GSA joins White House healthy kids campaign

The General Services Administration is encouraging more healthy habits for kids nationwide by joining first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to fight childhood obesity.

GSA says it will direct its 109 child care centers, which provide services for children of federal employees and kids from local communities, to use a five-point checklist to ensure its youngest charges receive nutritious meals and adequate exercise while they're in federal facilities. The agency is working with the first lady's national Let's Move! campaign.

The agency will use the Let's Move! Child Care checklist, which provides guidance on diet, exercise and the amount of television kids are exposed to. The recommendations include providing one to two hours of physical activity for kids throughout the day; limiting TV screen time to children age 2 and older to no more than 30 minutes per week; serving fruits and vegetables and no fried foods at every meal; and giving kids water and/or low- or nonfat milk during meals rather than sugary drinks, and limiting juice to one 4- to 6-ounce serving per day.

"Child care centers have an important role to play in helping ensure that we build a generation of healthy kids, and these small changes can make a big difference," Liz Themelis, director of GSA's child care division, wrote in a June 15 agency blog post.

GSA is responsible for more than 8,300 children at its facilities and employs nearly 2,000 full-time workers in day care centers. Federal employees must make up a minimum of 50 percent of child care clients.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned chocolate milk and other flavored, sweetened milks in its schools.

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