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Title:Eat Well, Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum
Pub. date: April 2008
Edition: 1st
Includes: Curriculum available online or in print.
Audience: Parents, Children
Language: English
Description:This is a ten-chapter nutrition and physical activity curriculum. Each of the ten chapters includes a lesson for 3-4 year old children and a separate lesson for their families. Each lesson identifies a goal and objectives for the lesson and details the points for the trainer to cover in the lesson. A minimum of three activities supportive of the objectives are included in each lesson. Nine of the ten lessons include at least one food demonstration or cooking activity. Each lesson includes an estimate of the time necessary to prepare for and conduct each activity. Trainers are also provided with a list of relevant reference materials. The activities each list needed supplies and ingredients and detail the preparation that should occur before the class and the steps in implementing the activity. In addition to the activity sheets, each pre-school lesson includes a copy of a take home handout called "Parent Pages." Additional handout masters are included as appropriate.
Funding Source: Child and Adult Care Food Program and SNAP-Ed Program
Developer: Connie Stephano
Organization: New York State Department of Health CACFP
Length: 10 Chapters
Assessment instrument Used? no
Use Restrictions: Permission needed to copy.
Reviewers Comments: The Eat Well Play Hard curriculum is designed for preschool age children and their families. As stated in their opening letter to the educator, “[the curriculum] is intended for use by individuals with a background in nutrition education, preferably registered dietitians. Those without a nutrition background are encouraged to carefully review the references and work closely with a local nutrition professional in implementing the curriculum.”

In addition to the ten lesson plans and related activities, the curriculum includes handouts, references, additional resources, and a handout disc. Each lesson includes three activities. While the curriculum designates all three activities be conducted, the educators may use one or two of the activities depending on their time constraints and other needs. Lessons include an approximate preparation time and activity time, and these may vary depending on the size of the group. The activity time of each activity (and therefore, each lesson) ranges greatly, from 10 to 60 minutes, making it difficult to set aside dedicated time for all of the lessons. It is important educators make note of the estimated lesson and activity time in advance.

The lessons discuss a variety of topics, including the food groups, cooking, snacking, fitness, manners, appetites, and growing vegetables. Some of the information in the lessons may be difficult for children at this age level, depending on their developmental stage. Educators may choose to adapt lessons with difficult concepts (such as comprehension of different vitamins and minerals) accordingly. Adult lessons include a discussion of the Food Stamp Program.

The activities focus on encouraging young children to try new foods, and use some principles from Ellyn Satter. There is some repetition in the lessons and activities, which helps children at this age learn. Some of the lessons use books and DVDs which are available separately. A variety of recipes are included, ranging from extremely child-friendly (Mac and Cheese) to slightly exotic (Portuguese Kale Soup). Recipes do not include nutritional information. When preparing recipes, it is important to be aware of children’s food allergies, and food allergies that may have not been discovered yet. Educators should also be careful with tastings of small food which children can choke on.

Each lesson has parent pages, for children to take home to their parents. Parent pages contain recipes and tips for parents, including how parents can let children help in the preparation food, how to deal with picky eaters, and how to create a fun family mealtime. Recipes for parents have steps in bold where children can be included in the preparation process. The last section of the curriculum includes references and additional resources.

The entire curriculum is available online in individual chapters or as one complete PDF file.

View/download files: 
Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum:
Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: New York State Department of Health - CACFP
    Mail: Riverview Center 150 Broadway - 6th FL W
Albany, New York 12204
    Phone: 518-402-7251
    Ordering: Order forms are available by emailing your request .
    Order URL:Web Address
    Cost: 60.00 per curriculum
    Avail. in Qty: Yes

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