Child care providers can encourage healthy eating habits in young children by providing a variety of nutritious foods, limiting junk food and sugary drinks, and encouraging parents to do the same at home.
Here is a summary of early childhood nutrition recommendations for obesity prevention, based on a review of expert guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, the Institute of Medicine, and others. Though these recommendations are designed for early child care providers, parents can also adopt these nutrition guidelines at home. For more detailed guidance on these recommendations and ideas for putting them into practice, explore the source list and the links to other resources.
|Serve age-appropriate and healthy beverages
|Provide a varied and balanced diet that emphasizes minimally processed foods
|Encourage healthy growth in children by keeping high-calorie, low-nutrient foods out of child care|
|Encourage family involvement in healthy eating at the child care facility|
Early Child Care Nutrition-Source List
1. American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education: Selected Standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition; 2010.
2. National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, University of Colorado Denver. National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education: Achieving a State of Healthy Weight: A National Assessment of Obesity Prevention Terminology in Child Care Regulations 201. Aurora, CO; 2011.
3. Institute of Medicine. Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.
4. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Benchmarks for Nutrition in Child Care. J Am Diet Assoc.2011;111:607-615.