Melbourne, July 5 : Preschoolers in Australia will now be undergoing two hours of compulsory exercise regimes.
The New South Wales Government's anti-obesity program has decided to phase out junk food from kids' diet and recommends drinking watered down juices and low-fat milk.
Furthermore, parents will be receiving a list of recommended foods for their children's lunchboxes. Star jumps, action-singing songs as well as catching, jumping and running are just some of the exercises included in the roll call of daily activities.
The new healthy lifestyle policy would be executed in nearly 1000 preschools within the next one and a half year.
Childhood teachers in 14 centres would also be given initial training this week.
"We do music and movement every day but this program also encourages us to do more structured exercise outside where we are teaching children the finer points in jumping, running, hopping, galloping and fundamental movement skills," said News.com.au quoted educator Vicky Smith from Five Dock preschool, which is implementing the program, as saying.
NSW Health's Centre for Health Advancement director Liz Develin said recent research has shown that 89 per cent of children aged four to five spend more than two hours watching a screen every day.
"A lot of three to five-year-olds have started these bad habits early," said Develin.
"If children are well equipped in fundamental movement skills they are more likely to participate in physical activity and sport later - they'll have the basic skills of how to run, throw and jump rather than just running around erratically," she added.
Early childhood teachers will receive a 188-page manual outlining the details of the new exercise and food program, which includes giving children water rather than fruit poppers and cordials so that kids don't develop a sweet tooth.
It also recommends limiting giving juice to once a day and to the 100 per cent variety, which is then diluted by water by at least half, and suggests reduced-fat milk for children over two.
NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher said the program was devised to combat the growing number of overweight preschoolers as well as educate parents.