WEDNESDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- A preschool-based weight control intervention program instilled healthy eating habits in children aged 2 to 5, a new study shows.
The study, by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, included children from ethnically diverse, low-income families who went to eight subsidized child-care centers in Miami Dade County. The children were assigned to either an intervention or a control group.
Those in the intervention group received a six-month home- and preschool-based obesity prevention program. The preschool part of the program included the following menu modifications and education:
The menu promoted water as the primary beverage for children and staff; offered only skim or 1 percent milk; limited juices and other sweetened beverages; and included fruits and vegetables as snacks as often as possible.Teachers were educated weekly about how to incorporate lessons about nutrition and physical activity and how to better understand and overcome children's cognitive, cultural and environmental barriers to implementing a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet.