Faculty members from the Jewish Community Center’s Wolk Children’s Center participated in a Discover Coordinated Approach to Child Health training on Feb. 15.

This program’s premise is that it is easier to create good health habits among children than it is to change bad ones.

Discover CATCH employs a holistic approach to child health. It involves many JCC departments: early childhood, sports and wellness, family engagement and Jewish life.

Discover CATCH engages teachers, children and families to work together to build healthy habits.

There are four significant components to the CATCH program. The first is Jewish values, such as taking care of one’s body and health. The second are physical activities building cardiovascular health.

The third component is nutrition and gardening, and will include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new “Choose My Plate” program for children beginning in the fall. The final component are tips for parents to carry over the lessons learned in class to the home.

The CATCH Early Childhood program is unique because the classroom curriculum includes stories with puppets and activities that resonate with 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds.

Lessons share important nutrition concepts and are crafted so they can be used in any preschool learning center. Children learn about healthy eating, and physical education activities with music keep kids and teachers moving and singing.

Together, through Discover CATCH Early Childhood, the JCC hopes to create an environment where physical activity, health education and healthy eating behaviors are valued and taught and help put the community’s youngest members on a lifelong path of health and caring for their bodies and souls.