Bright Star Childcare Nutrition Assessment Policy

In an effort to provide the best possible environment for the children in our care, we have adopted the following policies. The administration and staff appreciate support from the parents in promoting the health of our children.

Foods/Beverages Provided

  • Fruit (not juice) is offered at least 2 times per day. Fruit served is always fresh or frozen.
  • Vegetables served are raw or cooked without added meat fat, margarine, or butter.
  • Fried or pre-fried potatoes are offered less than once a week or never.
  • Protein is served every day and always consists of lean or low fat meat or meat alternatives, including beans. Common proteins include beans, yogurt, eggs, skinless baked chicken, lean pork, lean beef, and chicken in soups or stews.
  • Prohibited foods include chips, candy, high sugar and/or highly salted snacks, fried or pre-fried potatoes, fried or pre-fried meats and fish (including chicken nuggets and fish sticks), and high fat meats such as sausage, bacon, hot dogs, bologna. Sweet or salty snacks are offered to children outside of meal and snack times less than once a week or never.
  • Water is always available and children can serve themselves both indoors and outdoors.
  • Staff offer 100% fruit juice once a week or less and never offer sugary drinks.
  • Our program uses a menu cycle of 3 weeks or greater that changes with the seasons and includes a variety of healthy foods.

    Feeding Environment & Practices

  • TV and videos are never shown during mealtime.
  • Staff enthusiastically role model eating healthy foods at every meal and snack time. Staff rarely or never eat or drink unhealthy foods or beverages in front of children.
  • Staff help children determine if they are full before removing their plates, especially when less than half the food is eaten.
  • When children request seconds, staff first help children determine if they are still hungry before serving additional food.
  • Staff rarely or never use food to calm upset children or encourage appropriate behavior.
  • Staff praise and give hands-on help to guide toddlers as they learn to feed themselves.
  • Staff offer different percentage fat milk in an open, child-sized cup to all developmentally ready children.
  • Nutrition Education, Professional Development & Policy

  • Staff engage children in nutrition education at least once per week through both planned and informal nutrition education for children (e.g. stories about health/nutrition/food, circle time lessons, gardening activities, cooking activities, talking about food/nutrition at mealtimes).
  • Professional development on child nutrition happens at least twice per year, including through attendance and participation at Healthy Apple workshops. Ongoing nutrition education takes place through participation in the Healthy Apple Program and using resources shared through the program.
  • Professional development on child nutrition includes food and beverage recommendations, serving sizes, importance of variety, creating a healthy mealtime environment, using positive feeding practices, and talking with families about child nutrition.
  • Staff engage families in nutrition education at least six times per year through a combination of in-person sessions, brochures, tip sheets, links/resources, bulletin board announcements, and an annual Family Nutrition Night.
  • A written policy on nutrition and food service is available, followed, and includes food/beverages provided, healthy mealtime environment, positive feeding practices, and education for staff, children, and families.
  • Bright Star Childcare Physical Activity Assessment Policy

    Toddler & Child Physical Activity

    Outdoor Play & Learning Time

  • Staff provide at least ninety (90) minutes of outdoor play opportunities for preschoolers and (60) minutes for toddlers every day.
  • The outdoor play space is ½ to ¾ shaded by structures or trees, with an open area large enough for all children to run around safely.
  • The outdoor play space has many play areas and a variety of portable play equipment always available for all children to use at one time.
  • Staff complete professional development on outdoor play and learning at least 2x per year.
  • We provide plenty of play space and outdoor play space with portable equipment that all our students can use at the same time.
  • Screen Time

  • Televisions are not located in rooms where children spend most of the day.
  • Screen time is never offered as a reward or withheld as punishment.
  • When screen time is offered, staff always talk with children about what they are seeing and learning.
  • Staff complete professional development on screen time at least 2 times per year.
  • The written screen time policy is available, followed, and includes amount and type of screen time allowed, screen time practices, not using screen time to reward or manage behaviors, screen time professional development, and family education.