Provider Health Spotlight on Yolanda Gilbert

January 23, 2017


Yolanda Gilbert, Dolores’ House for Little People, Sheboygan, WI

The Problem

Too many of our children grow up on a steady diet of fast food and inactivity.

The Solution

Model exercise and good-for-you foods.

How She Did It

Yolanda Gilbert was in a thrift store when she spotted a miniature version of a popular fast food restaurant—one that the children in her program know and love. Many of them come from families where the parents work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Often, dinner for these families consists of pizza or a fast food meal.tryday blue_bleed

So Yolanda bought the toy restaurant, brought it into her classroom, and stocked it with fruits and vegetables from a toy farm set. Now the “store” has become part of her weekly routine with the older children. Every week, Yolanda presents a lesson from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Make Today a Try-Day!” series, which encourages children to sample new foods. Afterward the children play store and buy and sell to one another carrots, squash, corn, grapes, tomatoes, and other healthy foods. And the lunch menu includes one of the foods featured in the “Make Today a Try-Day!” series.

Yolanda is equally passionate about the importance of vigorous physical activity. As soon as they’re old enough, the children go on long walks with Yolanda. And at least twice a week, Yolanda holds—and participates in—a dance off competition.

The Results

The children sleep better and behave better when they exercise. They are also more willing to try new foods because we learn about them together.

On Yolanda’s Wish List

Almost any form of indoor exercise equipment: mats, hula hoops, nerf balls, exercise videos—and a quarterly massage for herself.

Topics: Best Practices, Health & Safety

Krista Scott

Written by Krista Scott

Krista Scott is an experienced child health expert working at the forefront of policy, advocacy and equity as the current Senior Director for Child Care Health Policy at CCAoA. For over 15 years, Ms. Scott has worked in public health and education, primarily in non-profit and government agencies, where she has honed her expertise in early childhood health, mental health, special education, program development and support and in using policies to strengthen practice. Ms. Scott has her bachelor’s degree in political science and her Master of Social Work with a focus on management and policy.