Bright Horizons continued its commitment to helping children develop positive attitudes toward physical activity, nutrition and healthy living, by playing an active role in the 2014 National Food Policy Conference. A key national gathering for those interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy, the conference explores the critical food policy issues of the day with an unusually diverse mix of advocates, experts, policymakers and scientists. This year's conference examined an array of important food policy issues facing consumers and the food industry.
Susan Brenner, Senior Vice President of Education at Bright Horizons, contributed to a panel at the conference that discussed the issue of reducing obesity among infants and young children. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past thirty years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Brenner was joined by a panel of fellow experts, including Washington, D.C. Council member, Mary Cheh and Director of National Prevention and Practice at Nemours, Allison Gertel-Rosenberg, where they discussed that while obesity rates among preschoolers are improving and some states are seeing signs of strong progress, other rates are too high. By presenting research, data and real life examples, the group looked at the factors that have led to progress in certain states, identified areas in which there should be a strong focus to see greater improvement and talked about the most important elements of new USDA nutrition guidelines for infants and nutrition standards for childcare.
Dr. Brenner discussed Bright Horizons policies, curriculum, and parent partnerships, and its passion to help children develop a positive self-image, make healthy nutrition choices and show respect for their bodies - habits that will last a lifetime.
"When it comes to addressing childhood obesity, knowledge is power," said Dr. Brenner. "Through our Well Aware & Movement Matters curriculum, helpful family resources and strong relationship with The Partnership for a Healthier America, we’re providing parents and caregivers with content that helps them teach their children about the importance of fitness, nutrition eating and living an active lifestyle."
Family-style dining, a part of the overall Bright Horizons curriculum, is another element that Dr. Brenner presented as a practice that not only helps to hone children's developmental and cognitive skills, but strengthens reciprocal/reflective conversation engagement. Sitting around a table together at mealtime, passing bowls and encouraging children to serve themselves, encourage a child’s self-regulation, sharing and palate development.
Get more information about Bright Horizons involvement with the 2014 National Food Policy Conference.