The “A-B-C-1-2-3 Healthy Kids in Tennessee – Let's Eat Well, Play, and Be Aware Every Day” project is a hands-on educational program emphasizing healthy living that targets childcare providers, the children they care for, and their families. The program was initially implemented as a pilot project in 6 middle Tennessee childcare centers. Materials were organized and developed by the Middle Tennessee Cancer Coalition's childhood action team in conjunction with staff from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Center for Health and Human Services and the MTSU Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth. The A-B-C-1-2-3 initiative served as a feasibility project to inform the conduct of field operations. Through the MTSU Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth, an expanded 12-week pilot program took place during 2010 in 2 childcare centers. The purpose of the program is to educate childcare providers who, in turn, educate children and their parents and promote healthy lifestyles and decrease the risk of developing cancer, obesity, and other lifestyle-associated diseases and health conditions. The overall goal of the project is to decrease lifestyle and environmental cancer risk factors among Tennesseans by 2012 as detailed in the 2009-2012 Tennessee Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and to provide educational opportunities in healthy eating and healthy weight to childcare providers detailed in the 2010-2015 Tennessee Statewide Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan using a “train the trainer approach” along with classroom and family education. In 2012, the project will partner with a statewide Tennessee Department of Health initiative, Gold Sneakers, which provides a policy piece to the A-B-C-1-2-3 Healthy Kids in Tennessee's approach to disseminate nutritional and physical activity education to childcare providers, children, and their families, offering a full-circle approach to health promotion in a childcare setting.
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