Can The Right Preschool Program Help Prevent Childhood Obesity?

Posted on: 13 April 2015

The younger children learn, the more likely they are to apply the lesson. That's the thinking behind a lot of what we teach preschoolers, and it definitely applies to health and nutrition.

About 17 percent of children under age 18 in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and that number has been holding steady for about a decade. For the first time, obesity rates are declining in preschoolers -- kids between the ages of 2 and 5 -- especially those who are of low income and attend a preschool program.

Importance of Teaching Good Eating Habits Early

Many early childhood educators have the ability to influence young children and show them how to make good food choices. Resources available through government programs provide options for teaching age-appropriate lessons about the Food Pyramid and show activities for a wide range of ages to learn more about food. Government-funded preschools, such as Head Start, incorporate these nutrition lessons into the curriculum to encourage healthy eating.

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake

For 25 years, the nutritional data has been primarily the same. As many as 40 percent of kids have eaten no vegetables on the day they were surveyed, and only one in five kids gets the five servings of fruits and vegetables recommended each day. For many of these children, french fries are the only vegetable they get on a regular basis.

Preschool programs that introduce fruits and vegetables can help children get familiar with produce that may not be served at home and can provide a different environment for kids to interact with new foods. These foods can be provided through government programs or they can be a part of the snacks and lunches that a private preschool provides.

Overcoming Food Advertising

Preschool-age kids are starting to pick up on messages in advertising. They see the fast food toys in the television commercials and the sugary breakfast cereals promoted by a cartoon character. Counteracting these messages with education about the taste of healthy food can be beneficial when done early, before an excess of commercials teach the wrong lessons about eating. Learning about advertising messages and how to be a smart consumer can start at a young age and continue into elementary school.

When these nutrition lessons are incorporated into preschool learning, they can help young children increase healthy food choices and reduce obesity. Combined with information about staying active and using their bodies, nutrition help can start preschoolers on the path to eating better and staying fit.

Preschools such as Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten are more than just places to play. They allow your children to learn a variety of topics, from nutrition to social skills.


Preschool Education: A Parent Guide

Small children have such amazing imaginations and they are filled with excitement. As a preschool teacher, I have seen this wonder turn into a love of learning. I cherish all of the children I have the opportunity to teach, and each child is special in their own way. Kids grow up fast though, and everything that a child learns in preschool helps to shape their minds in a positive way. If you are a parent, then this means you need to take the opportunity to read to your children and teach them the alphabet. Your effort can make just as much of a difference as your child's teacher. If you have no idea where to start, then explore my blog to find some great preschool learning tips and tricks. Not only will you learn to teach, but you will find out how to have fun at the same time.

Latest Posts