy eating and physical activity for children in child care from infancy through school age, based on current science, public health research, and national recommendations and standards. It can be used in a variety of settings, including Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) facilities (centers, family day care homes, at-risk afterschool centers, and emergency shelters), Head Start centers, School Readiness programs, child care programs, early care and education programs, licensed centers, school-based preschool programs, and afterschool programs. The action guide can be used by sponsoring agencies, community organizations, local early childhood coordinating councils, municipalities, and other groups interested in improving nutrition and physical activity practices in child care and education settings.
Click on the "Documents/Forms" section in the left navigation bar to access the USDA Meal Pattern Compliance Worksheets.