Good nutrition and exercise are important for people of all ages, but especially important for children. Young children need good nutrition and healthy activities for proper growth and development. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, and as of 2012, more than one third of children were obese or overweight. Creating healthy habits at a young age can help prevent the serious health effects associated with obesity before they develop.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that early care programs offer some form of physical education. Since children form healthy habits at an early age, educators can teach children about the importance of physical activity and fitness during the years they are most impressionable. In addition, early childhood is the best time to acquire fundamental movement skills which children can build upon later when learning more complex movement skills. Early care providers need to offer instruction on body-part identification, spatial awareness, and provide opportunities for children to practice their growing skills. This type of instruction will help children develop healthy fitness habits, enjoy movement, and feel good about their physical abilities.
Feeding toddlers and preschoolers isn't always easy. Whether you're dealing with a picky eater or a busy schedule, getting a nutritious meal on the table-one that your kids will actually eat-can be a challenge. Don't be discouraged! If often just takes time and patience to develop healthy eating habits in young children.
Physical activity is important to many aspects of child health and development. In young children, lack of physical activity is a risk factor for many health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, excess body fat, bad cholesterol, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases and bone health problems.
This course provides strategies and methods to improve physical fitness and incorporate movement activities across the early childhood curriculum. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to identify exercises to reduce body fat, define the five fitness factors, identify characteristics of effective exercise in the early childhood environment, and more.