DENVER- The Colorado Board of Human Services approved new nutrition and physical activity standards for the roughly 2,100 licensed child-care facilities and preschools in the state. It will also require facilities to limit "screen time."
The new rules require facilities to ensure meals and snacks meet USDA nutritional requirements and to not serve any sugary drinks such as juice and soda.
"We are going to give kids balanced meals so they get off to a healthy start," said Jake Williams, executive director of advocacy group Healthier Colorado. "We are going to take out sugary drinks like Coke and Capri-Sun unless parents provide them."
Parents like Heather Frenz are all for it. She's already vigilant in checking on what her 18-month old daughter ate while she was away from her.
"You really have to monitor it. You sometimes get sent home with a little note with what they ate during the day," Frenz said.
New regulations also require half-day daycare providers will have to provide at least 30 minutes of physical activity while full-day daycare providers will now provide an hour.
The screen-time requirement limits use of computers and tables to 30 minutes a day or 30 minutes a week for televisions. Screen use will be prohibited to children under two years old.
The new regulations passed 5-1. The one "no" vote came from Larimer County commissioner Steve Johnson. He says he likes much of what was passed but heard from care providers concerned about what the new regulations might cost them. He also doesn't like that federal guidelines, in this case the USDA, is dictating state policy.
Proponents insist this will not cost providers anything. The rules could be changed if the board chooses to do so.
"I think it is going to help them do what they want to do. And that's taking care of kids," Williams said.
(© 2015 KUSA)