Category Archives: News

Study shows obesity rate dropping in children

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Children Running


CDC research sees a decline of 43 percent

By Nicole Luna

A new study shows that although obesity prevalence remains high, obesity rates have dropped in children between the ages of 2-5 years old.

The study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association by researchers of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, shows that obesity prevalence for 2- to 5-year-olds went from 14 percent in 2003-04 to just over 8 percent in 2011-12 — a decline of nearly 43 percent.

According the CDC website, researchers do not know the reason for the results. Over the years, CDC researchers have found a decline in sugar consumption in youth could be a factor, among other things.

Dr. Ayman Arouse, a pediatrician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne and First Step Pediatric Associates, said there isn’t going to be just one reason but many contributing factors for the decline.

“Unfortunately, obesity is still on the rise,” he said. “However, a lot of parents are becoming more aware about their children’s diet. I especially see a lot of younger parents making conscious decisions in their kid’s diet.”

Breastfeeding is one of the best methods to extending benefits that go beyond basic nutrition, Arouse said.

“Breastfeeding is by far the best decision a mother can do for her child,” Arouse said. “When mothers begin giving a child baby formula early on, they tend to start giving a child baby food early as well.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life. Breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect a baby from illness.

Arouse recommends mothers breastfeeding their children, then introducing them to healthy eating habits. The key is to get them while they’re young, he said.

According to a CDC press release, even though the center cannot find a precise reason they have found that over the last few years, many child care centers have improved nutrition and physical activity standards.

Kim Chance, Cleburne ISD child nutrition director, said the goal is change the child’s desired taste. She said if children begin to eat healthy early on those habits will continue as they get older, not only in school but also outside of school.

“From what I’ve seen, the elementary school kids are more receptive than the high school kids,” she said.

CISD follows the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy that provides nutrition standards for each school district.

Little Tyke Child Care Director Lisa Hilton said the facility also follows those same state nutrition program for the children. She also makes sure the children receive daily exercise. However, she hasn’t noticed a decline or change in children’s eating habits.

“We live in a fast-paced world so I do tend to see parents giving their children more fast food meals,” Hilton said. “But there are families who are more health conscious and others that are just not.”

The CDC release also has comments from First Lady Michelle Obama, who launched a campaign in 2012 to end childhood obesity.

“I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rate among our youngest Americans,” she said.

Arouse commended Obama’s effort, as well as the efforts schools and childcare centers have done to promote healthy lifestyle, but he said it has to start with the families.

“We need to lead by example. As a family, if you are eating healthy together and exercising together, the kids will follow,” he said.

According to the study, obesity is still on the rise and Arouse said parents need to be aware of the serious health risks obesity can have on a child.

Immediate health risks of obesity include:

  • Obese youth have higher risk of high cholesterol or high blood pressure, as well as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. According to the CDC, in a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70 percent of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Even though the disease isn’t necessarily present in the child, within 20-30 years he or she may be suffering from heart disease, diabetes, arthritis or even cancer.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

Source: Cleburne Times-Review

Santa Claus makes toys in North Richland Hills workshop

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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — In a tiny workshop in John Horn’s back yard, Santa Claus comes to life.

“I am the real Santa,” he shouted to be heard over the roar of a wood lathe.

A spray of sawdust pitched up from a whirling piece of wood that Horn was working on and flew at his face like a blizzard. When he finally leaned back and switched off the machine, what had been a plain old piece of two-by-four pine was almost a race car.

Tiny slivers of wood clung to the wreath of hair that circled Horn’s head. His eyes twinkled from a broad face. He laughed, making his belly shake like jelly and sending wood chips tumbling from a beard that was white as snow.

“I get a great sense of satisfaction doing something with my hands,” Horn said.

Unfortunately, not many of his handmade toys get into kids’ hands. These days a lot of children ask for things like the Rainbow Loom and American Girl dolls, Horn said.

