Robyn Perkins has operated Nanny’s Child Care, a family child care home in Winton Place, for 16 years. Her program recently achieved Ohio’s 4-Star Step Up To Quality rating.
How Robyn & Nanny’s Child Care THRIVE!:
WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution: Robyn signed the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution in 2014. This shows her commitment to provide a healthful environment for the children in her care by following guidelines on physical activity, screen time, safe sleep practices, nutrition, and tobacco.
Ohio Healthy Programs Award: Nanny’s Child Care has received the Ohio Healthy Programs (OHP) designation since 2015. OHP is a statewide yearly recognition program for child care centers that commit to providing a healthier environment for the children they serve through written policies, menu enhancements, Step up to Quality trainings and family engagement. Robyn also completed the 15-hour Healthy Children, Healthy Weights curriculum.
Jungle Jim’s experience (part 1): Robyn took the children she cares for on a field trip to Jungle Jim’s, where they toured the entire store and saw all a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The children loved this and Robyn highly recommends the experience to other child care providers.
Jungle Jim’s experience (part 2): Robyn made a second trip to Jungle Jim’s, this time taking the children and parents. She gave each family $25 with instructions to spend it on healthy foods. The children directed their parents on what to pick. They were especially drawn to fresh fruit.
Proud moment: Robyn tells of an 8-year old boy who has been in her care for the past five years. He would never eat any vegetables. Recently, he started to eat green beans. It’s still the only green veggie he will eat, but Robyn is very proud that her persistence paid off.
Yearly BBQ: Since joining the WeTHRIVE! movement, Robyn has made her annual family BBQ healthier by grilling vegetables and chicken instead of hot dogs and burgers. She also serves water instead of juice or soda.
Robyn’s Tips for Care Providers:
- Take kids on a field trip to Jungle Jim’s.
- Try buying frozen fruit: “It’s pre-cut and ready to go, which helps when you’re short on time,” Robyn said. “The kids love it!”
- Buy what’s on sale. Robyn buys a lot of produce at low prices and freezes what she can’t use right away. She shops mostly at Jungle Jim’s, Kroger, and the produce market on Vine Street.
- Every week or two, try a new healthy food. “Let the kids touch it, smell it, look at it under a magnifying glass, so they can become familiar with something that’s strange to them,” Robyn said. “The excitement makes them want to try it.”
- Don’t give up!
In Her Own Words:
“It’s not just about nutrition. I tell parents about the importance of having a family-style dinnertime with conversation. I keep pushing and hope they will slowly get on board.”
“Kids will try anything if they see another child eating it.”
“WeTHRIVE! and OHP’s mission of healthy eating and exercise appealed to me. I like that WeTHRIVE! is doing this for the well-being of the community.”