“No More Broccoli Thrown on the Floor”
Kari Barden, Dietetic Intern
“The children have really adjusted to the healthy menus…” Melissa Thompson, the food program coordinator at A Colorful World Learning Center stated. Working with Healthy Children, Healthy Weights (HCHW) and receiving Ohio Healthy Program (OHP) designation have changed the way that the children, parents, and teachers think about their health. “The children used to pick up the brocooli and throw it on the floor, but not anymore…now they enjoy it”. Thompson has noted this as one of many positive behavioral changes due to the implication of HCHW.
Thompson has stated that she has even seen changes in the way that the parents at the center are thinking about food. “They no longer bring in breakfast – like Poptarts anymore”. By reassuring that the children are given a healthy balanced breakfast, the parents feel comfortable sending their kids to the center knowing they will be given options that support a healthy lifestyle.
When asked about her overall experience with the HCHW program Thompson stated; “It has always been a helpful support system for our center. It gives me useful resouces and ideas that I can access at anytime.”. She said that she will continue to practice the HCHW standards at A Colorful World as well as at their new center that will be opening in a few months.
HCHW has given Thompson the confidence she needed to make changes to the menus all while still making sure that the children are enjoying the options. “I try to listen to what they like… sometimes they even help me think of healthy meals. It makes them feel involved and that helps them feel open to trying new things”. With the tools and resources from HCHW in hand, Thompson will continue to strive for optimal health and nutrition for the children at A Colorful World.
For more information about the Healthy Children, Healthy Weights program, please visit our website.