During the 2011-2012 school year, the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC Roslyn and Len Stoler Early Childhood Education Center took first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” childcare challenge. The challenge called for childcare centers and preschools to adopt practices that promoted healthy eating and exercise as means to preventing childhood obesity.
In order to qualify, the ECE made changes in the types of foods and beverages they gave children at school, added more physical activity to the school day and encouraged ECE families to limit screen time to no more than two hours. The result? The ECE’s Healthy Choices program was recognized for exceptional work by the Let’s Move initiative.
The program, developed for the ECE by Chris Sigman, R.N., director of Healthy Choices programming for the ECE, is one of only 12 childcare and preschool programs in the country and the only program in Maryland to be recognized. In 2013, the ECE was contacted by Penn State’s Better Kid Care program about being videotaped for the program’s online, on demand educational system for childcare providers. Videotaped lessons from the ECE’s Healthy Choices program are now online at extension.psu.edu/youth/betterkidcare.
For more information about the ECE Healthy Choices program, visit jcc.org/earlychildhood/healthychoices.