Nutrition and physical activity

Children eating fruit at a nursery with their care giver

Early care and education (ECE) settings can help young children build a foundation for healthy living. Children who attend ECE often have much of their daily food and drink intake and many of their opportunities for physical activity and outdoor time while in care, making ECE programs key settings for the development of healthy habits. ECE programs can provide nutritious foods, promote physical activity, limit screen time, support breastfeeding, participate in programs such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and create opportunities for outdoor learning and Farm to ECE. By supporting healthy eating and physical activity, ECE programs can support healthy growth and development, obesity prevention, and lifelong health.

Learn about resources to support nutrition, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles in your ECE program.