Oklahoma has been selected as one of five states to pilot a program involving an online tool that helps child care programs foster healthy eating and physical activity habits in young children. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will be working with partners in various counties to implement the program known as Go NAP SACC (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care).
Go NAP SACC helps programs set and reach goals to improve their menus and mealtimes, increase opportunities for enriching active play, and make other healthy changes. Child Care Health Consultant professionals in Oklahoma will be working withmultiplechild care programs across the state to help them set and reach goals which will help them become healthier places for children to learn and grow.
Candace Macedo, obesity prevention coordinator, said effective tools and resources are needed in order to foster environments that support healthy choices.
“Our partnership with GO NAPP SAC will empower participating early childhood centers to support physical activity and healthy eating in practical ways,” said Macedo. “It is an honor for Oklahoma to be selected.”
Children begin building healthy habits at a young age. Enjoyable mealtimes where fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods are served help children learn to like these foods. Indoor and outdoor playtime not only lets children burn energy, but also helps fuel brain development and learning. Many young children attend child care programs, and these programs become their home away from home. As partners with families, child care programs have a big role to play by helping children develop healthy habits that can serve them throughout their lives.
Go NAP SACC is the online version of NAP SACC, an evidence-based program created in 2002 by a team of child obesity researchers at UNC Chapel Hill. It has been used successfully by child care programs in dozens of states throughout the country over the past decade.
Additionally, Go NAP SACC has been added as a criterion on the Certified Healthy Early Childhood Program application, which is open until Nov. 1.
This pilot project is made possible with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.