Creating opportunities for children to live healthy, vibrant lives through the adoption of healthy eating and physical activity habits at an early age.
After a review of national trends, data and policies surrounding health care initiatives across the nation, Council Member TJ Thomson worked with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children and Central District Health Department to develop Healthy Child Initiatives. This Council Strategic Initiative was created in 2013, geared towards licensed providers in Boise to strengthen childcare standards in the City of Boise and address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.
- Increase opportunities for physical activity
- Limit sedentary screen time
- Develop nutritional menus in childcare settings – USDA Guidelines
- Provide a private, designated location for breastfeeding
The program aims to facilitate parents’ informed decision-making by increasing visibility of facilities’ compliance with the Healthy Initiatives guidelines described above. Every Boise childcare facility applicant completes a free 4-hour Healthy Initiatives training and receives the Color Me Healthy toolkit to help them successfully comply with the initiative – a $15,000 donation.
As of July 1, 2015, childcare providers are encouraged to comply with each of four specific guidelines (Physical Activity, Screen Time, Nutrition, Infant Feeding).
- Trained providers are able to showcase their facilities and highlight the ways in which they are meeting Healthy Child guidelines
- Boise parents of young children are better able to compare facilities and gain peace of mind when selecting a provider
Facility and parent resources are available at www.boisechildcare.com.