Learning Healthy Early
In the 2005-2006 school year Imagine embarked on a healthy living campaign, "Imagine, Learning Healthy Early!", that is reflected throughout our curriculum. By consulting with parents, nutritionists, and professionals in both the fields of early childhood and health care Imagine has developed suggested healthy menus, physical activities and daily life routines for school and home. This increased health conscious approach is evident in center snack menus where old standards like graham crackers and cookies have been replaced by more fruit, vegetables and healthy crackers free of hydrogenated oils and trans fat. Imagine will also limit foods associated with allergies when necessary, including nuts and dairy.
As a regular part of our curriculum, teachers talk to the children in all the classrooms about making healthy living choices. Germ Busters, Healthy Heart, Sun Safety, Get Up, Get Out and Play are just a few of the units that are explored. Teachers are supported by Gail Krieger, our Learning Healthy Early Coordinator.
Additionally, Imagine has made a commitment to the greening of our centers. We have reduced our waste of paper by emailing staff and family notices. We use only environmentally friendly cleaning products free of harsh chemicals during the day in the presence of children. By recycling with the children we are teaching the importance of sustainability while using fun found objects for art and other classroom activities.
Every year Imagine sponsors an Imagine Us Thinner and Healthier competition for Imagine staff and families. We are happy to report that hundreds of pounds have been lost! Many Imagineers are living happier and healthier lives.
Imagine staff work as partners with parents to emphasize healthy habits at home. Learnng Healthy Early recipes, activities and tips are included in monthly center newsletters. We also provide parent education workshops, referrals to community resources and center sponsored healthy living events.
All the Imagine centers are endorsed by Eco-Healthy Child Care program sponsored by the Oregon Environmental Council.