Eat. Move. Talk!

An Integrated Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Language Nutrition Curriculum for Early Childhood Educators  

Providing healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity to infants and children helps their bodies develop and grow. Language Nutrition is just as important. It is the practice of exposing children, from birth, to words that support brain development. The amount and the type of words, like healthy food, is critical to developing babies’ brains.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and partners Emory University, the Atlanta Speech School, and HealthMPowers, Inc. has developed Eat. Move. Talk!, an integrated healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition training and toolkit targeting early childhood educators. DPH and HealthMPowers, Inc. are training early childhood educators as coaches, who will model healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition practices, and teach families to adopt these healthy behaviors at home. 

Training and Toolkit

Early childhood educators participating in Eat. Move. Talk! will:

  • Learn practical strategies for increasing  healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition in the center and in the home
  • Receive the Eat. Move. Talk! Toolkit and a package of items including books, posters, and other materials that support healthy eating, physical activity, and language nutrition
  • Receive DECAL approved continuing education units

The Toolkit contains:

  • An introduction to the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition in early childhood
  • Resources and strategies to increase healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition in the center and in the home
  • Success stories from early child care and education settings

Program Reach

DPH and HealthMPowers, Inc. have trained 191 early childhood educators in Eat. Move. Talk!  These educators come from 13 early childhood education centers reaching more than 1,500 children zero to five years old.

In follow up surveys, centers have reported using strategies and resources in the training and toolkit to increase healthy eating, physical activity, and Language Nutrition within their centers and to share with families for use in the home. 

For example, one center has organized a “grab and go” event once a month, where children are given healthy snacks and a book, and families are given recipes to try at home.  The snacks, books, and recipes are thematically related. In the fall, students snack on apples slices and bring home a book about apples, and families receive recipes like an easy apple sauce or a fruit salad.  Another center uses story time to support language development and movement with teachers and children acting out the motions described in story books. 

A Focus on Health Equity

DPH has rolled out these trainings in three Georgia communities: ClarkstonDalton, and Valdosta, communities that have a high percentage of the population that speaks a language other than English in the home and/or a high percentage of racial and ethnic minorities. DPH has created a health disparities profile for the priority communities that will enable the DPH to understand the state of healthy eating, physical activity, and language acquisition/literacy and to demonstrate the impact and progress of this project over time. This project is funded by Office of Minority Health’s Special Partnership Initiative to End Health Disparities.

For more information in regards to the Eat. Move. Talk! Training, Toolkit, or Health Disparities Profile, contact

Additional Resources

Georgia State Partnership for Food and Language Nutrition Health Disparities Profiles

National Partnership of Action to End Health Disparities


Page last updated 4/5/2018