It would be fabulous if parents, daycare providers, preschools, and other after school programs would follow the lead of the YMCA in improving their standards to providing healthy choices for kids in their care.
On Wednesday, at the Building a Healthier Future, the YMCA announced they were going to make changes in their after school program in favor of helping kids learn to be healthy. They provide care to over 700,000 kids across our nation! I’m excited about the changes. They are committed to:
- Establish a minimum of expected physical activity for children of different ages enrolled in YMCA programs; (15 minutes per hour for young kids and 60 minute per day for older kids)
- Designate fruits and vegetables as snack options;
- Designate water as the primary beverage during snack times;
- Limit screen time (to no more than 60 minutes per day)
- Encourage breastfeeding of infants in YMCA’s care; and
- Conduct parent education to encourage healthy behaviors at home
Wouldn’t it be great if our schools and day care providers all increased their standards like this! Do you worry about your kids in day care that they are watching TV all day, or they never have one fruit or vegetable, or that they are drinking pop or too much juice?
I think encouraging more activity, limit screen time and having fruits and vegetables available during snack time is a big step for all kids, and so important to kids in these programs. Two of my kids are great about getting at least 60 minutes of activity a day. They have to be forced inside when it gets too dark, but I have a third child, who’s name won’t be mentioned.. that prefers watching TV and reading to being outside. My goal is to have him be active for 60 minutes a day. We can:
- Go on bike rides as a family.
- Have a pickup game of soccer in our backyard (he’d play if we were all playing together)
- Find him a winter sport he can sign up for, like basketball or wrestling.
- Head to the local rec center for swimming.
- Get him a Rip Stick for Christmas (We actually are doing this! He really wants one, and I know it will get him outside).
Make it a goal to implement these standards in your house or daycare. Can you limit screen time to 60 minutes (that includes TV AND video games I’m guessing). Can you get older kids to be active for 60 minutes??