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Watch: Preschool Teacher Claudia Mendoza Teaches Kids Healthy Habits

Giving young kids the best start to life is not just about teaching them the ABCs but helping them learn healthy habits, too. Check out how one teacher gets the young learners in her in-home preschool healthy at an early age:

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Activities like yoga and eating healthy snacks are great habits for little ones while they’re in child care and also at home. 

Ready to teach young kids in your life healthy habits? Check out five ideas from Let’s Move! Child Care to get you started, below.

5 Ways to Teach Healthy Habits

  1. Let children participate in preparing food: When kids have a hand in helping to make their own meals and snacks, they’re more likely to try and eat new, nutritious foods. Give them special jobs like stirring and adding ingredients. They’ll feel helpful and proud of what they created. 
  2. Eat “family-style” and let even your young children choose: Place healthy options on the table within children’s reach and use kid-sized containers and serving utensils. Let kids serve themselves and pick which foods they want, how much, and even whether to eat at all. 
  3. Be a healthy role model: Eat with your little ones and let them see you choosing and enjoying healthy foods. When they see you eating healthy, they might eat healthy too. 
  4. Opt for water instead of sugary drinks: Sugary drinks like soda are high in calories and low in nutrients. Water keeps kids hydrated best and can be fun to drink (try adding berries or orange slices). 
  5. Fit in fitness: Instead of thinking of physical activity as a separate activity, try to weave spurts of movement into your everyday routine. Have children act out a story as you read it to them. While you’re cooking, put on some of your favorite music and encourage kids to dance.

To find more ways to help your preschooler eat well, be active, and be healthy, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov

Helping children learn healthy habits early, through child care and early education programs, is critical to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Let's Move! Child Care is a voluntary initiative to empower child care and early education providers to meet 5 goals: increasing physical activity, reducing screen time, improving food choices, providing healthy beverages, and supporting breastfeeding.