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Sunny Side Up Nutrition

Feb 1, 2021

For this episode of the Sunny Side Up Nutrition Podcast, Anna Lutz and Elizabeth Davenport are joined by Shawna Daniels, an Early Childhood educator and advocate, to talk about developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood that supports children’s health.

We discuss:

  • Public health initiatives in North Carolina to support health in early childhood development centers
  • The concept of adults modeling health promoting behaviors to young children
  • What is developmentally appropriate nutrition education and practice in early childhood
  • Specific examples of how adults can model and support health in young children, rather than teaching children about nutrition and physical activity through telling them what to do. 
  • What a parent can do if they are concerned a school lesson is not developmentally appropriate or is influenced by diet culture. 
  • The impact of childhood trauma, specifically food insecurity, on children and their families’ health and what educators and the larger population can do to directly support children’s communities to improve their health.


Healthy Starts for Infants and Toddlers

SSU Blogpost on developmentally appropriate nutrition education

SSU podcast- Childhood mental health advocacy and adverse childhood experiences with Dr. Lee Beers 

Shawna Daniels is an Early Childhood educator and advocate who has over 20 years of experience, working with children birth - 12 years old and their families. In the last 10 years, Shawna has been coaching, mentoring, and supporting center staff in a variety of topics related to classroom management, child development, and professional development.  Currently, she provides technical assistance to child care centers in Orange County, through the Healthy Starts for Infants and Toddlers Shape NC project, which focuses on creating foundations for healthy habits in infant, toddler, and two year old classrooms.  

Shawna is also a NC Community College instructor, teaching Early Childhood Education coursework in Health, Safety, and Nutrition; Behavior Guidance, ECE Administration, and Infant/Toddler development between the campuses of Durham Technical Community College and Nash Community College.  

When considering the holistic health of young children, Shawna looks at all aspects of developmental health -- from physical development to mental health and social-emotional - because they are intermingled and dependent on each other.