How Preschools and Daycares can help: the 5-2-1-0 rule
It is important that children of all ages maintain a healthy balance of energy in and energy burned off as children who become obese before 6 years of age are likely to stay obese throughout childhood. They also have a 50% increased risk of becoming an obese adult. Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition.
Preschools and daycares play an important role in teaching a child good eating habits and how to live an active life. Active and healthy children learn better and develop healthy habits that can last their whole lives.
5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day
Fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that a child’s body needs and they should form the corner stone of everyone’s, including preschoolers, diets. According to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, children who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day are significantly less likely to develop overweight and obesity than children who eat less than 3 servings per day. Additional evidence supports the linkage between high fruit and vegetable consumption and decreased cancers, diabetes and heart disease rates. Help your students reach the goal of 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day:
- Encourage your students and their families to eat fruit and vegetables at every meal and to a pack fruit and vegetables as a snack for preschool or daycare.
- If your preschool or daycare serves snack and/or lunch to students, serve fruit and vegetables at each mealtime.
- The Dietitians of Canada website has tips on meal planning and sample recipes to help care providers ensure preschoolers eat well.