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Children ages 0 to 5 spend a significant amount of time in child care, which provides an opportunity to engrain healthy behaviors at an early age. To create a healthier child care environment, partners:

  • Facilitated healthier menu changes within 634 licensed child care facilities
  • Conducted technical assistance and trainings with child care facilities to improve healthy practices related to physical activity and nutrition
  • Educated community stakeholders and policy makers on the importance of increasing healthy practices within child care facilities

What you can do: As parents or community members, you can get involved to improve nutrition and physical activity practices and policies in child care facilities. You can: Pack nutritious meals and encourage child care facilities to provide adequate time for physical education and reduce screen time. For more information, visit http://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/welcome.html. Key partners: University of Miami – Mailman Center, Florida Department of Children and Families, Consulting Registered Dietitians, ChangeLab Solutions, Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/ Monroe

Consortium Committee: Children Issues

Farm-to-School Nutrition and Healthy Vending Machines

Childhood obesity remains a growing concern in Miami-Dade County. To improve access to healthy foods and reimbursable meals in public schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Food & Nutrition:

  • Incorporated produce from locally grown farms into school meals district-wide
  • Installed 57 reimbursable healthy vending machines in high schools and K-8 centers throughout the county
  • Revised the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Wellness Policy to reflect healthier standards district-wide

What you can do: Encourage your children to make healthier options when eating at school. For more information, visit http://nutrition.dadeschools.net/.

Key partners: Miami-Dade County Public Schools – Food & Nutrition, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Consortium Committee: Children Issues

Physical Education

Exercise is part of keeping our children healthy and alert. Children who are more physically active tend to miss school less often and have an easier time focusing on their studies. To increase physical activity in schools, partners:

  • Implemented the SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) curriculum in all elementary schools within Miami-Dade County
  • Offered an after-school physical education elective course for high school students
  • Collected data on student fitness levels
  • Provided mini-grants to 58 schools to implement healthy programs for students and staff

What you can do: Encourage your children to participate in physical activity at school and at home. For additional information about Miami-Dade County physical education programs, visit: http://pe.dadeschools.net/.

Key Partners: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Consortium Committee: Children Issues

Safe Routes to Schools

Safe active transportation to and from school provides an easy and convenient opportunity to engage in daily physical activity. To encourage safe active transportation to and from school, partners:

  • Conducted a School Traffic Survey of all public schools in Miami-Dade County to obtain information on students’ transportation to and from school
  • Assessed the county to identify areas that are at highest risk for child pedestrian injuries and fatalities
  • Placed 23 additional School Crossing Guards at identified high-risk areas throughout the county
  • Actively promoted active transportation to and from school by implementing sustainable walking programs at various schools throughout the county

What you can do: For more information, please visit: Walksafe™Program, National Center for Safe Routes to School, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

Key partners: University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine – WalkSafeTM, BikeSafeTM Program, City of Miami Police Department, National Center for Safe Routes to School

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