Eating right should be fun for parents and children

Eating right should be fun for parents and children. Children begin to form good habits like eating healthy and trying new foods in preschool. We know that this can be both an exciting and frustrating time for parents and teachers. That’s why the Dannon Institute developed Celebrate Healthy Eating, a nutrition education program designed for preschool children. The curriculum was researched and developed by the Pennsylvania State University Center for Nutrition and was originally published in partnership with Scholastic Early Childhood Today.

With Celebrate Healthy Eating Online, educators can find lesson plans about different food groups along with fun activities for their students. Families can get nutrition news and tips, create kid-friendly recipes, discover books about nutrition, and use coloring books online. And now, all of the modules are available in Spanish!

The Dannon Institute developed the Awards for Excellence in Community Nutrition and the Community Nutritionary to highlight successful, community-based nutrition programs and to offer ideas and insights for nutrition leaders, educators and program planners nationwide.

In the years between 1998 and 2003, the Dannon Institute supported the Awards for Excellence in Community Nutrition program which was created to celebrate the accomplishments of local nutrition initiatives that have made a positive and significant impact on residents in the community they serve. The winning programs were diverse in scope, focus and budget. All demonstrated innovation, creativity and impact in nutrition behavior change at the community level. Programs selected as recipients of the Awards for Excellence in Community Nutrition have been featured in the Dannon Institute’s Community Nutritionary publication.

By highlighting and encouraging successful nutrition programs at the grassroots level, the Community Nutritionary helped shape thriving community nutrition programs nationwide. Each issue of this publication highlighted key learnings from programs that won the Dannon Institute Awards for Excellence in Community Nutrition, a “how-to” section, and a questionnaire to earn professional education credit.

The Community Nutritionary has been used in nutrition courses at several universities and has been distributed to thousands of nutrition staff at organizations such as Meals on Wheels. These issues continue to be available on the Dannon Institute’s website today.

The Council on Foundations awarded a 2002 Wilmer Shields Rich Gold Medal to the Community Nutritionary. The Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program recognizes excellence in communications by foundations and corporate giving programs.

Many of the case studies that have appeared in the Community Nutritionary are featured in the textbook  Community Nutrition in Action: An Entrepreneurial Approach, written by Marie E. Boyle (3rd Edition, 2003, Wadsworth/Thomson Learning Inc., Belmont, CA).

Children spend a large percentage of their waking hours in school and are highly influenced by their school environment. In 2006, the federal government mandated the establishment of school wellness policies in response to the growing problem of overweight and obesity among U.S. children. School administrators across the country spearheaded the creation and adoption of wellness policies, with broad implications in the school, including the cafeteria, classroom and playground.

The Healthy Steps Forward publication featured here appeared in the October 2008 issue of  District Administration  magazine and offers a foundation for assessing a school district’s progress in promoting wellness in the areas of nutrition and fitness.

The Dannon Institute recognizes the importance of nutrition and physical activity in promoting children’s health. These tools have been developed as a way to support superintendents, district administrators and wellness committees in their efforts to take school wellness to the next level.

Since 2010, the Dannon Institute has attended four Superintendents Summits produced by the District Administration Leadership Institute. Each Superintendents Summit brings together 60-70 visionary Superintendents from across the United States. During these programs, the Dannon Institute has presented best practices in school wellness, both nutrition and physical activity. The Dannon Institute has also collected examples of school wellness best practices from superintendents with the idea that these ideas might be helpful for other districts.

The Dannon Institute created videos featuring superintendents who attended the 2011 and 2012 District Administration Leadership Institute Summits. These videos are intended to provide ideas and information about school wellness programming that has worked successfully in districts across the country.

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