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Young children do not consume the minimum portions recommended by Canada's Food Guide1: 80% of four-year-olds usually consume less than five portions of fruits and vegetables, 50% consume less than four portions of grains, 52% consume less than two portions of dairy and 61% consume less than two portions of meat or meat substitutes.

The time allocated to play initiated by children has dropped by 25% between 1981 and 1997, being replaced instead with activities led by adults, sedentary and indoor activities2. However, it is when children initiate their activities that the intensity, number of steps and motor skills development associated with these activities are higher3.


  1. DESROSIERS, H., et al. Enquête de nutrition auprès des enfants québécois de 4 ans. Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2005. 152 pages. Also available online (in French).
  2. BURDETTE, L., and WHITAKER, R. 159159159Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, vol. 159, no1, 2005. pages 46-50.
  3. BIGRAS, Nathalie, et al. Le développement moteur des enfants qui fréquentent les services de garde. Petite enfance, services de garde éducatifs et développement des enfants, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2012. pages 291-373.

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Last modified date :
December 16, 2016