Balancing Food & Play
College Station, TX 77843-2251
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Obesity in the United States is an epidemic- and has been for decades. Texas has the 8th highest obesity rate for youth ages 10-17 with 17.3% being obese. Childhood obesity results in extra health care costs; on average $12,900 more in medical costs than a child with normal weight and is also associated with poorer educational outcomes including a lower GPA, lower reading and math scores, and more school absences.
Teaching children how to live healthy is a good way to help them grow into healthy adults. Balancing Food & Play (3rd thru 5th-grade curriculum) was developed to address children’s health issues by developing lifelong healthy behaviors through nutrition, physical activity, and family engagement. The curriculum is based on the principles of the MyPlate Food Guidance System and the Social Cognitive Model; targeting early childhood health habits while providing youth the opportunity to learn about nutrition and physical activity in an engaging and exciting way, exploring creativity in the classroom, home kitchens, and playgrounds.
AgriLife Extension educators are trained on the program and then in turn train local teachers to implement it throughout the school day. All 20 lessons are available via the Teacher's manual and online virtual lessons are available for teacher use as well. Student journals and parent newsletters/assignments support self-reflection and family engagement. All components of the curriculum, including the online virtual lessons, are available in both English and Spanish.
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Infants’ experiences early in life literally influence the physical structures of the brain, opening the way for patterns of thought and behavior for the rest of a child’s life. This 1-hour course addresses critical topics related to caring for the youngest and most vulnerable population of children, infants and toddlers.
Creating healthy habits is a critical element of quality early childhood programs. This course reviews practices that promote physical activity in young children. It is aligned with Texas Healthy Building Blocks recognition criteria and was developed with support from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Teachers encourage children to participate in experiences that actively engage them in communication, creativity, and problem solving. These core skills are critical in children’s cognitive development. Strategies for effective verbal interactions, encouraging problem-solving, and integrating the creative arts are explored.
One of the most challenging aspects of child care is deciding upon a style of discipline that is appropriate, effective, and in the best interest of each child. Students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of various disciplinary styles and explore strategies for setting and enforcing healthy limits.
Guidance and discipline issues are two of the most challenging aspects of any early childhood teacher’s work. Explore what contributes to problem behaviors and how to work with children to promote positive behaviors. Examine the effects of the classroom environment on children’s behaviors.
Infants and toddlers engage in challenging behaviors as a way of communicating that they have unmet needs. Enroll in this online course to learn how to recognize, understand, and develop responses to these types of behavior as well as working with a team to fully assess and address challenging infant and toddler behavior.