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One in five children is overweight or obese by age 6. You can help.

One in five children is overweight or obese by age 6.  You can help.  As child care and early education providers, you are a powerful force in children's lives and can help them learn habits that prevent childhood obesity and can keep them healthy for life. Focus on five goals to get your kids off to a healthy start.
1. Physical Activity: Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.

2. Screen Time: No screen time for children under 2 years. For children age 2 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 1-2 hours of quality screen time per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).

3. Food: Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style whenever possible, and don't serve fried foods.

4. Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don't serve sugary drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.

5. Infant 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.

Register your program at Let’s Move! Child Care and do your part to create a healthier Maryland.  “The risk of obesity starts early in life.  Over half of obese children become overweight by the age of 2, and approximately one in five children are overweight or obese by their 6thbirthday.” – The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity.  Get the support you need to give the children in your care a healthier start.  Click here to register.


This information was obtained from the MSDE and Let's Move Childcare websites.

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