At Yeled v’Yalda, placing a consistent focus on nutrition is one of the ways we prioritize the health and well-being of the children and families in our Head Start and Early Head Start programs. We firmly believe that a healthy, balanced diet helps provide a fundamental basis and essential foundation for successful child learning and development.


Yeled v’Yalda employs a mindful approach with regard to the food we provide to our Head Start and Early Head Start children, and uses child-centered, family style meal planning.  At Yeled v’Yalda, we develop menus which meet all USDA nutrition requirements and utilize the NYC Food Standards.  We solicit family and staff input to ensure that the meals we serve reflect the cultural preferences and diversity of our Yeled v’Yalda Head Start and Early Head Start students, and incorporate information gathered from our families, staff, and policy council to reflect the multi-cultural population we serve.


For Head Start and Early Head Start children enrolled in our full-day center-based program, Yeled v’Yalda provides a nourishing breakfast, hot lunch, and healthy afternoon snack. These meals and snacks are funded by the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) through the New York State Department of Health. Head Start Program Performance Standards require that meals and snacks provided at the program site meet a 2/3 minimum of the daily requirements for healthy childhood nutrition. Appropriate substitutes are provided for children with food allergies and intolerances to ensure their health and safety. Yeled v’Yalda’s meal program is consistently supervised by a certified nutritionist and/or dietician.

Yeled v’Yalda’s Director of Nutrition Services partners with Head Start and Early Head Start families to provide individualized, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate nutritional assessments for the children in our program, as well as nutritional counseling to parents and families when needed. The food preferences and nutritional concerns of all our Head Start and Early Head Start children are taken into account and carefully considered, with the ultimate goal of fostering happy and healthy children with healthy, balanced eating habits.

Yeled v’Yalda uses an inclusive classroom approach to provide a supportive mealtime environment for children with special needs. We implement the nutritional and mealtime accommodations necessary due to developmental and/or medical concerns, as well as for food allergies and intolerances.

Yeled v’Yalda offers parent workshops and hands-on learning for Head Start and Early Head Start families, to promote and help implement a message of health and wellness for the entire family. We place additional focus on providing assistance to children who are at increased risk for poor nutrition, childhood obesity, failure to thrive, anemia, and/or lead poisoning. Currently, close to 40% of the US population is at risk for obesity and at increased risk of developing chronic health conditions within their lifetimes. Yeled v’Yalda offers a range of educational opportunities to children, parents, and families on incorporating simple health habits to make meaningful changes in their family’s diet and eating practices.

Yeled v’Yalda provides ongoing nutrition and health training to our educational and administrative staff throughout the Head Start school year. This ensures that all policies and procedures in our programs reflect the most up-to-date nutrition information and awareness, and meet the most current NYC Department of Health guidelines and Head Start Program Performance Standards at all times.