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, November 21, 2014 posted on Nov 21

This week’s flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness remained relatively stable as compared to last week’s numbers. It’s safe to say that we’ll see these rates rise in the coming weeks and months – and with the holiday season approaching, now’s a great time   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 21, 2014

The Holidays Are Fast Approaching! posted on Nov 18

The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!

The holiday season brings a lot of fun, but can be stressful at times. Try focusing on seeing things through your child’s eyes. Chances are the traditions and memories you make are what children will grow up to remember, not the gifts or fancy meals.   …Continue Reading The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!

Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014 posted on Nov 17

The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in the rate of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. This is to be expected at this time of year in New England, and it’s a great reminder that if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, there   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014