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Lakeview Child Center at Hamilton embraces Let's Move! Child Care best practices in Mercer County, NJ

Families of children at Lakeview Child Center at Hamilton in Mercer County, New Jersey are thrilled about Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC). The center has approximately 100 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years enrolled in their program and as a member of Robert Wood Johnson Health System, Lakeview Child Center has the unique ability to coordinate hands-on learning activities with hospital providers.

Lakeview Child Center children learn that squash can be yummy, healthy and fun, turning their squash masterpieces into spaghetti.

The Lakeview Child Center at Hamilton joined LMCC in October 2012 and is also a participant in the national Early Care and Education Collaborative coordinated by the New Jersey Department of Health, which aligns with ShapingNJ,  the state Partnership for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention. The staff has been trained on the five LMCC best practices and are now making the following changes:

  • providing water for the children whether playing inside or out and all year long by using insulated water jugs
  • providing privacy and appropriate seating for breast feeding mothers using privacy screens and rocking chairs
  • adding more physical activity each day by adding more time outdoors and adding more indoor physical activities to daily lessons
  • continuing to disallow the use of TV in the program and educating families about screen time recommendations
  • making changes to our menu to reduce fat, increase protein, and serve fruits or vegetables at every meal 

Last September, center staff collaborated with the staff of the Hospital SHAPEDOWN program to host a family event that included a healthy dinner, exercise with a Zumba instructor, healthy ideas for home and school, and a nutrition Q & A with a registered dietitian from the SHAPEDOWN program.  The SHAPEDOWN Registered Dietitians also offered nutrition lessons and food preparation activities with the preschool children several times throughout the year. After the lessons were completed the children took home the recipes to share with their families.

The center also has a garden for the children to plant, grow, and harvest fruits and vegetables. The children care for the plants from beginning to end and are provided with lessons on how these foods grow in the garden. The children love getting to dig in the garden and pick fruits and vegetables. After harvesting the fresh produce, the children help wash the produce and share it with each other and their families.

To learn more about Let’s Move! Child Care, click here.