Nutritional Education Programs for Young Children

The Health Department works with children, parents and staff in child care settings and schools to improve nutrition and physical activity.

Eat Well Play Hard: Nutrition Workshops for Children, Parents and Staff at Child Care Centers

At eligible child care centers, registered dietitians from the Health Department provide training and mentoring regarding physical activity and nutrition best practices. For 16 weeks, the dietitian provides 1) training, tools and support for staff to enhance and sustain a healthy center environment; 2) hands-on classes for children and caregivers; and 3) mentoring for teachers to conduct nutrition education in the classroom. Following program implementation, centers become part of a network of centers working to improve nutrition and physical activity policies, systems, and environments and receive ongoing supports from the Health Department. For more information or to register, email

Resources for Child Care Centers

Monthly Newsletter
Eat Healthy, Be Active: A Newsletter for Group Child Care Centers is distributed to directors of NYC child care centers each month. Tools and resources are provided to help center staff create and maintain a healthy environment for children, families and staff. Subscribe to the newsletter.

Growing Healthy Children: A Nutrition Education Curriculum for Preschools
Growing Healthy Children, a nutrition education curriculum (PDF), makes it easy for teachers of children 3-and-4 year old children to implement nutrition lessons and cooking activities in the classroom. It also includes bilingual handouts for caregivers. This curriculum is adapted, with permission, from the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum developed by the New York State Department of Health's Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings for Pre-K through 1st Grade Nutrition Education curriculum
The Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings for Pre-K through 1st Grade Nutrition Education curriculum provides six modules of hands-on nutrition lessons for pre-K through 1st grade classrooms. It was developed by the New York City Health Department and is based on the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum developed by the New York State Department of Health's Child and Adult Care Food Program. Download curriculum (PDF). For more information, please contact

Move-to-Improve Early Childhood curriculum
Move-to-Improve Early Childhood curriculum offers a comprehensive and engaging way to help teachers integrate physical activity into all areas of classroom academics. It is designed to help child care centers and preschools reach the NYC Health Code mandated 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day.

Policy Support

Toolkits and Promotional Materials
Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity in Child Care Settings (PDF) provides child care center with promotional materials to support the development of healthy habits. The Growing Healthy Children toolkit promotional materials include:

  • Nutrition and physical activity posters that provide clear and simple messages for families around nutrition and physical activity for children ages 0-5 years; and
  • Information sheets with necessary information on each poster topic and ideas for promoting the messages in the child care center.

For more information regarding these materials (electronic versions available in Español , 中文 , বাংলা, Kreyòl ayisyen and 한국어), please contact

Breastfeeding and Child Care Centers
Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both babies and mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, for the first six months, mothers feed their babies only breast milk. After that, breastfeeding is recommended for a year or longer, while starting on other foods.

  • Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and order free literature and posters (PDF) to support breastfeeding in your center from the NYC Department of Health.
  • The New York State Health Department recognizes providers that support breastfeeding in their center with Breastfeeding Friendly Certificates. Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Center and support breastfeeding mothers and child care center staff who want to continue to provide breast milk to their infants.

Children's Oral Health
Tooth decay can affect adults and children, even infants and toddlers, but can be prevented. Learn about supporting children's oral health and obtain free posters for your child care center.

Additional Programs and Curriculum

Program Support

Curriculum and Education

  • Choose My Plate provides nutrition education tools and resources that support the US Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating.
  • EatPlayGrow ™ is a new early childhood health curriculum and the first to be approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC). In partnership with the NIH, Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) adapted the We Can! ® obesity prevention program (originally for ages 8-13) to create EatPlayGrow™ for use with children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers.
  • Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to fruits and vegetables.
  • Team Nutrition Resources A-Z provides a comprehensive listing of all the resources available through Team Nutrition to schools and child care facilities that participate in Federal Child Nutrition Programs.

Additional Child Care Resources