Posted by Robin Schepper, Executive Director of Let’s Move! on June 08, 2011
We are pleased and excited to announce Let’s Move! Child Care, a new effort to work with child and day care providers to help our youngest children get off to a healthy start.
Everyone has a role to play in ending childhood obesity, and child and day care centers are certainly no exception. By providing a solid checklist on healthy nutrition, physical activity and screen time, we all can help take more responsibility for the healthy habits of our kids. We are starting off strong with commitments from the public sector: the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration; and also the private sector, Bright Horizons, the nation’s second largest childcare provider. All three are committing to implement the checklist which will reach over 280,000 children.
The checklist, which can be used by both providers and parents, is comprised of these five elements:
- Physical Activity: Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
- Screen Time: No screen time for children under two years. For children age two 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, the amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Food: Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style when possible, and no fried foods.
- Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and do not serve sugary drinks. For children age two and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4-6 ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
- 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; and support all new parents in their decisions about infant feeding.
To best support child care providers who choose to meet these practices, Nemours is leading an effort to provide free, comprehensive resources and tools in a newly developed website, and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies is committed to providing technical assistance to providers. Child care providers and parents can go to HealthyKidsHealthyFuture.org for these free tools and resources and to share success stories. Let’s Move! Child Care comes as a combined effort from the government, private, and non-profit communities. Ending childhood obesity is a responsibility we all share, and working together, we will make a difference.