Although most early childhood education centres already implement and recognize the importance of physical activity and nutrition, it can be beneficial for centres to formalize their approach in policy documents. But where to start? Here are some tips from Appetite to Play on how to develop meaningful physical activity and nutrition policies.
Why do it?
- Having a formal policy can help guide staff on the expectations for and approach to physical activity, especially when staff are newly hired.
- The policy can also be a helpful document to point parents and families towards when they are asking questions about your physical activity practices.
Things to consider when developing your physical activity and nutrition policies
- Start with what you currently do and review these practices with staff
- Review changes you think you should, or have already made to your current practice
- Make sure that the policy is specific to your environment. For example, if you are located on school grounds, do not schedule your outdoor physical activity at the same time as the school lunch break, as the school students will be using the play area.
- Appetite to Play suggests that your policy incorporates the following areas for your Physical Activity Policy:
- Facilitated and unstructured physical activity
- Outdoor play
- Fundamental movement skills
- Playtime environment
- Physical literacy
- Role modelling
- Screen time (specifically, limiting the amount of time children spend with screens)
- And for your Nutrition Policy:
- Healthy foods and drinks
- The environment at mealtime
- Learning about food and healthy eating
- Role modelling
- Infant feeding
Things to consider when implementing your physical activity and nutrition policies
- Make the policy accessible to staff and families
- Monitor implementation and address any issues
- Review and update regularly
Also, consider visiting the source site Appetite to Play for more information on specific activity plans, recipes, e-learning modules and workshop opportunities for more information on this topic!