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Gardening with Children; Childcare Provider Training scheduled for April 2

March 20, 2019
Special to The News-Herald , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Iowa's youth are at risk. Approximately one in three children (31.7 percent) under age 5 is considered overweight or obese, which is slightly higher than the national average of 30.5 percent. A number of factors contribute to this issue, including lack of physical activity and low fruit and vegetable intake.

Child care providers will learn practical strategies and skills to provide a healthy environment for the children in their care. Cost is $10. Registration deadline is March 26 and is made on line at

"Only half of Iowa youth meet current physical activity recommendation levels, but one in four watch three or more hours of television a day," said Jill Weber, with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. "As alarming as these self-reported estimates sound, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests an even grimmer picture. Youth 8-14 years old are using media - including television, computers, video games and music - 6-9 hours per day, but total media exposure is approximately 8-12 hours per day, because of the ability to multi-task."

Further, only 14 percent of Iowa youth eat vegetables more than three times a day (excluding French fries and potato chips), 20 percent eat fruit more than three times a day, but almost one third drink at least one non-diet soda each day. Research has shown that less than 10 percent of youth meet recommendations for fat, fruit and vegetable intake, Weber said.

"These trends demonstrate the need to foster healthier nutrition and physical activity behaviors among our youth. Ideally, these behaviors need to begin early during their preschool years. Research suggests some health behaviors can be established before the child begins school and the child care setting can play an important and influential role," Weber added

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers child care provider training, which has been approved by the Department of Human Services. The training helps providers identify, recognize and implement best practices relative to nutrition, physical activity, health and safety for children under their care.

Human Sciences Specialist, Nutrition and Wellness, Jill Weber will be hosting a Gardening With Children Childcare Provider training on April 2 at Tama County Extension and Outreach, Tuesday April 2, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m



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