Health enhances children’s ability to learn, which means enriching their quality of life and enhancing contributions to society. The goals of Nutrition Services is to provide nutrition assessment and counseling, provide nutritious meals, empower and educate parents to make healthy choices for themselves and their children.
SETA Head Start works off of a nutritionally balanced menu, which is approved by a Registered Dietitian. The meals include breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.
Nutrition Assessments and Counseling
Nutrition assessment and counseling services are offered to Head Start families under the direction and care of a SETA Head Start Registered Dietician who is contracted on a consultant basis. Nutrition counseling services are offered to parents of any child at nutritional risk. This includes children who require any therapeutic diet or are underweight, overweight or anemic.
I am Moving I am Learning
SETA operated Head Start Early Learning Centers have implemented the “I am Moving, I am Learning” curriculum. This program promotes enhanced physical activity in the SETA Head Start classrooms and children’s homes, as well as healthier food choices.
Nutrition Education for Families and Their Children
Ongoing nutrition classes are offered for Head Start families. The purpose of these classes is to educate families about the importance of nutrition and show them how to offer nutritious food choices for their families. Nutrition education classes offered include “Basic Nutrition” and “Healthy Snacks for Preschoolers.” As part of the SETA Head Start curriculum, teaching staff integrate nutrition activities and discussions as part of their daily lesson plan.
Food services ensure that children receive nutritious meals while attending the Head Start program. Dedicated Food Services staff prepares and delivers more than 4000 meals and snacks daily to sites throughout the county. Meals are prepared for 93 Head Start classes, and 15 infant/toddler (Early Head Start) classes. The Food Services staff also provides meals for Home Base socializations.
SETA Head Start operates five kitchens located in Rancho Cordova, North Highlands, Galt, South Sacramento, and Natomas. Staffing includes one Food Service Coordinator, one Head Cook and 13 Cook/Drivers.
Head Start has taken particular interest in creating programs for the wellbeing of the children by integrating fun and serious projects into the children’s classroom schedule.
Exploring Food Together
With the help of volunteer culinary and nutrition experts, Cooking Matters course participants learn how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart.
SETA Head Start is participating in this program through the pilot program Exploring Food Together. Educators and parents engage in cooking activities through the use of a workbook designed to teach children about food and healthy eating.