New nutrition rules could be coming to day care centers across Illinois. Proposals currently being reviewed by lawmakers would ban unhealthful snacks such as chocolate milk and cake. Centers would also be required to allow children outside play time at least twice a day, while limiting kids to one hour of TV per day.
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Dave Clarkin of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says these changes would promote healthier lifestyles in children. “We’ve seen some improvement, and now, with these standards, hopefully parents can rest assured that the same quality meals and nutrition that kids are getting at home, they’ll also get at any of the 12,000 licensed day care centers throughout the state of Illinois,” said Clarkin. Clarkin says many centers are already following these rules.
The changes, which could go into effect within the next six to nine months, would apply only to day care centers, not day care homes, affecting about 300,000 children in the state.