“The older ones want iPhones and iPads,” he said. “They aren’t exposed to wooden toys in the stores and on TV, so they don’t ask for them. But handmade wooden toys by Santa will last through generations.”

Horn’s been turning a variety of woods into works of art — including toys — for a long time. But at 81, the retired band teacher/Army veteran/gumball machine manager knows that wood turning brings more satisfaction than profit.

“You can’t make a living on a lathe that does one thing at a time,” Horn said.

The spirit of Christmas

But you can make a lot of things that bring people joy. Through clubs like Woodturners of North Texas and Golden Triangle Woodturners, toy cars and wooden tops made on Horn’s lathe have found their way to hundreds of kids — most of them underprivileged and/or physically challenged.

Since 1996, when North Pointe Baptist Church in Hurst, where Horn is a deacon, needed Santa for part of its Christmas pageant, he’s taken on the role of St. Nick.

It was the church’s pastor, Paul Paschall, who saw the spirit of Christmas reflected in the twinkle of Horn’s eyes. Santa was soon showing up at members’ homes for Christmas parties.

“I remember when he came to my house on Christmas Day 15 years ago,” Paschall said. “It was like a rock star showed up at our front door. We had a house full of grandkids. He was Santa, and people believed.”

It’s sad when some people stop believing in Santa.

“When I find out someone doesn’t believe …,” he said, “well, there’s no point in coming to see them. Ho … ho … ho.”

‘He’s here! He’s here!’

None of those people are among the children at Little Tyke Child Care Center in Richland Hills, said the director, Christy Dougan.

“As soon as he hits the door they’re yelling ‘He’s here! He’s here!’” Dougan said. “This isn’t your mall Santa. Sometimes at the mall they’re in a hurry to get the kids in and out. He’s very patient.”

He not only listens to what kids have to say, but also gives hugs and knows their names, Dougan said.

“He calls each child one by one by name to his lap,” Dougan said. “And he gives each child a wrapped story book, because Santa wants children to learn to read.”

But Horn also wants people to remember the meaning of Christmas itself, and it’s a message he frequently passes on to the kids who climb onto his lap.

“The thrill is to spread the joy of the celebration of the birth of our savior,” he said.

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Texas Licensed Child Care Association Awards Mr. Gene Little For Dedication and Service to Texas Children

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Gene Little Award 2013

Award Given to Mr. Gene Little (Founder of Little Tyke Creative Child Care, Inc.), from the Texas Licensed Child Care Association.

The Texas Licensed Child Care Association recognized Mr. Gene Little on November 16, 2013 at the Park Cities Holiday Inn in Dallas Texas. He was awarded for his years of dedication and service to children and the child care industry, for his wisdom and guidance to the association. He and his wife Jean have played a meaningful part in children’s lives since 1968. Mr. Little first got involved with TLCCA in 1972 and is considered as one of the founding fathers of the organization. He was also actively involved and the president of the National Child Care Association for many years as well.

Gene and Jean’s History of Service:

  • Gene Little has a BS Ed. & Master’s Degree Education (MED)
  • Gene got his childcare license in 1968.
  • Gene & his wife Jean joined TLCCA of Ft. Worth in 1972.
  • Jean & Gene represented Ft. Worth on the state board in 1973.
  • Gene served two terms as President of the Ft. Worth TLCCA.
  • Jean also served two terms as President of the Ft. Worth TLCCA.
  • Gene & Jean assisted start up Nation Child Care Association and Gene represented Texas on NCCA Board.
  • Gene was Chairman of Accreditation committee for NCCA Board.
  • Gene was the first three term National President.
  • Jean & Gene served on Childcare Advisory Committee for Texas D.P.R.S.
  • Jean & Gene served on numerous committees for Texas D.P.R.S.
  • Jean helped write NCCA original accreditation program and served as an evaluator for the program.
  • Jean served as president and executive director for TLCCA, which operated out of the Little Tyke office to conserve funds.
  • Jean was president of TLCCA when the P.A.C. (Professional Administrative Credential) was written, approved and implemented.

