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

Do You Have a Picky Eater in the Family? posted on Aug 25

Do You Have a Picky Eater in the Family?

By Jennifer Navaroli, RD, LDN and Kaitlin Barragan, RD, LDN “No broccoli for me! I don’t want anything green!” Sound familiar? Picky eating is a common frustration that many parents may struggle with at one point or another.  Some may worry that their child is   …Continue Reading Do You Have a Picky Eater in the Family?

Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child posted on Aug 24

As a parent, you want to do what is best for your child. You’re probably aware of the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep kids safe. But did you know that one of the best ways to protect your child   …Continue Reading Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

Vaccines: Not Just for Kids! posted on Aug 17

You might think that vaccines are only for children – but in truth they’re valuable for adults as well. Are you one of the millions of adults not aware of the vaccines you need? There are many reasons why adults should be vaccinated. Each year,   …Continue Reading Vaccines: Not Just for Kids!