The Delta First 5 Center, located in Brentwood, implemented a new nutrition policy last year.  Perhaps your organization may want to consider ringing in the New Year by adopting a new healthful snack policy.

Here’s Delta’s nutrition policy, which has been embraced both by the Center’s staff and families. The Delta First 5 Center:

  • Will not serve sugar-sweetened beverages, including 100% fruit juice, to children at any of the Center’s activities, events or celebrations.
  • Will provide low-calorie whole grain cereal snacks on a daily basis and fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
  • Will serve whole fruit slices in place of 100% juice or flavored punch when possible.
  • Will always provide water free of charge for children and their families.
  • May provide additional beverages for children including healthy alternatives such as carbonated water (flavored or unflavored) without sweeteners and non-fat or 1% milk (plain, not flavored).

According to Debbie Ogle, Delta First 5 Center’s Director, the healthier policy has not deterred families from attending classes and events.  She says the Center used to serve food that was more processed, but since implementing the new policy, the Center now regularly provides fresh fruit, whole grains, and low-fat options. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been replaced with water with fruit or with milk.

“If we want to combat childhood obesity, then it is critical that the Center model healthful eating and drinking habits for our families,” said Ogle. “Both the parents and children attending the Center are very happy with this change.”

In addition to serving more healthful snacks, the Center now uses snack time to teach children self-help skills, such as pouring milk, and to practice good table manners.

The Delta First 5 Center received a $500 Pledge the Practice mini-grant from the Healthy and Active Before 5 collaborative to help implement the new policy.  You can learn more about adopting healthy beverage, movement and play, breastfeeding promotion, and nutrition policies at Healthy and Active Before 5.

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