The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 20, 2014

At SUMCD Children's Center, Health & Nutrition are a Priority


The Daily Item

— Snyder Union Mifflin Child Development (SUMCD), like many, will start out the New Year with a focus on health and nutrition. However, at the SUMCD children’s centers, health and nutrition are always a priority. Good nutrition is essential to good health. Since food habits develop at an early age, it is especially important to expose young children to foods that nurture healthy development and promote life-long well being.

SUMCD, through its early care and education programs, serves approximately 27,500 meals and snacks every month at no additional cost to families. Snacks and meals are approved by a nutritionist, prepared on site by dedicated cooks in one of the SUMCD kitchens, and meet the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) regulations.

Eating is a very basic experience for children and an important way that children relate to adults in the early years of life. SUMCD meals are served “family style” so teachers and assistants can help children establish positive lifelong patterns of eating. Therefore, meal times are carefully planned to be a pleasant experience, with a few established rules as well as opportunities for children to make choices. Children are involved in daily meal time preparation. This may include a discussion of the food that is available for the meal, help in setting tables or preparing other materials, hand washing, and other sanitary measures, etc.

SUMCD serves children from birth to age 12 in infant/toddler childcare, preschool, head start, and school age programs. SUMCD staff receive health and nutrition trainings throughout the year to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information. SUMCD nurses also provide health and nutrition information to parents through parent newsletters and parent meetings.

If your child attends any SUMCD program — Early Head Start, Head Start, Child Care, Preschool, School Age Before/After School Care, Summer Camp, Early Intervention, or Healthy Families America — he/she will get the nourishment needed for a healthy start in life, the nutrients necessary to learn and grow, and related social interactions to be fully prepared for kindergarten and beyond.

For more information, visit their website at www.sumcd.org.