Gene and Jean have always believed that reasonable yet enforceable childcare regulations were necessary.Keeping requirements affordable so that children could remain in licensed, inspected care was a constant challenge. This challenge remains a concern of TLCCA today.

We want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Little for their true devotion to the children of Texas over the years.

Thank you Mr. Little!

Child Care Teacher Retires After 41 Years Of Service To The Families Of Richland Hills.

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A long career in child care and pre-school officially ends this week. Tommye Young, teacher, cook and bus driver of Little Tyke Creative Child Care, Inc., will retire after 41 years with the center in Richland Hills.

When she was hired as a teacher, ‘Little Tyke Hotel’, as it was known then, had one center and 75 children. Now it has 12 centers in Tarrant, Johnson and Parker Counties, and hosts more than 1,300 children every day – from infant up to age twelve.


Miss. Tommye has always demonstrated the stellar work ethic you want in the child care industry. She missed very little work during her 41 year tenure here at Little Tyke. “You could always count on Miss Tommye being there for her children and she always supported the center director”, says Alex Little President of ‘Little Tyke Creative Child Care, Inc’.


“Miss Tommye changed my diapers as a toddler when I attended the Richland Hills campus 40 years ago”, said Little. She has been an important asset to our company and a prime example for our Teachers. We want to say “Great Job Miss Tommye”. You will be dearly missed, you are absolutely a true blessing. We hope to carry on your excellence for years to come.

Fort Worth Business Press Awards Top Tarrant County Child Care Provider

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The Fort Worth Business Press recognizes Little Tyke Creative Child Care as a Top Tarrant County Child Care Provider for 2013.

President Alex Little of Little Tyke Creative Child Care, Inc. commented on the recognition: “This is quite an honor for us. The fact that Fort Worth Business Press included Little Tyke Creative Child Care, Inc. in its selection of “Top Tarrant County Child Care Providers,” signals that our constant efforts towards business excellence are paying off. We are proud to be included in this recognition.”

Top Fort Worth Child Care Provider Award

Incorporated on May 10, 1972, ‘Little Tyke’ Creative Child Care, Inc. celebrates its 45th anniversary of providing quality child care and educational foundation to children in Fort Worth and across North Texas. Licensed to care for 1,350 children aged 6 weeks to 12 years, ‘Little Tyke’ operates twelve learning centers in Tarrant, Johnson and Parker counties.

Following the publication of Little Tyke Creative Child Care’s selection for Fort Worth Business Press’s Top Tarrant County Child Care Providers list, American Registry seconded the honor and added Little Tyke Creative Child Care to the “Registry of Business Excellence™”.

For more information on Little Tyke Creative Child Care, located in Euless, TX please call or visit a location nearest you.

Providing Educational Child Care in Texas since 1972

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Incorporated on May 10, 1972, ‘Little Tyke’ Creative Child Care, Inc. is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing a quality foundation for our most precious resource in North Texas; children. Starting with the first child care center in Richland Hills, the locally owned and operated company will also be celebrating the 1st anniversary of their corporate offices being housed at a new property in Richland Hills.

Licensed to care for 1,350 children aged 6 weeks to 12 years, ‘Little Tyke’ operates twelve learning centers in Tarrant, Johnson and Parker counties. The business was started by Mr. Gene Little and a partner, James T. Young with a philosophy of providing quality care that was affordable for working families. When Mr. Young retired due to serious illness and sold his holdings to Mr. Little in 1985, Mr. Little was joined in the daily operations of the business by his wife, Suellen Jean Little.

The centers and staff focused on offering a nurturing and fun learning atmosphere, stimulating the child’s intellectual development as well as providing opportunities for emotional, social and physical growth. The Little’s worked tirelessly to keep the centers up with the times, the regulations and technology.

