Let’s Move Child Care Celebrates Third Anniversary!
By Katherine A. Beckmann, PhD, MPH, Senior Policy Advisor, Early Childhood Health and Development
In a few weeks, Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) will celebrate its third anniversary. Part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to raise a generation of healthier kids, LMCC is a voluntary initiative to empower early care and education to instill healthy choices from the start. One in five children is overweight or obese by age six. With about 12 million babies and young children in child care and one million in Head Start nationwide, child care and Head Start providers have an important opportunity to prevent childhood obesity by supporting the following LMCC goals:
- Increase Physical Activity: Provide one to two hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible. The summer months are an especially fun time to get active outside. To stay safe, remember to keep babies younger than six months out of direct sunlight. For children older than six months, try to limit sun exposure when UV rays are strongest; dress children in protective sun hats and shatter resistant sunglasses with UV protection; and apply sunscreen.
- Reduce 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 one to two hours of quality screen time per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
- Improve Food Choices: Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style whenever possible, and don't serve fried foods.
- Provide Healthy Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don't serve sugar-sweetened drinks. For children age two and older, serve low-fat (one percent) or non-fat milk, and no more than one four to six-ounce serving of 100 percent juice per day.
- Support Breast 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.
LMCC salutes the more than 12,500 Head Start and child care providers who have already committed to working towards the initiative’s best practices for healthy nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding support and screen time!
We're excited to mark the third anniversary of Let’s Move! Child Care this June by giving away fun toolkits full of kid-friendly physical activity materials. Toolkits are sponsored by Nemours, a child health system, and include the following:
- Ready, Set, Move Game
- Read, Move, Learn Book
- Rainbow Parachute
- A World of Parachute Fun
- USDA Wellness Handbook
- USDA Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbooks
Getting started is simple. It’s free! To enter the drawing to win a toolkit, just take the Let's Move! Child Care Checklist Quiz between June 1-13, 2014.
Already taken the quiz? You can still register for the drawing! Simply retake the quiz here.
New to Let's Move! Child Care? Sign up and take the quiz at www.healthykidshealthyfuture.org.