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Standards updates to fight childhood obesity

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The Minimum Standards for Child Care Homes was updated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in December of 2010. Many home daycares are on a yearly or biennial inspection schedule and are just now learning about and complying with new standards. Two specific changes are meant to address childhood obesity.

Many children eat two meals and a snack every day they attend daycare and most children in daycare attend full time. This is why the DFPS added that children must be served water with each meal or snack, either alongside milk or without another beverage. This standard also applies to daycare centers. A Dallas area Food Program administrator said that the Food Program is expected to change their milk servings to 1% or skim milk instead of 2% for children over the age of one year. Once confirmed, an article will be forthcoming.

Also as a means of preventing obesity in children is a standards change that children must have outside play time twice per day rather than only once. Weather is a key factor and in the summer, children should only go outside in the morning when the ozone level is predicted to be high that day. Children with asthma and other respiratory considerations should not go outside when the ozone level is predicted to be high. Dallas is notorious for ozone days, so inspectors will generally waive the twice a day rule if the weather does not permit a second outside play time.