Child nutrition is an important aspect of the Head Start program; Head Start works to promote child wellness by providing nutrition services that supplement and compliment those of the home and community. Head Start's child nutrition services assist families in meeting each child's nutrition needs and in establishing good eating habits that nurture healthy development and promote life-long well-being. Five areas of Head Start child nutrition focus are: identification of nutritional needs, nutritional services, meal service, family assistance with nutrition, and food safety.
All Head Start children will be screened for nutrition risk factors using growth assessment information, hemoglobin results, and nutrition history information filled out at enrollment. Parents will be notified when their children have been screened. All parents will be given the opportunity to meet with a nutrition specialist. Parents may contact the Nutrition Coordinator, Tracey Colbert at (620) 615-5785 with any nutritional concerns or questions.
The Early Head Start program will provide age appropriate snacks at Socializations (Tender Play) and family activities. The Head Start program will provide your child with a healthy breakfast or snack and a hot lunch. Menus for both meals are sent home monthly. Teachers will work in cooperation with Head Start food service staff and parents to provide seasonal, nutritional, and fun menus that are healthy and low in sugar and fat. The program does not serve foods high in sugar with no nutritional value in an effort to promote dental health. For sanitary reasons, we cannot serve any homemade food treats.
Mealtime is a learning experience for the children as they find out more about foods that are good for them, good tasting and fun. Meals are served "family-style" sitting around the table and passing some of the foods in serving dishes. The teachers will discuss foods, colors, manners, nutrition, textures, etc. with the children as they eat their lunch. Mealtime then becomes a time of enjoying one another as well as food.
Head Start participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federal program that provides healthy meals and snacks to children receiving day care and preschool services.