“Let’s Move” Goes to Day Care

Michelle Obama says it’s never too soon to develop a healthy lifestyle.

Posted: 06/10/2011 07:49 AM EDT

Good habits start at an early age, so toddlers are not exempt from Michelle Obama’s war on obesity. The first lady visited a bilingual child care center in Washington Wednesday afternoon, where she announced a new phase of her “Let’s Move” campaign that targets child-care centers called, appropriately enough, "Let's Move Chilid Care."

 

More than half of the nation’s obese children are already overweight before their second birthday, Obama said, adding that obesity rates among children aged two to five have doubled in the past few years. As a result, children as young as three are experiencing the warning signs of heart disease. Obama decided to expand her initiative to include child care centers because more than half of the children in the U.S. under the age of five are cared for outside of their homes while their parents are at work or school.

 

 “Let’s Move Child Care” stresses five principles:

 

1. Provide one to two hours of physical activity daily.

 

2. Limit screen time for all children but eliminate it for children under two. Older children should have no more 30 minutes per week while at the child care center.

 

3. Serve fruits and vegetables at every meal.

 

4. Serve only water, low-fat milk and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

 

5. Support mothers who breastfeed by allowing them to bring their milk for their children to the child-care facility.

 

During her visit, Obama watched as the children enjoyed a healthy feast of fish, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and strawberries and mashed sweet potatoes. And, because they’re not quite old enough to do the Dougie, she did the bunny hop instead.

(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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