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Eating healthy foods at a young age often translates to a healthier life as an adult. The state of Missouri is leading the way towards a healthy start for kids with their new healthy child care guidelines.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services created the Missouri Eat Smart Child Care guidelines and made them available to any facility that participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The state provides technical assistance, sample menus and training available at no fee.
What does this look like in practice? At Small Wonders Early Childcare Center in Springfield, they are avoiding artificial sweeteners, added sugars, and highly processed food in favor of whole grains, fruits like kiwi and honeydew, and fresh salads.
All meals are served family-style, with adults modeling good manners and choices and the older children setting the table and dishing up their own plates.