Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Providing Nutrition, Health, and Safety Services

Chapter 10 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

It’s so important to have an adequate nutrition menu in an education system. Especially during early childhood care were there are periods of rapid growth for every student. Without that students become very vulnerable to harm from malnutrition. According to Planning and Administering Early Childhood Programs by Decker, Decker, Freeman, & Knopf, 2009.

“A comprehensive approach to nutrition, health, and safety services in early childhood programs requires you to: Provide children nutritious meals and snacks. Make sure the environment for children’s care and education is healthy and safe. Educate children, staff, and families on importance of health, safety, and nutrition. This includes emphasizing the importance of prenatal care and nutrition as appropriate.”

In our school we have a weekly menu that we follow:

Breakfast – High Vitamin C, Fruit Juice, and Eggs, Meat and/or Milk, Bread or Cereal, and Beverage

Lunch – Meat, Fish, or Poultry. Bread, Rice or substitute Green leafy or yellow Vegetable and/or Salad, Fruit or Dessert, and Beverage

We need to promote good nutrition in all our schools, especially in our early childhood care centers. With this nutrition and a healthy diet we will be able to supports our student’s immune systems. This way our students can stay healthy and have enough energy to learn, plays, exercise and explore their own little world.

“Now days early childhood programs are becoming more focused than ever on ensuring that children are offered a variety of appealing foods with high nutritional value.” (Decker, Decker, Freeman, & Knopf, 2009).


H1N1 Flu and Your Program

What is 2009 H1N1 influenza? According to Hawaii Department of Health "2009 H1N1 influenza (sometimes called Swine Flu) it is caused by a new strain of influenza virus. This can be spread from one person to another person through coughing, sneezing, and sometimes through touching objects contaminated with the virus. Here are some signs: Fatigue, Chills, Fever, Coughing, Sore Throat, Sneezing and Muscle Aches. Also, some people may have diarrhea and vomiting.

The Federal Government is providing this vaccine for receipt on a voluntary basis. However, state law or employers may require vaccination for certain persons. The Department of Health conducted influenza vaccinations on our school campus today. November 24, 2009. I decided to take the shot. With all the hype it wasn’t that bad. ;-D


  1. You know I agree that good nutrition is important. But when I consider the food that we serve the children for lunch, which is catered from another company, and it is sometimes really saucy, fatty, or fried. It seems that as long as each food group is provided for lunch then it doesn't matter that the food isn't necessary healthy.

  2. Hi Gary,
    So how can an administrator create policies and practices based in healthy eating? Currently, to serve food in a school and make money, most schools chose to use cheap food which may not be healthy. Does the budget impact the presence of healthy eating and habits within a school? What is the administrator's role in disrupting practices based on budgetary decisions?

    I know you are reading the article on sustainability today -- I wonder how the ideas of sustainability and its connections to early childhood and the world might influence your thoughts on healthy eating and related administrative decisions.


  3. Wow, your school provides a good menu for the children. We only serve a morning snack that is approved by the department of health. We try to educate the children to eat healthy, provide them healthy foods and also provide cooking activities that they can reproduce at home with their family. I think as long as we are all trying to support children's healthy eating habits, we are doing our job!

  4. Hi Gary,

    Your thoughts made me think about how people (my age) seem more open to different foods. When I went to the mainland, I noticed how Asian and Mediterranean cuisine were the craze! People are familiar with Vietnamese food, Japanese food, Korean food- and know the difference between Asian cuisine. I think that families do eat different foods today, and I think that its a good idea to use healthy recipes and flavors from other cultures to encourage healthy eating.
    At our school, they let me cook whatever I feel like (following USDA guidelines), which I enjoy because I like to cook. I agree with Dona about how some foods may not be healthy even though it meets the component's standards as a vegetable or a fruit. I find that experimenting with other culture's recipes allow food, especially fruits and vegetables, to maintain its health benefits.

  5. Gary,

    I agree with you on how good nutrition is very important for children and therefore we need to be sure that we are promoting good nutrition and also being good role models to them. Following a set menu can be very helpful to us, and helps us to be sure that we are including everything from each food group for our children. This is very important especially when it comes to programs that are being funded by the USDA, because their are specific guidelines that you need to be sure to follow. By the looks of your menu is seems that your program is funded by the USDA as well.


  6. Hi gary, I complete agree with you, it is important to have and promote nutrition in the classroom. Not only for the children but for the awareness to the parents, so that they know the benefits it has towards the health and growth of their child. I like that your school provides the meals for your students- that seems to be very rare now a days. Those schools that do provide meals seem to sometimes provide not very health foods, so again its good to hear that their are schools out there that care about the children's nutrition.

  7. I agree with the importance of a good nutrition at school. People tend to adapt to the type of food that they eat. The more sugar you eat the more you are probably going to want to eat. Your taste buds crave certain things more than others. By teaching children how to eat healthy and explaining to them the importance of it then we can help them to develop good eating habits that will hopefully stay with them as they grow.
    Not only is good nutrition a healthy habit but it is also an excellent way to prevent the spread of sicknesses. Children who eat well tend to heave a healthier immune system, which helps them to fight off germs that may try to get them sick. Also, if less people get sick then there is less people to spread it around.