A new bill proposed by Assemblymember Luis Alejo, whose 30th District includes Gilroy, would require childcare providers to take an hour course in early childhood nutrition.
AB 290, the bill is called, will be heard sometime after March 11 in a California State Assembly policy committee meeting.
“With nearly 25 percent of preschool-aged children overweight or obese, thousands of California’s youngest residents face a lifetime of health challenges,” Alejo said. “California's licensing laws should prioritize nutrition training for child care providers as a reasonable and necessary means of supporting good nutrition habits. This bill will require licensed childcare providers to learn about the importance of healthy meals and snacks, cost-effective strategies, and age-appropriate meal patterns and serving sizes.”
The adult obesity rate in Santa Clara County is 19 percent, below the state average of 23 percent, according to the Child Policy Research Center. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry reports that there is over a 50 percent chance of obese parents raising obese children.
"California Food Policy Advocates is excited to continue working with Assemblymember Alejo on the important issues of early childhood obesity and nutrition,” said Elyse Homel Vitale of California Food Policy Advocates, sponsors of the bill. “We know through research that early childhood is when taste preferences and eating habits are formed. Through increased nutrition education for early childhood educators, AB 290 supports opportunities for providers to serve healthy foods at a lower cost."
Do you think this bill is smart? What other ways can we decrease childhood obesity? Tell us in the comments!