USDA releases Food Buying Guide Mobile App
The Food Buying Guide is an essential resource for food yield information for child nutrition programs. The Food Buying Guide from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service assists child nutrition program operators, food manufacturers and other stakeholders with menu planning. Now, the Food Buying Guide has gone digital to provide menu planning features at your fingertips. With the Food Buying Guide Mobile App, you can search and locate yield information for foods typically served in Child Nutrition, compare yield information to determine the foods that best meet the needs of your program, create a Favorites food list, and email and print search results, food comparisons and listings of favorite foods. The Food Buying Guide Mobile App also includes access to narrative content which provides child nutrition program-specific information for meeting meal pattern requirements, helpful information related to food purchasing and how to utilize food yield information in the Food Buying Guide, and additional resources related to meal pattern requirements and menu planning for child nutrition programs. The Food Buying Guide Mobile App is currently available on the Apple App store, click here.
Seven child care and early education providers in the 4C Child Care Food Program are recognized for meeting Let’s Move! Child Care goals to prevent childhood obesity.
Let’s Move! Child Care is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. It supports and encourages child care centers to make positive changes in their programs.
The goals, which are promoted through the Florida Department of Health’s Child Care Food Program (CCFP) and Healthiest Weight Florida, include increasing physical activity, reducing screen time, providing healthy food and beverages and supporting breastfeeding.
Let’s Move Child Care, in conjunction with Nemours Children’s Health System, recognized the following 4C Child Care Food Program affiliates:
- New Destiny Academy
- Kiddie Academy of Longwood – Lake Mary
- Drop of Love
- Big Children
- Kids Palace
- Longwood Community Preschool (formerly Metro Kids)
- Kiddy Cats Academy
Because most young children spend time in care outside of their home or in preschool, child care and early education providers have a great opportunity to focus on these goals that can lead toward a healthier future for children.
Hundreds of facilities nationwide, including 250 in Florida, self-reported using an unverified online checklist that they meet Let’s Move Child Care goals and best practices.
For more information, click here
About 3,500 babies die unexpectedly each year in the United States as a result of unknown causes, Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB), or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But not all occur at home. About 20 percent of SIDS-related deaths happen in a child care setting.
October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between 1 and 4 months old and about 90 percent of SIDS deaths occur before 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby’s first year.
To learn more about how you can keep babies in your care safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers a free online training course, Reducing the Risk of SIDS in Child Care. Participants receive a certificate of completion for 1.0 contact hour, according to state SIDS in-service requirements.
In addition, AAP has published A Child Care Provider’s Guide to Safe Sleep (download in English or Spanish), which outlines the risks and what child care providers can do to create a safer environment. It also provides recommendations and resources.
The federal departments of Education and Health and Human Services joined together to declare “that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.” A joint policy statement, released Sept. 14, 2015, concluded that children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, and too many preschool children with disabilities are only offered the option of receiving special education services in settings separate from their peers without disabilities.
The statement urges states, local early learning programs and providers, and families to work together to provide children with disabilities inclusive access to high-quality early childhood programs. The policy statement recommends the creation of state-level interagency task forces and plans for inclusion. “States should leverage existing early childhood councils or task forces and create or strengthen a focus on early childhood inclusion,” according to the U.S. Department of Education website. “This council should build on existing early childhood efforts, bring partners together, co-create a written vision statement for early childhood inclusion, and carry out an inclusion state plan.”
Recommendations for local early learning programs and providers included assessing and improving the quality of inclusion in early childhood programs, reviewing and modifying resource allocation, enhancing professional development, establishing an appropriate staffing structure and strengthening staff collaboration. The initiative also urged programs and providers to partner with families so that families are knowledgeable about the benefits of inclusion and include them in policy development, advocacy efforts and public information initiatives. Also, the statement asked that programs and providers build staff capacity to build goal-oriented relationships with families.
Here are links for more information and resources about this initiative:
How can child care providers be sure they offer programs that help children develop healthy habits for life? First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to prevent childhood obesity has established a website with best practices for child care and early education providers and a roadmap to make positive changes.
Let’s Move! Child Care offers childhood obesity prevention resources and tools along with best practices outlined in five healthy goal areas: nurturing healthy eaters, providing healthy beverages, increasing physical activity, limiting screen time and supporting breastfeeding. Child care and preschool providers who fully meet best-practice goals will get a certificate of completion and be featured on a map of recognized providers.
After registering for Let’s Move! Child Care, providers take a two-page quiz with 15 questions to evaluate their program in order to determine the LMCC goals that are being met and which goals need more work. After taking the quiz, providers use the website to create an action plan that is broken down into small steps so that goals can be easily met.
To learn more about Let’s Move! Child Care and register, click here.
In 2015, Florida lawmakers strengthened the requirements for restraining children that travel in motor vehicles to ensure they are safe and secure. As a child care provider transporting children, make sure you know the requirements and the right way to protect your precious passengers from harm.
When anyone operates a motor vehicle in Florida, they must restrain children 5 years of age or younger in a crash-tested, federally approved car seat, according to state law. Violation of the child restraint law carries a fine of $60 and 3 points on the driving record.
Children up to 3 years old must be in a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat. To protect children aged 4 through 5 years, a child booster seat may be used in addition to a separate carrier or an integrated child seat, depending on the size of the child. A booster is a separate seat without a harness that “boosts” a child about 6 inches so the vehicle’s seat belt can restrain the child in a crash.
Boosters should only be used with a lap-shoulder belt combination and never with only a lap belt. The lap and shoulder belt straps are needed to restrain a child riding in any type of booster seat, which are proven to reduce the risk of injury by about 60 percent by helping the seat belt fit the child properly.
To become more familiar with the types of car seats and boosters and get recommendations to help choose the right type of seat, click here. To narrow down your search by comparing car seat makes and models, you can use the Car Seat Finder, where you enter the child’s birth date, weight and height to determine the type of car seat that fits the child, according to NHTSA‘s best practices recommendations.