Singapore preschools will have more physical activities, healthier meals

By Stephanie Yeo   — February 24, 2017
  • New government moves to raise healthy kids in Singapore
    1 / 3 New government moves to raise healthy kids in Singapore

    All preschool children will have at least one hour of physical activity a day, including time spent in the sun.

    They will also be served healthy meals that include fruit. Once a key law is passed, pre-schools will no longer be allowed to offer unhealthy eating options.

    These recommendations from the NurtureSG committee to get children and youth to grow up healthy – both physically and mentally – have been accepted by the Health and Education Ministries. Some are already being rolled out.

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  • At least 30 minutes of outdoor play
    2 / 3 At least 30 minutes of outdoor play

    “So very often you can see young children on their handheld devices,” said Dr Lam. “That has also resulted in children not exercising enough and leading a more sedentary lifestyle.”

    The committee decided to get the fitness ball rolling with preschoolers, who will have at least one hour of physical activity every day. And at least half of this time must be spent outdoors. 

    Related: Screen time for kids: How Singapore parents set limits

     

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  • Outdoor time may help myopia too
    3 / 3 Outdoor time may help myopia too

    Mr Eugene Leong, chief executive officer of the Early Childhood Development Agency, said that once the Early Childhood Development Centres Act is in force – in a year or so – all pre-schools must provide healthy meals and a minimum duration of physical activities as part of their licensing requirement.

    Schools from primary to junior college levels will be encouraged to lend out sporting equipment, like footballs, so children can have “unstructured play” during recess, after lessons, and even on weekends.

    Dr Lam added that more time outdoors for the young might also reduce the high rate of myopia. By the time they finish their studies, seven in 10 children here are myopic.

    Related: How to prevent short sightedness in children 

    A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

    (Main photo: ST, other photos: 123RF.com) 

     

     

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