Health and Nutrition

Children love to learn new things and it’s easier for them to learn when they are healthy. We focus on both mental and physical health to shape confident, happy, and well-adjusted kids in the future.

Nutrition and Mealtime Manners

Eating is a pleasure and a necessity. Head Start provides a variety of new foods for children to experience. Serving meals and snacks family-style gives children the opportunity to practice passing and pouring skills, table conversation and manners. Breakfast and lunch are served at morning sessions and lunch and snacks are served at afternoon sessions in centers. Our home base sites serve only snacks.

Enrolling your child?

We’ll need updated dental care records and well-child exam details as we work with parents to maintain and improve a child’s health through assuring up-to-date immunizations, well-child exams, dental exams and with vision and hearing screenings.

Children’s Mental Health

The Northeast South Dakota Head Start program promotes mental health and wellness by supporting children’s social and emotional development.

Parents, as the primary caregivers of their children, play a central role in ensuring that their child’s emotional needs are met. Staff seeks to enhance each child’s ability to form warm and trusting relationships with adults by providing experiences that support the social and emotional well-being of young children. Early relationships with adults have a great effect on how children view themselves and what they expect of the world. Building respectful and responsive relationships with children and their families is important to creating a positive mental health environment within the program.

The following mental health support is provided to children and parents.

    • We create a learning environment that is healthy and safe, encourages movement and exploration, is child-sized, allows for choice, and is comfortable and convenient for children, parents and staff.
    • We provide children with predictable routines and transitions to create a sense of security in the classroom.
    • We plan experiences and interactions that enhance children’s self-confidence and support their development of social skills.
    • We address child behavior issues using positive strategies and seek assistance from a mental health professional through a regular schedule of on-site consultations.
    • A screening and assessment process is used for the timely identification of children with possible present or future social/emotional difficulties.
    • We work with parents to identify and address concerns about their child’s mental health and support parents’ participation in any needed mental health interventions.

All children have basic emotional needs, including the need for protection and safety, consistency and predictability, trusting relationships, and feeling as though they have an effect on the world. Research tells us that children who have secure and positive relationships demonstrate more confidence, have healthier peer relationships, are able to seek adult help, and have higher achievement throughout the school years.

Northeast South Dakota Head Start