In a study completed by the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research centre, researchers found that children who regularly stayed in daycare are 50 percent more likely to be obese when compared to children who stayed at home with parents during the day. While many working parents turn to daycare to help with the care of their children, physical activity levels at daycare centers should be among the deciding factors when parents choose a center for their child.
Physical Activity and Food Choices Matter
Researchers for this study found that many children who spend time in daycare centers often eat diets that contain large amounts of processed foods and high fructose corn syrup juice drinks. Additionally, most daycare centers are not required to provide any specific amount of physical activities for children in their care.
When choosing a daycare center, parents should ask about dietary choices for children. Look for daycare providers who offer a balanced diet that contains lean protein, lower fat foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, it is important to ask about physical activities for children. Look for daycare centers that encourage children to actively play or participate in sports activities. It is also important to visit daycare centers and observe the interaction of the children with the daycare workers to see how physically active children are throughout the day. While watching a video or DVD on occasion is not bad, as a regular activity it is not healthy for children.
Life habits are learned during childhood. While it may be necessary for you to place your children in daycare while you work, you can look for providers who emphasize healthy habits. In addition to healthy daycare activities, you are the primary source of healthy role modeling for your children. Demonstrate healthy food choices for your kids and encourage them to help you with grocery shopping and meal preparation. Also, get up off the sofa and play with your kids when you get the opportunity. Show them that being physically active can be a fun and enjoyable activity in their daily lives.
Are your kids in daycare? How do you show them healthy ways to eat and be active? Did you think about this aspect when you chose your daycare center?
– The Alternative Daily