Child Care included in Task Force Recommendations to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Nutrition rules for child care centers were included in the14 recommendations put forth by the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity last week. The Task Force, which consists of six House members and six Senate members, spent four months researching the effects of childhood obesity on the economy, schools, and health system. The Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report’s “Recommendation 3” calls for improving nutrition and physical activity practices in child care.  

Approximately 37% of North Carolina’s children between the ages of 2 and 5 are enrolled in licensed child care centers and may consume between 50% and 100% of their Recommended Dietary Allowances while at the center (NAP SACC Report). Clearly, early childhood programs can play an important role in combating the national obesity epidemic.

The Task Force suggests legislation that would create nutritional “Child Care Rules” that would:

  • Eliminate sugar sweetened beverages for children
  • Give reduced fat milk (skim or 1%) to children older than 2
  • Limit juice to a total of four to six ounces per day for children over 1

 The Task Force also recommends legislation that would look into physical activity levels.

To read the full report, visit Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report on the General Assembly’s website.

To learn more about Smart Start’s NAP SACC program, which has been working to improve health and nutrition in child care in North Carolina, visit NAP SACC Report on www.ncsmartstart.org.

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3 Comments

Filed under Child Care

3 responses to “Child Care included in Task Force Recommendations to Reduce Childhood Obesity

  1. Justine

    Breastfeeding, which has been shown to help promote both mother and infant health, should be supported in child care settings as well.
    This means both for parents who would like to come and nurse or pump on site as well as for employees at major sites who have similar needs.
    In this case, being a family friendly employer means improving the health of our children.

    • ncchildren

      You make an important point that breastfeeding does offer many benefits to young children. Many mothers opt to bring pumped breastmilk to child care as they may not have time to drop in and nurse. But, your suggestion makes sense as well.

      • In a set of rules just adopted by the NC Child Care Commission, which will be effective on July 1st, both family child care homes and child care centers must make accommodations for breastfeeding mothers which would include seating and an outlet for expressing milk. The area can’t be in a bathroom, and must provide protection from the public. This is a great step forward in supporting mothers and babies. The language that was initially proposed can be found at http://ncchildcare.dhhs.state.nc.us/pdf_forms/register_pages_for_proposed_rules.pdf although what was adopted was slightly different as described above. The final text will be posted soon.

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