Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Active Play and Nutrition Education

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We have developed seven, brief instructional videos on how early care providers and parents can engage children in active play and educate children (up to age five) about nutrition during meals.

Opportunities for physical activity and nutrition learning experiences for children are standards in Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards (3rd edition)1.

Introduction to

This introductory video explains more about these instructional videos and other resources on this website. (2:44)

Workbook: Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Nutrition Education and Active Play

This workbook guides you through these videos. It also provides opportunities to reflect on what is being taught in the videos and consider conversations you might have with the child(ren) in your early care center or home.

Video 1: Movement and Motor Skills

This video describes movement and motor skills that children are developing. It is important that children develop these movement skills early in life, so they begin to adopt an active, healthy lifestyle. (1:53)

Video 2: Encouraging Physical Activity

This video describes how you can encourage physical activity through prompting, asking questions or challenging children, and encouraging children. (1:49)

Video 3: Teaching Taste, Texture, and Color

This video instructs you to educate children about the taste, texture, and color of foods through conversations during meals. (1:45)

Video 4: Teaching Nutritional Benefits of Eating Healthy Foods

This video instructs you to educate children about the nutritional benefits of eating healthy foods through conversation during meals. (1:51)

Video 5: Teaching Portion Size

This video instructs you to educate children about portion size during meals, using a three-step process. (1:40)

Video 6: Teaching Verbal Praise

It is important for children to have positive experiences with healthy foods. One way you can make eating healthy foods into a positive experience is by using verbal praise. Verbal praise simply means saying positive things about a child's behavior. This video instructs you to provide verbal praise through conversation during meals. (1:58)

Video 7: Putting It All Together

This video features one meal and shows how an early care provider:
1) Teaches taste, texture, and color
2) Teaches nutritional benefits
3) Teaches portion size
4) Verbally praises children for their positive behaviors related to food (2:11)


To learn more about the Center’s efforts to lessen childhood obesity, click here.

For correspondence, please contact:

Cristy Geno Rasmussen, PhD
Research Scientist
Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition


Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grant provided funding for Thank you to the members of the Omaha Nutrition Education Collaborative and to everyone who participated in an interview to develop these resources.


1 American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. 2012. Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education: Selected Standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition.