Health and Nutrition

Health and nutrition refers broadly to policies and practices that support children’s overall health and safety. This measure asks early learning programs to look at the “whole child”—multiple influences on a child’s well-being—rather than focusing solely on the children’s learning and interactions with teachers. 

Examples of health and nutrition practices:

    • 4-week (minimum) rotation of meal planning
    • Oral health policies and resources
    • Screen time usage resources
    • Designated breastfeeding area in the facility or classroom
    • Farm to early care and education policies and resources
    • Consultations with a professional to review nutrition and health policies
    • Professional development provided to parents and/or teachers on nutrition and health best practices 
    • Health benefit resources
    • Hearing and vision screenings
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) participation resources

Stop and Reflect

What health and nutrition practices are currently supported at your program? Are there ways they can be improved?

What support do you need from your Texas Rising Star mentor to help your program’s health and nutrition efforts?


Texas Rising Star has one measure related to health and nutrition. Click the link to learn more about this measure.

    • P-PM-02: Program demonstrates health and nutrition policies for children and parents that are structured to ensure the program supports whole child development


Injury Prevention and Child Safety in Child Care Settings

This course will help individuals gain a better understanding of child safety and how to prevent injuries to the children in their care. In addition to including written policies, programs can provide learning resources and professional development opportunities for staff and families to gain a deeper understanding of the overall health and safety of children.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Online Course
Managing Common Childhood Illnesses in Child Care

This course reviews procedures for preventing and responding to food or allergy emergencies. Individuals will learn how to manage common childhood illnesses, food intolerances, and allergies.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Online Course
Sample Menu

This sample menu reflects a variety of healthy meals and snacks. This program rotates the lunch and snack menus to encourage diverse meal planning.

Age group(s): Toddler, Preschool
Resource Type: Example Document
Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Guidelines Training – Early Physical Health and Motor Development

This self-paced training helps caregivers understand infants’ and toddlers’ physical, health, and motor development, and provides instructional and care-giving strategies. Engaging children in playful gross and fine motor activities sets them up for success socially and cognitively.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler
Resource Type: Online Course

View more resources

Practice and Improve

Health and Nutrition Resources (Category 3)

The following includes direct links to a variety of resources, such as meal planning, breastfeeding, garden-based learning, and oral health. In addition to including written policies in the family and staff handbooks, program leaders can provide these resources electronically or as handouts in their program’s parent resource library to support the overall health and safety of children.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Publication
Healthy Living

Childcare providers play an important role in children’s overall nutritional health and well-being. This toolkit includes resources for providers and families on a variety of health-related topics.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Toolkit

View more resources by clicking the link for each measure in the Define section.