Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity: Early Care and Education (Early Child Care) Initiatives

Listed below are information and references to address physical activity and nutrition in the child care setting.

The health and well-being of Wisconsin's children are directly related to the development and strengthening of their large and small muscles, involvement in sensory experiences, and practicing of healthy behavior. The Department of Health Services, Nutrition and Physical Activity Obesity Prevention Program supports the developmental expectation that children in Wisconsin will be physically healthy and will be able to effectively care for their own physical needs. This site contains information and tools to support child care, preschool, Head Start, early childhood special education and kindergarten programs for four- and five-year-olds to provide developmentally appropriate, increasingly complex and diverse opportunities for children to understand and care for their physical well-being.


A baby is being breastfed.

 

On our Breastfeeding Initiatives webpage, you can find additional resources to assess and implement breastfeeding supports and practices in a variety of settings.


Active Early

Active Early: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Childhood Physical Activity (English and Spanish) (PDF)

This kit focuses primarily on physical activity and has been developed to support a healthier environment for children in the early care and education setting.

 


Healthy Bites Cover

Healthy Bites: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Childhood Nutrition (English and Spanish) (PDF)

These resources focus on physical activity and nutrition, respectively, and were developed to support a healthier environment for children in the early care and education setting. By developing and implementing program policies that improve the nutritional quality of food, encourage physical activity, and educate child care providers, parents, and caregivers, children can develop a sound foundation for optimal growth and development. The guides include assessment tools and suggested strategies for improving practices and policies.

 

Active Out-of-School time. A Wisconsin guide to improving childhood physical activity for school age children

Active Out-of-School Time: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Childhood Physical Activity for School-Age Children

This resource focuses on physical activity and was developed to support healthier environments for school-age children in out-of-school time settings.

These settings could include child care programs, after-school programs, and emergency shelters serving children during non-school hours.


Icon of drinking glasses

 

Supporting Healthy Beverage Choices in Out-of-School Time Programs in Wisconsin (PDF)

This brief summarizes a Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) Learning Collaborative Partnership model examining a policy to promote healthy beverage choices in licensed out-of-school time programs in Wisconsin


Cover of Got Veggies, ECE Edition resource

 

Gardening Initiatives

Visit the Gardening Initiatives page for more information on Farm to Early Care and Education and other resources and support available to connect children to gardening and fruits and vegetables.


Additional resources

Assessment tool list

Self-Assessment Instrument – Links to a log-in for NAPSACC resources, including a self-assessment checklist for child care providers to see what the child care setting is currently providing for nutrition and physical activity strategies.

Evaluation tools

See the Active Early and Healthy Bites resources for evaluation materials.

Related tools
  • YoungStar – A program of the Department of Children and Families created to improve the quality of child care for Wisconsin children by evaluating and rating the quality of care given by child care providers.
  • Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies – In this report, the National Academy of Sciences: Health and Medicine Division recommends actions that health care professionals, caregivers, and policymakers can take to prevent obesity in children age five and younger.
Last Revised: July 11, 2022