‘Let’s Move!’ Praises Daycare Centers That Serve Hummus and Homemade Oatmeal

By Patrick Burke | October 10, 2012 | 11:43 AM EDT

First Lady Michelle Obama demonstrates her moves in Philadelphia in July 2012 as she announces new opportunities to bring Let’s Move! to cities, towns and counties across America. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign recognized Rhode Island as the state with the highest percentage of day care centers to have implemented the goals of the “Let’s Move!” Child Care Program.

Dr. Day Care, a network of child care centers that enrolls 450 R.I. children, serves “healthy snacks,” something advocated by Mrs. Obama, who has made “Let’s Move” her signature issue.

“The program added new healthy snacks and meals to their menu like hummus, homemade oatmeal with cinnamon and apples, and yogurt with granola and bananas. They also only offer kids healthy drinks, such as water and low-fat or non-fat milk,” according to an October 10th “Let’s Move!” press release.

The “Let’s Move!” website advises day care centers to “opt for healthier alternatives” in snacks for kids.

For example, instead of cupcakes, a day care center can provide “zucchini or carrot mini-muffins.” Instead of cheese puffs, it should opt for “thinly sliced vegetables and low-fat ranch dip.”

“Toddlers and preschoolers love dipping, so try serving veggies with yogurt, hummus, low-fat dressing, or low-fat melted cheese,” according to the website’s goals for “healthy eating.”

It recommends teaching children the difference between “sometime” and “anytime” food, so children know snacks such as cookies and candy are good to eat only occasionally.

The program also encourages physical fitness. Here are some recommended activities for kids:

-- Have children act out a story as it’s being read to them.

--Encourage kids to move like different animals during transitions from one activity or room to another (hop like a bunny, walk on all fours like a bear, walk like a crab, swim like a fish, or come up with others).

--Break the curriculum up a bit by taking breaks during the day and have kids "take 5 or 10" (minutes) to stretch, march around the room, do jumping jacks, or let them choose.

Rhode Island won the “Let’s Move!” Child Care State Challenge, by having 20 percent of its day care facilities sign up for the “Let’s Move!” Child Care Program.

University students provided outreach and contacted all 1,059 child care programs in the state, urging them to participate. Local government agencies sent out mailings and posted messages via Facebook and Twitter to inform communities about the challenge.