EdWatch: Nemours DE-based early childcare program goes nat'l

Planting and picking out fruits and and veggies, and even harder, getting kids to eat them - that's just one piece of Nemours' Delaware-based program that's going national.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has details in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

Nemours has been selected to lead a national effort to promote healthy eating and physical activity for young children in child care.

The Centers for Disease Control has just awarded Nemours four million-dollars in the first year of a five-year cooperative agreement for to take their Delaware-based early child care collaborative program on the road.

Debbie Chang, Vice President of Policy and Prevention at Nemours, tells WDEL the program has several goals.

"To help childcare providers adopt nutrition, breast feeding support, physical activity," says Chang.

Chang says the foundations of lifelong health are built in early childhood, and that's why they'll focus on that area.

"So childhood obesity is an epidemic impacting as many of the estimated 12 million children who spend some time in childcare settings on a regular basis," explains Chang.

Chang says in Delaware, children went to the supermarket and picked out their own fruits and veggies, and those sorts of creative initiatives will be part of the national program

"Things like serving water instead of sugar sweetened beverages, serving fruits and vegetables, and making it fun," says Chang.

Their focus will be on six states with a hope of reaching 85,000 children in year one.

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