June 22, 2009
In a previous Are You Aware publication, Healthy Eating and Child Care, we discussed ways child care providers can help children develop good eating habits and learn about proper nutrition. Along with proper nutrition, it is suggested that children have at least 60 minutes of activity per day. This doesn't mean your child has to be physically active for 60 minutes at a time. Activities can take place throughout the day.
When visiting a child care provider, ask about the types of activities offered. Make sure some include physical activities. Examples might include:
- Music time that allows children to dance
- Outdoor play
- Extra Programs - for an additional fee, some family child care providers or child care centers invite programs in the community to host various classes on site (activities might include dance, gymnastics or martial arts)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following tips to assist parents in encouraging their children to be active. These tips can easily be used in a child care setting as well:
- Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
- Take young people to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields or basketball courts.
- Be positive about the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage her to be interested in new activities.
- Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. Activities can range from team or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play.
- Be safe! Always provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads or knee pads and ensure that the activity is age-appropriate.
For more information