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Physical Activity * Motor Skills * Nutrition * Movement & Music * Oral Health * Engaging Families * Staff Wellness

Healthy Habit System

Physical Activity   |   Oral Health   |   Nutrition


Shop Smart

Kick The Can (And The Box!) – Boxed foods and canned foods with sauces or syrups have more salt, sugar, and preservatives. Try to eat more fresh foods instead.

Shop Around – The sides of food stores have the “good for you” foods like milk, fresh meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Shop the sides!

You’re The Boss! – Children eat what we give them, so buy and cook healthier foods.

The Family That Shops Together – Have your children help you find healthy foods at the store. The more they help, the more they learn about healthy foods.

Label Before Table – Look on labels for low fat, low sugar, and low salt (sodium) before you buy. Avoid labels with long lists of big words.

Give A Choice – Try giving your child a choice between two healthy options at the store and at home.  If your child is picky, choosing his or her own food may help, and it will still be healthy! Use Choosy as a role model and a health hero.

Make Time To Be Healthy

I Want To Be Like You! – Your child will do what you do. If you eat healthier food, your child will too.

Together Is Better – Have your child help set the table, make the meal, and clean up. This is great “together” time after a busy day!

Happy Talk = Happy Tummies! – To help with food digestion, make meal time pleasant and interesting.  Chew food slowly, talk about pleasant things, and ask questions to encourage conversation.

Turn Off To Tune In! – At meal time, turn off phones, TVs, and computers so families can pay attention to each other. Bring everyone together for a family meal.

Meal Time Makes Memories – Think of meal time as a way to connect to each other and share experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Use this time to connect and counsel. Children will remember the conversations and memories made around the table.

Choosy Snacks

Size Up Your Snacks! – Serve snacks in small bowls or plates to keep family members from overeating at snack time.

Snack Helpers – Invite your kids to help fix fun, yet healthy snacks. They will want to eat what they make!

Reach For A Peach - Keep healthy snacks like fresh fruit and vegetable sticks ready for family snack attacks!  Small healthy snacks during the day keep children full between meals.

I Spy Something…Healthy! – Kids will ask for things they can see. Keep healthy snacks on the lower shelves in the fridge or at eye level for children.

Snack Smart – Check snack labels for sugar, salt (sodium), and fat before giving them to your child. Select snacks that say “no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives” or that have no labels, like fruit and vegetables.

Think Tiny Tummies

Help With How Much! –  A serving size of food is about one tablespoon for each year of age up to age five.

Small-Size, Not Super-Size! – No need to ever super-size meals. Do not give second helpings to your child unless your child asks for another serving.

I Feel Full – Insisting on “clean plates” can lead to overeating. Children will let you know when they feel full. Fruits and Veggies give us a feeling of being full for a longer time than unhealthy foods.

Keep Trying! – Even if your child refuses to try new food, keep trying.  Just because children have refused a food 9 times, doesn’t mean they won’t eat it after 10, 12, or 15 tries!

Take A “Try Me Bite!” – Try modeling, tasting and eating healthy foods, or actually try new healthy foods yourself. This will encourage your child to try the food as well.

Drink More Water

Why Buy? – Soda pop, powdered drinks, and punches have calories and lots of sugar, but no nutrition. Why buy things that make children gain weight and get cavities?

Water Your Kids! – Children need water every day to help their brains and bodies work their best – and it’s cheap!

Drink Less Sugar – Less sugar can help keep kids fit and keep away problems like high blood sugar (diabetes), weight gain, and cavities.

Wow Your Water – Put slices of lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber in your child’s water to add flavor and vitamins.

Choose Water Over Juice – Water is the healthiest beverage for your child. Juice, even 100% fruit juice, has a lot of calories and sugar which can cause weight gain and cavities.

Easy Access – Children should drink water when thirsty, so make water available at all times. Keep a special cup or bottle containing fresh water in an area that is easy to access for a child.

Crave Your F.A.V

F.A.V.  – Fruits And Veggies are the healthiest foods.  Choosy says, "Keep it real!"

Eat A Rainbow – Eat fruits and vegetables of different colors to build healthy bodies.

Fresh Is Best! –  Frozen is fine. Cans and boxes are last in line! Fresh foods like fruits and veggies have vitamins and other good things that our bodies need to grow.

Try Something New! – Try serving a new fruit or veggie at snack time when kids may be hungry.

Food For Thought – Eating a healthy breakfast every day helps children think better all day long!

Cook With Kids – Children are more likely to eat foods they help to make. This is a good time to talk about healthy and not so healthy foods and beverages.

Choosy Babies

Breastfeeding Helps – Children are more likely to have a healthy weight when breastfed compared to formula fed. Also, they have better general health, development, and nutritional advantages.

Limit The Calories – Stick with breast milk or formula in the bottle until your baby is 6 months old. Ask your pediatrician before adding extra calories that your baby may not need, like in cereal.

Solid Food – Try feeding your baby solid foods such as vegetables, jarred baby food, and infant cereals around six months of age. Starting too early can lead to weight problems.

Hold, Don’t Prop – It’s best to hold your baby rather than use rolled up towels or pillows to prop the baby’s bottle while feeding. If your baby falls asleep with a propped up bottle, formula can stay in baby’s mouth and cause choking or damage baby’s teeth.

Finger Food – As your child begins to digest solid food, try small amounts of healthy finger food such as grilled chicken, fruit, or cooked veggies around nine months of age.

Choosy Toddlers

More Than A Meal – Mealtime provides an opportunity for learning experiences like talking about food and learning new words.

Not A Chore! – Mealtime should be a routine that helps build family bonds. This nourishes your child with more than food!  Meal time should be pleasant.

Picture This! – A child’s fist is about the amount of meat that should be served. A cupped hand is about the amount of fruits and vegetables, and one clenched fist is about the amount of grains.

Healthy Choices For Healthy Toddlers – Try to serve healthy options as this will allow your toddler to make healthy choices at mealtime. While you decide what to serve, allow your toddler to decide when and how much to eat.

My Very Own Cup! – Let your toddler select a favorite cup for water and treat it as very special. Keep your sippy cups sugar free (no sweet drinks or juice) by offering your child just water in sippy cups between meals.