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California Preschools SHINE Forums

Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE)

Welcome to California Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) Forums. Four forums will be offered statewide. Each forum will demonstrate how to integrate nutrition education, edible gardens, and physical activity into child care center classrooms and day care homes. Participants will learn ways to create learning environments that maximize opportunities for children to develop healthy eating and move their bodies to learn. Attendees will receive tools and resources that you can immediately use in home or center classrooms. This forum will also provide a platform to express challenges and develop solutions to support active living and healthy eating environments.

For more information regarding the forum, refer to the table of contents below.

Table of Contents for Forums

Dates and Locations

Coming in 2014.


Coming in 2014.

Session Descriptions

This hands-on session will show ways to incorporate nutrition throughout the preschool day using the Food for Thought curriculum. The curriculum’s 32 lessons incorporate math, science, and literacy concepts and are aligned with the Preschool Learning Foundations and the Desired Results Developmental Profile. The lessons are easy to follow and lots of fun. You will receive one free copy of the curriculum and after this session you will be able to start implementing these nutrition education activities at your center or day care home right away!

Young children show us how active their minds and bodies are every day. As facilitators of play, we need to be intentional and integrative in our approach. This workshop will build on the Preschool Nutrition and Active Physical Play External link opens in new window or tab. [] course. We will explore the importance of physical activity and active play; how much is appropriate for young children; the integration of nutrition and school readiness skills disguised in fun activities; as well as, the benefits of yoga for children and adults. You will receive fun-filled CDs with a variety of songs for movement and easy-to-use physical activity props, and share with other classroom teachers and providers.

A garden, however large or small, provides young children with endless opportunities to explore the natural world, harvest and enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables, and engage in meaningful learning. In this session, we will discuss preschool garden design, helpful resources for garden educators, and related children’s literature. Then participants will sample some hands-on, garden-based nutrition activities that engage children’s curiosity and enthusiasm while introducing them to healthy eating and basic environmental science. Each activity will be linked to the Preschool Learning Foundations.

Practice makes perfect but the policy informs the practice. In this session, you will learn what makes a good policy and develop policies related to nutrition education, gardens, or physical activity. You will also have an opportunity to ask the panel questions and together develop solutions to challenges that you are facing.

Speakers At-a-Glance

Do you want to know more about the speakers? Below is some background about our qualified speakers for the California Preschools SHINE Forums on Nutrition and Physical Activity.

April Cunningham has worked for the North Coast Opportunities Head Start program in Ukiah, California for 24 years. In her position as Nutrition Coordinator, she monitors the Child and Adult Care Food Program, trains staff and parents, and provides support to families who face nutritional challenges. Her program was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture Team Nutrition Grant through the California Department of Education to develop a nutrition education curriculum for preschoolers. Ms. Cunningham is the primary author of the Food for Thought curriculum.

Whitney Cohen is the Education Director at Life Lab, a nationally recognized organization that teaches people to care for themselves, each other, and the world through farm and garden-based programs. She is an author and contributor to various award-winning, garden-based learning activity guides, including Sowing the Seeds of Wonder: Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood. Her expertise in gardening with children comes from years as an environmental educator, a middle school science teacher, trainer, and most recently, a mother.

Doris Fredericks, M.Ed., R.D., FADA, RYT, is the Executive Director for Continuing Development Incorporated, Child Development Centers, Choices for Children, a child care, family and provider service organization, headquartered in San Jose, California. She co-founded the Santa Clara County Childhood Feeding Collaborative and is the developer of the “5 Keys to Raising a Healthy Happy Eater” class for parents and caregivers. Ms. Fredericks is also certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher by the Yoga Alliance. She is working toward a 500 hour Certification in Yoga Therapy and has completed continuing education in supporting yoga practice with all age groups.

Carol Hillhouse is the Academic Coordinator of the Children’s Garden Program and Ecological Garden at the University of California (UC) Davis Student Farm and Agricultural Sustainability Institute. She has worked as a garden educator for over 20 years at the UC Davis Student Farm. She has guided hands-on learning experiences for thousands of children, youth, teachers, and other professionals. She works with student staff to manage a half-acre garden and leads workshops on school gardens, increasing fruit and vegetable offerings in schools, and garden-enhanced nutrition education.

Patricia A. Kimbrell, M.Ed., is an author, a director of videos, and a national consultant who travels around the country presenting on physical activity, childhood obesity prevention, motor development, and family engagement. For 12 years she was a faculty member at the San Diego State University where she instructed future teachers in elementary physical education. She believes if an appreciation for movement and healthful eating is developed at an early age, it may continue for a lifetime of wellness!

Target Audience

The primary target audiences for the SHINE forum are child care teachers and family child care home providers. Making changes or improving the nutrition and physical activity environment at your site requires a team effort. We encourage you to send a team of two teachers and a director from your child care center. If you are a day care home sponsoring organization, invite up to three providers plus a monitor to attend. Trainers and resource staff in early care and development programs are also welcome.

Forum Prerequisite

Forum registrants/participants are encouraged to complete the Preschool Nutrition and Active Physical Play External link opens in new window or tab. [] online course on the Healthy and Active Preschoolers Web site before attending the forum. This way, you will be familiar with jargon and concepts that will be discussed in the forum. It will take about three hours to complete in one sitting. However, the course is self-paced and you may take as long as you need to complete it, just make a note of where you left off in the course. You can earn three Professional Growth Hours after successfully completing this online course.

Professional Growth Hours and Certificate

Professional Growth Hours are required to renew a Child Development Permit. The forums can help you reach your professional development goals. You can earn 7.5 hours of Professional Growth when you attend the full-day program of the forum. Participants will also receive a Preschools SHINE Forum certificate of completion. Retain your certificate on file as documentation that you have completed the forum.

Cost, Enrollment, and Registration

Coming in 2014.

What to Wear

Dress comfortably. All of the sessions are hands-on and participants will be physically active especially in the Active Minds, Active Bodies session.

Cancelation and Refunds

Coming in 2014.


Questions: Lynette Haynes | | 800-952-5609 
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