October 27, 2015
Fit Together hosted a healthy celebration and workshop for all of the childcare centers that participated in our 5-2-1-0 initiative. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the centers’ achievements and to reward participants with certificates, as well as to host a workshop on how to introduce healthy celebrations in each center. During the first year of the initiative, the most common feedback from the centers was that healthy celebrations were one of the most challenging policy changes, and they were often the single obstacle preventing a center from reaching the 5-2-1-0 gold level of recognition.
Principal of East Elementary School Sue Fergusson was the guest speaker of the evening and kicked off the workshop by sharing her experiences with the implementation of healthy celebrations. Fergusson shared that the minute there is a ban, there is likely to be backlash and she provided helpful tips such as using personal stories to connect to families and encouraging subtle awareness through public avenues like the press or newsletters. She also explained that it is important to emphasize that these are events and not a lifestyle, and that it is in the interest of the children’s safety and a lifetime of healthy choices to help them make these decisions starting in early childhood.
The evening concluded with groups rotating to four tables that focused on the different aspects of a healthy celebration, including sugary drinks and oral health, cupcake calculations and healthy substitutes, non-food alternatives, and effective strategies to talk to parents. Several members from the Fit Together Steering Committee and Youth and Families Committee helped to facilitate the tables and event. The evening was designed to allow childcare centers an opportunity to meet and collaborate with those from other centers and also to show the centers the support and resources available from the Fit Together team.