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Health & Wellness Policy
Smart Steps has created this policy with the support of the State of Maryland’s Child
and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Start Early, Start Well Team
Nutrition Child Care Grant. This policy is in effect at all sites, and is used
for the sole purpose of improving the health and wellness of the children,
families and staff of Smart Steps Children’s Centers.
We believe that the full
implementation of our company’s mission “to build relationships between families, educators and
communities in order to foster an environment that breeds academic achievement,
cultural enrichment and self-esteem development in children”
will only be fulfilled if the children served are given
opportunities to learn and apply personal health & wellness goals. We believe
that all children enrolled in care are entitled to daily access to physical
activity, healthy meal service and nutrition education in an environment where
health and wellness practices are taught, modeled and intentionally
incorporated. We encourage the support of the families, educators and
communities that we partner with to ensure that our children are consistently
impacted by quality programs, events and resources all aimed at improved health
Smart Steps meets
standards set by CACFP for appropriate meal patterns and components.
Steps’ food service menus include age appropriate foods that meet USDA
standards for nutritional value and portion sizes.
Steps offers milk and water at every meal, eliminating sugary drinks and sodas
from its sites.
served include fruits and vegetables daily, and fresh options at least twice
are served “family-style” allowing children and staff to discuss menu items and
other health choices in a warm and clean environment.
menu items are introduced at least monthly.
food preparation techniques are used at all times, and meal service is done in a pleasant environment.
is never be used as a punishment or reward.
intentionally incorporates physical activity programming in an effort to meet
standards set by Academy of Pediatrics and Preventing Obesity in Early Care and
program schedules will include daily outdoor play times for gross motor skills
development and general exercise.
programs will include at least 1 specialized physical activity session (i.e.:
dance aerobics) each week.
age programs will include at least 3 days of physical activity including but not
limited to outdoor play and physical activity sessions (i.e. dance aerobics,
dance & drumming, martial arts).
periods will be limited to 30 minute intervals, encouraging movement and
intentional physical transitioning.
incorporation of nutrition education meet standards set by the American
Steps’ teachers will incorporate health and wellness education throughout its
service time will include discussion regarding healthy choices.
will model healthy behaviors by participating in physical activities, making
healthy food choices during meal service, and exhibiting positive images.
will be given information on health and wellness initiatives and resources in
will continue partnerships with health related organizations (i.e.: Park
Heights Community Health Alliance) in order to ensure continued access to up to
date health information related to communities served.
& Wellness information will be distributed to families during registration,
throughout enrollment and on center-related social media network and sites.