Giving child care and early education providers the tools to help children develop healthy habits for life.
ARE HAPPY KIDS
Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity: schools, faith-based and community-based organizations, parents, and officials from all levels of government. 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.
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.
- Download this Water and Juice Tip Sheet (PDF) with guidelines for serving water and juice, and share with parents.
Get Kids Moving
- 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).
Nurture Healthy Eaters
- 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 operators must comply with updated meal pattern requirements by October 1, 2017.
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.
How do we keep kids healthy?
Sign up to participate, and join thousands of child care and early education providers who have committed to helping kids develop healthy habits for life. Take the quiz and see how your program is doing, make an action plan and get recognition for fully meeting all the best practices.