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  Nutrition is an important part of the Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Early Head Start curriculum. Studies have shown that making healthy food choices is very important in the growth of babies and young children. Eating healthy foods helps pregnant women and children get the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy, active, and strong.

The Office of Head Start offers this guide to all Head Start and Early Head Start programs: “Staff who work with families and young children can help families learn to read their children’s feeding cues. They can also help families learn about age-appropriate foods and serving sizes. This can set up children for a lifetime of healthy eating. Explore this resource to learn how to make responsive feeding a part of families' mealtime routine”.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start encourages healthy nutrition education to children and families enrolled in both their Early Head Start (EHS) and Head Start programs. Healthy choices are taught to children and families participating in EHS through play with pretend food. This type of play encourages both child and adult to make a plate of food for each other and to talk about how the real food would feel, taste and smell. Early Head Start Family Partners have a nutrition activity at least once per month. In addition to the pretend food activity, Family Partners are also encouraged to introduce a simple, kid-friendly recipe that can be made by the child with the parent’s help.

Photo Caption:       Rome Early Head Start child, Wade and his mom (Roni) enjoyed playtime with the pretend food. Wade seemed to really like playing with the fruit, especially the banana's and watermelon, which mom says is his absolute favorite!