Perpetual improvements with attention to detail served the ‘Little Tyke’ business and growing youngsters well. There is no better testament than from parents, now even grandparents, that attended ‘Little Tyke’ in their youth enrolling their children, their grandchildren to discover, explore and achieve in a creative learning environment. The company enjoys the benefits provided by seasoned, dedicated employees; over 15% having served 10 years or more (with some exceeding 20 and 25 years) and another 15% celebrating from 5 to 9 years serving kids within the ‘Little Tyke’ family. The company is also proud of their Texas Rising Star accreditations signifying the quality of programs provided.

After almost 10 years of exemplary “trial by fire” training, two of Mr. and Mrs. Little’s sons took over the reins of the family business as Mr. Gene and Mrs. Jean retired on September 30, 2007. Mr. Alex Little and Mr. Keith Davis continue the traditions, integrity and commitment to excellence that has been so well-built into the cornerstones of the ‘Little Tyke’ foundation. It is the hopes and dreams for their own children and grandchildren, as well as for the children they serve, which lend strength and vision to the direction Mr. Alex and Mr. Keith employ leading the company into the future.

The families and communities of North Texas have been good to ‘Little Tyke’ and the corporation reciprocates by providing quality facilities, innovative curriculum and well-trained staff. The dedication continues to be reinforced with a written guarantee. Over the years, providing an average of 150 local jobs, supporting local economies, other local businesses and vendors, providing peace of mind to parents and helping to make memories for thousands of children gives ‘Little Tyke’ plenty to celebrate.

“Providing Educational Child Care in Texas since 1972”

To see what is new, to learn what is tradition, visit a ‘Little Tyke’ Creative Child Care Center near you and visit our website at

Healthy Learning For Kids At North Richland Hills Childcare Center

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Kids exercising at Little Tyke Creative Child Care Center. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

From ktvtdeborah

North Richland Hills (CBSDFW.COM) – Getting kids to exercise and eat right is a constant challenge. But one North Texas childcare center has teamed up with a fitness program for kids, to target pre-schoolers with a message they hope, becomes a lifestyle.

What does it mean to eat healthy? Eat broccoli!

At the Little Tyke Creative Child Care Center in North Richland Hills there is a firm focus on health and fitness. And it comes at an age when it can be hard to get boys and girls to focus.

“Hey guys, how are you doing today? You guys ready to have some fun?” asked one caregiver.

The center finds success through their Tykercise® Program, which is exercise for the little ‘tykes’.

Workers called in an instructor from Kaboom Fitness for Kids to help out. “We’re going to be teaching the kids about exercise, proper nutrition, getting the right amount of rest, and basically, having healthy bodies…and we’re going to have fun doing it!” explained Chris Baer.

Baer uses fun and games as a sneaky diversion to healthy eating, and exercise. “Hey guys, should we eat a lot of junk food?” he asked the children. “No!” they replied in unison. “Should we eat a lot of healthy food?” “Yeah!” they screamed.

During each visit, Kaboom Kids sets up various fitness courses; they range from the balance pods, to a long and winding balance beam. There’s even a relay race.

It’s all fun and games, but with a serious message.

“Statistics are telling us that one out of four kids is overweight, and actually 12-percent are obese,” explained weight watcher Tonya Moore.

The problem of childhood obesity is one reason the Kaboom Kids founder feels the earlier we can send a message of good health to kids, the better. “We need to start the change early, in the pre-school years, and catch ‘em early. And teach them how to exercise, and how to eat healthy.”

With childcare centers like Little Tykes, taking the lead in making a healthy lifestyle a priority, healthier kids are right around the next cone!

Join us for CBS 11/TXA 21′s ‘Get Healthy Texas Day’ on January 22 at Fieldhouse USA in Frisco.

You’ll learn how to cook and eat healthy, plus get tips on how to get started on a fitness program. There will even be dance classes — like Zumba.

The best thing is it’s all free.

Developing Skills For Life Enroll Now