Post Content

Kids-playing 2 Posted by Anne Hemmer, RD, LDN, MS

Anne is the Coordinator of the MA Children at Play at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

 

Some people ask me if preschool is too early for teaching kids how to eat healthy and be active. My answer? It’s never too early! Kids learn habits when they’re very young. Teaching them to eat better and move more early on helps them live a healthy lifestyle now and later as adults.

There is a recent regulation requiring Massachusetts childcare programs to offer a nutrition program and 60 minutes of physical activity each day, which I am thrilled about.  I’ve worked with child care providers for many years though, and if there is one thing I know about this profession, it’s that time and resources are not on a child care provider’s side. That’s where Massachusetts Children at Play comes into play.Nap sac kid eating

MA Children at Play is a free program that teaches child care providers how to easily add active movement and healthy food options into child care settings. Children learn how to grow, make and eat healthy foods, including colorful fruits and vegetables. They’re also served healthy drinks, like water, low fat, and skim milk instead of whole milk or sugary drinks. Children read books, sing songs and have fun food experiences, like taste tests, that teach them healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

MA Children at Play also helps children be active 60 minutes each day in a fun, age-appropriate way! They also learn fun songs, games and activities that focus on learning and active living.

Whether or not your child is enrolled in a center that uses MA Children at Play, there are things you can do at home to help your child eat better and move more:
• Serve healthy snacks and meals that include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Offer your children water, and limit sugary drinks like soda, juice and sports drinks
• Make sure your child is active for at least 60 minutes a day
• Limit TV and computer time to 1-2 hours each day
• Be a good role model – eat better and move more yourself!

Visit the Mass in Motion website for more tips for parents, and learn more about MA Children at Play.

 

Written By:

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, January 30, 2015 posted on Jan 30

The latest weekly flu report shows another increase in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth, a sign that flu season is in full swing in this part of the country. You can take steps to reduce the spread of flu in our communities through   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 30, 2015

Super Bowl Picnic! posted on Jan 26

Super Bowl Picnic!

Our much-beloved New England Patriots are contending for the Super Bowl this Sunday! And the big questions are…who will you watch the game with? What will the best commercial be?  And, let’s face it—what goodies are we going to eat? Back in the days before   …Continue Reading Super Bowl Picnic!

Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015 posted on Jan 23

The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in rates of flu-like illness during the past seven days. Flu season is certainly here in New England – but there are some simple, common-sense steps that you can take to keep from getting or spreading the   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015