This is How We Grow Fit
Grow Fit follows the tenets of the Let's Move! Child Care effort in the fight to prevent childhood obesity:
- Physical Activity: 1-2 hours of physical activity through the day, including outside play when possible
- Screen Time: 30 minutes or less weekly at school; 2 hours or less daily at home; None for children under 2
- Food: Serve more fruits and vegetables. Eat meals family style whenever possible. Limit fried foods.
- Beverages: Access to water throughout the day. No sugar-sweetened drinks. For children 2 and older, low-fat or non-fat milk. No more than one 4-6 oz. serving of 100% juice per day.
- Infant Feeding: Support all parents' decisions about infant feeding. Breastfeeding mothers can provide their milk to their infants and are welcome to breastfeed during school time.
The company is already meeting a majority of the program goals, and also is providing educational support for parents to make healthier choices at home.
Sharing a Recipe for Wellness In order not to overwhelm the children with too many changes at once, Learning Care Group has been phasing in elements of the Grow Fit program. Over the past 18 months, the schools have decreased the number of fried foods offered on the menu by 75 percent – with just a couple left to go. Meanwhile, under the guidance of a registered dietician, the schools are offering more whole grains, lean proteins such as lentils and grilled chicken strips as well as more vegetarian options. The new, healthier menu items are being introduced gradually, allowing children the time to get accustomed to different flavors and textures."Parents have been very supportive," noted Dr. Canizares. "Some have been surprised by how well their children are adapting to new menu items. It doesn't happen overnight. It's natural for young children to be cautious about trying new foods. Their taste buds are highly sensitive during the early years as they decide what tastes and textures they like. With a little creativity and a lot of patience, you can make trying new foods a learning adventure, and even help turn around a picky eater."