Hopefully we all know the importance of nutrition early in life, but not enough schools offer nutrition education. And since children often do what their parents do, adults’ poor food choices get passed down generation after generation.
This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Cynthia Jackson of Educare about this critical aspect of early childhood development. Cynthia shares the profound impact of a good diet during the early years on long-term health and well-being. We explore how organizations like Educare are addressing food insecurity among families and empowering children to make healthier food choices.
The conversation highlights innovative initiatives like WISE (We Inspire Smart Eating), which encourages children to enjoy more fruits and vegetables, both at home and at school. We also explore the role of family engagement, community gardens, and experiential learning in fostering healthier habits from an early age.
Tune in to discover how education and practical programs are transforming lives by providing access to nutritious food and empowering young learners to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.
About Cynthia Jackson:
Cynthia D. Jackson leads the Educare Learning Network of high-quality birth-to-five schools and is Senior Vice President at Start Early.Previously, she served as national director of training and technical assistance for Healthy Families America at Prevent Child Abuse America. Cynthia holds a master’s degree in counseling and health education from the University of North Texas.
Jump in the Conversation:
[1:56] – Where Cynthia’s passion for education and nutrition began
[3:50] – When schools align with dietary guidelines for americans, health, well-being and academics all improve
[4:38] – Advancing quality early learning through partnerships and innovation so every child can thrive
[6:08] – Wise – We Inspire Smart Eating – fun with fruits and veggies – child led approach to nutrition
[9:10] – High quality programming and practice, alongside evaluation and research
[10:26] – 4 pillars: data utilization, high quality teaching and learning, embedded professional development, intensive family engagement
[11:48] – Exposing children to natural world through gardening programs
[13:54] – Turning nutrition into a science project
[16:10] – 28% of families report food insecurity
[18:31] – Other ways Educare is addressing nutrition and health needs
[19:49] – What parents can do to help change habits now
[22:50] – Turbo Time
[24:54] – What people need to know about the role of nutrition in the early years of life
[26:45] – Cynthia’s Magic Wand
[28:01] – Maureen’s takeaways
Links & Resources
- Healthy Eating Research
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Email Maureen
- Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools
- The Education Evolution
- Facebook: Follow Education Evolution
- Twitter: Follow Education Evolution
- LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution
- EdActive Collective
- Maureen’s book: Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids
- Micro-school feature on Good Morning America
- The Micro-School Coalition
- Facebook: The Micro-School Coalition
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