The Week of the Young Child™

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The Week of the Young Child™ (April 12th – 18th) is a time for caregivers and parents to recognize that Early Years are Learning Years® and that good nutrition and plenty of opportunities for physical activity are vital for a child’s future development and learning.

Live Well Omaha Kids wants to help you take action with fun, easy ways to promote healthy living to your kids during and beyond this week of celebrating our youngest learners. Read on for more info and resources!

Early Years, Healthy Habits, and Learning

Infographics_Obese-buildings_cropFact. One in three Nebraska children age 2 – 5 years are at an unhealthy weight. Overall, childhood obesity has more than tripled in 30 years.

Fact. Preschoolers who are overweight are almost 5x more likely to be overweight as young adults.

Fact. Overweight and inactive children are 600 times more likely to develop heart disease as adults.

Importantly, there is a relationship between poor nutrition, inactivity, unhealthy weight and academic success. One study  discovered that students  who entered kindergarten with weight problems, exhibited lower math performance as early as first grade, and the poor performance persisted through fifth grade.

The development of dietary and physical activity habits happens early in life.  Young children (age birth to
5) need role models and environments that support the development of healthy habits.  When nutrition and physical activity is not only fun but healthy, it allows children to develop and learn at their full potential.

Key Strategies

IMG_7910The Good News: There are strategies and solutions out there to make it easier for caregivers and parents to be healthy role models and teach kids healthy habits for life!

Here are 6 Key Principles to integrate into your practice:

  • Focus on developing healthy eating habits now using proven strategies
  • Focus on integrating physical activity into teaching for maximum learning
  • Provide opportunities and indoor and outdoor environments to encourage active play and a love of physical activity
  • Promote & support breastfeeding, which is the earliest form of good nutrition
  • Minimize screen time to encourage activity
  • Most importantly, be a good role model! Kids learn by watching and imitating!

Take Action This Week!

Live Well Omaha Kids has what you need to Celebrate our Youngest Learners during  Week of the Young Child™. 

For each day’s theme we’ve created a related activity to promote healthy habits.  Try one of these healthy activities each day and try to make it a daily practice as you go!  Communicate your efforts with parents using the provided handouts.

>>Share this  flyer  with your parents for fun, FREE Kick-Off to Week of the Young Child at various area YMCA locations.

>>On Social Media? Use these prepared posts to promote these healthy habits and your activities!

We hope these resources highlight how easy it can be to provide the right environment for kids to develop healthy habits for life, and how parents can continue your work at home!

  • MUSIC MONDAY– Incorporate regular Activity Breaks to promote learning.
  • TACO TUESDAY – Create a love for fruits & veggies.
  • WORK TOGETHER WEDNESDAY – Make water the beverage of choice.
  • ARTSY THURSDAY –  Learn that less screen time is really “more” by engaging creativity.
  • FAMILY FRIDAY – Try Family-Style Dining, it works better than you think!
  • BONUS DAY! – Promote & support breastfeeding as the first healthy diet.
To learn what else is happening locally for Week of the Young Child click here.

Want to do more?

Join the NAP SACC Learning Collaborative – A FREE program to learn best-practices for teaching kids healthy habits for life.