Ohio Healthy Programs

Children’s Hunger Alliance works with family childcare providers and childcare centers to create healthy environments where children learn to make healthy food choices and engage in physical activity through the Ohio Healthy Programs for the Family Child Care Provider and Childcare Center.

The Program

Ohio Healthy Programs was created in 2010 by Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) through funding from the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Healthy Programs training curriculum comes from Healthy Children, Healthy Weights, which was created in 2004 by Columbus Public Health and is designed to prevent childhood overweight and obesity by promoting healthy weight and growth in all children ages birth to five years old.

Healthy Children, Healthy Weights was originally piloted at Head Start Centers in Columbus. In 2015, the Ohio Department of Health began a partnership with Children’s Hunger Alliance supporting the Healthy Children, Healthy Weights curriculum to train family childcare providers on understanding and incorporating healthy eating and active living into their home-based daycare centers, impacting more than 1,000 children across the state of Ohio. A pilot program launched in 2021 extended our offering of Ohio Healthy Programs to Childcare Centers.

Program Details

The Ohio Healthy Programs requirements include:

  • Completing three self-paced on-line trainings.
  • Participating in three Technical Assistance visits with a Children’s Hunger Alliance Registered Dietitian, where they will assist with:
    • Adopting 1 new healthy policy: Example: Physical Activity Guidelines for Toddlers & Preschool children: Toddlers and Preschool children will engage in at least 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of unstructured physical activity each day and will not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, except when sleeping.
    • Adopting healthy menus that align with all OHP menu requirements:
      • Offering a different non-fried vegetable per day in a 5-day period.
      • Offering a different fruit per day in a 5-day period (not counting juice).
      • Offering a whole grain food at least once per day.
      • Offering fried foods no more than once a week.
      • Only offer beverages without any added sugar or sweeteners. If juice is offered, it is 100% juice and no more than once a day. Limited to 4 – 6 oz.
      • If cereal if offered, it has 6 grams of sugar or less per dry ounce.
      • Do not serve highly-processed meats, regardless of animal type (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, etc.).
    • Incorporating at least 1 family engagement event and applying for OHP designation.

Contact OHPFCCP@childrenshungeralliance.org for the current schedule or to get started.

We invite licensed family childcare providers to participate in Ohio Healthy Programs. Ohio Healthy Programs for the Family Child Care Provider and Child Care Center training is Ohio and Step Up To Quality approved. Upon completion of the program, participants are eligible to apply for the Ohio Healthy Program (OHP) designation. The designation expires every 2 years. Re-designation assistance is also available through the Registered Dietitians at Children’s Hunger Alliance. Providers who complete the program and receive designation or re-designation will receive $50 gift cards and resources for the program. Enrollment is now open. Contact our Nutrition and Physical Education team at OHPFCCP@childrenshungeralliance.org for more information.

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