Tooling up for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Child-Care Centers

Evaluating the impact of a healthy lifestyles toolkit on food- and physical activity-related policies in child-care centers

Researchers with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin evaluated use of a toolkit designed to help child-care centers prevent overweight among young children by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

The researchers trained providers at 10 intervention sites to use the toolkit and compared their results with those from a portion of the 20 control sites that received the toolkit without the training.

Key Findings:

  • Nine of the 10 intervention sites used the toolkit. The most commonly used materials were:
    • Recommendations on portion sizes
    • Guidelines on healthy snacks
    • Healthy recipes for children
    • Recommendations for parents on childhood physical activity and nutrition.
  • Five of the eight control sites contacted after one year had used the toolkit in some way. A preliminary analysis did not reveal much difference in the materials used by intervention and control sites. Further analysis of the control sites is ongoing.

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