Giving early care and education providers the tools to help children get a healthy start.
ARE HAPPY KIDS
Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including parents, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies. Your involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.
Reduce Screen Time
- Limit screen time to 30 minutes a week or less for preschoolers during child care.
- Screen time for toddlers and babies should be limited to four times or less a year, preferably none, in child care.
- Provide media literacy education to parents of preschoolers at least twice a year.
- Learn about how to organize a “Screen-Free Week” in your school.
- The policy brief Early Learning and Use of Technology provides guiding principles on the use of technology by young children.
Provide Healthy Beverages
- Drinking water should be available inside and outside for self-serve.
- Children two years and older should be served skim or non-fat milk.
- 100% fruit juice should be limited to no more than 4-6 oz per day.
- Sugary drinks (sports drinks, sweet tea, soda) should never be offered.
- Read Potter the Otter (e-book in English and Spanish) to your children about an otter who loves water.
- The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics helps providers learn about the appropriate amount of juice for young children.
Increase Physical Activity
- Preschoolers need two or more hours of active play time every day.
- Toddlers should have at least an hour of active play time each day.
- Babies should have short periods of “tummy time” every day.
- The Get Moving Today Calendar is a start-anytime, reusable calendar which has fun, simple physical activities to do everyday with preschoolers.
- Help kids move more in your program with the Best Practices for Physical Activity Guide (PDF) (also available in Spanish).
Improve Food Choices
- A fruit or vegetable should be served to toddlers and preschoolers at every meal.
- Chips, french fries and other fried potatoes should be offered once a month or less.
- Chicken nuggets, fish sticks and fried meats should be offered once a month or less.
- All meals to preschoolers should be served family-style.
- One in five U.S. families does not have access at all times to enough food. You can help Children Facing Food Insecurity and support these families in small ways.
- CACFP and School Meal Program updated meal pattern requirements.
Support Breast Feeding
- Breastfeeding mothers should be provided a private area for breastfeeding or pumping.
- Learn how Early College High School Child Care Center turned a closet into an inviting private space for mothers to breastfeed.
- Check out Project Breastfeeding: A dynamic, engaging and thought-provoking group which aims to educate men and empower women.