The risk of obesity starts early in life. Over half of obese children become overweight by the age of 2, and approximately one in five children are overweight or obese by their 6th birthday.
Most young children spend time during the day in child care and early education programs, family child care settings or in preschool. Providers have a great opportunity to help children by incorporating five healthy goals in their programs. Let’s Move! Child Care can help.
1. Physical Activity
Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
2. Screen Time
No screen time for children under 2 years. For children age 2 and older, strive to limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per week during child care, and work with parents and caregivers to ensure children have no more than 1-2 hours of quality screen time per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style whenever possible, and don’t serve fried foods.
Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don’t serve sugar-sweetened drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
5. Infant Feeding
For mothers who want to continue breastfeeding, provide their milk to their infants and welcome them to breastfeed during the child care day. Support all new parents’ decisions about infant feeding.