BLEND Beginnings Program Guide
The BLEND Beginnings Nutrition and Physical Activity Program was developed through the cooperative efforts of experienced early child care providers, nutritionists and educators. Designed for ease of incorporation into existing programs and curriculum’s, it is an excellent, age appropriate resource for children ages 3-5. BLEND Beginnings includes 4 thematic units – My Body, My Senses, My Healthy Foods, My Food Grows Where? and, a bonus unit – Color Challenge. Each unit includes lesson plans, picture cards, posters, hand-outs and activities to help guide child care in day-to-day teachings, provide colorful visuals and games to help young children learn, and offer resources to communicate best with parents and guardians.
Table of Contents and Introduction
This section of the program gives an introduction and overview of the BLEND Beginnings Program, how to use it and how to make it a success in a child care setting. The detailed Table of Content makes it easy to navigate and will help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Unit #1: My Healthy Body
Excerpt: “Preschoolers are interested in their body and are at the perfect age to begin teaching small lessons to help them discover and find out more about the body. It is with this information that children will learn the importance for good nutrition (to fuel the body) and physical activity (to keep the body strong and healthy).”
Unit #2: My Senses
Excerpt: “A child’s first knowledge of the world is gathered through their senses. Teaching children about sight, sound, taste, smell and touch will give them the freedom to explore and learn. After all, children learn through the use of their senses. It is also through the senses that the child later develops powers of discrimination (likes and dislikes). Combining nutrition and physical activity education with the five senses encourages more exploration of healthy foods and activity while challenging those discrimination’s.”
Unit #3: My Healthy Foods
Excerpt: “As a child care provider, you have a wonderful opportunity to help lay a healthy foundation for many young children. Caregivers play key roles as a teacher and as a role model to enable children to learn, value, and practice behaviors that promote good health.”
Unit #4: My Food Grows Where?
Excerpt: “Ask a child where their food comes from and you may very likely hear the response “the supermarket!”
Where food comes from can impact how children think about and enjoy food. Integrating nutrition and agriculture education will encourage and foster healthy eating habits.”
- Download Unit 4 – Pages 1-9 (PDF)
- Download Unit 4 – Pages 10-14 (PDF)
- Download Unit 4 – Pages 15-18 (PDF)
Bonus Unit: Color Challenge
Excerpt: “Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but their real beauty lies in what’s inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.”
This section finishes the BLEND Beginnings Program with family and educator newsletters along with list of resources useful in creating the program.
- Focus on Fruit (PDF)
- Focus on Milk (PDF)
- Focus on Meat & Beans (PDF)
- Focus on Grains (PDF)
- Focus on Vegetables (PDF)
- Focus on Activity (PDF)
BLEND Beginnings Education Tools and Resources
The BLEND Beginning Program provides child care with tools, games and activities to engage children in healthy conversation about nutrition and physical activity. Each lesson plan explains when, where and how to use these resources to successfully implement the program.