Center for Poplulation Health, Husky Nutrtition, Husky Reads, SNAP4CT

Early Childcare Center-based Interventions

Husky Reads is one of Husky Nutrition’s most innovative and enduring programs. Modeled after the nationally recognized Reach Out and Read program, since 1998 this literacy-based intervention has combined the benefits of reading with the basics of good nutrition in a format that children love.


The series of 10, 30-minute lessons cover MyPlate nutritional messages encouraging preschool children to consume more fruits and vegetables. Children are read a nutrition-focused book, while also being offered a healthy snack and activity, thereby reinforcing a child’s enthusiasm for nutritious choices. The program typically takes place in early care and education centers in under-served urban areas, but is also offered at libraries and WIC clinics.


UConn students teach the Husky Reads curriculum as part of a service-learning course (NUSC 1161/EDLR 1161); making it as meaningful to those new educators as it is to the children they are teaching. Working in small teams, undergraduate students deliver prepared lesson plans to an enthusiastic audience. This enables them to advance their own knowledge of nutrition, while also exposing them to classroom management and presentation skills.


Husky Reads is funded by the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income, so they can buy nutritious foods for a better diet.

Food & Nutrition Literacy: Husky Reads

Little City Sprouts


Little City Sprouts is a program that supports Husky Nutrition’s coordinated child and parent education and provider-engaged efforts to change food, nutrition, and physical activity policies in early childcare settings to prevent childhood obesity.  In addition to this program, other direct education programs include Husky Reads, featuring early literacy and nutrition education targeting preschool-aged children and Husky Nutrition, an initiative directed at parents of preschoolers to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by children.


To see more about our activities, you can follow Little City Sprouts on Facebook.


Little City Sprouts is funded by three funding sources:  UConn Health Husky Nutrition under the USDA's SNAP-Ed grant, The Hartford Food System and HFS Philanthropy.

On-the-Go Healthy Beverage Series

Husky Nutrition educators deliver a ten-week series entitled the “Healthy Beverage Series” to parents and non-parental caregivers of preschoolers.  They deliver targeted messaging and education focused on reducing sugary drink consumption, limiting use of fruit juice to American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended levels, and promoting water consumption for their children.  This program was originally developed as part of a funded project in the USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative (USDA/CSREES: 2008-55215-19071, Effectiveness of an IMB-based Intervention for Reducing Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Preschool Children, A. Ferris PI).

Nutrition Educators greet parents when they pick up their children from school and provide a very brief interaction with parents while standing in front of a themed display board.  Each week of this ten-week intervention centers on a tailored message, game, and supportive display.


Early childcare center food, nutrition, and physical activity written policy improvement

Husky Nutrition provides workshops and technical assistance to support to Directors of early childcare centers who participated in the 2017 and 2018 policy enhancement series for 69 centers in the City of Hartford and 7 centers in the City of New Britain.


Last page update:  November 2, 2018

Office Location:

195 Farmington Avenue, Suite 3000

Farmington, CT 06032

Mailing Address:

UConn Health

Husky Nutrition Programs

263 Farmington Avenue, MC 6030

Farmington, CT 06030-6030

Contact Us

Phone:  860.679.8180

Fax:      860.679.1650