Child Health

In 2014, Madera County’s obesity rates among adults was 34% (California Department of Public Health). Children with overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves and at risk of experiencing health and social-emotional problems. The health complications from being overweight or obese as a child can be long lasting, but they are preventable through simple healthy changes.

Check out the resources below for simple tips, fun physical activities, healthy food recipes, and more!


mother breastfeeding daughter

Breast milk is the healthiest food you can give your baby. It provides all the nutrients, calories, and fluid your newborn needs for the first six months of life!

  • Benefits your baby’s immune system and protects against disease and infection
  • May reduce the risk of childhood obesity
  • Helps prevent your baby from developing allergies
  • Lowers a mother’s stress level and helps her body recover from childbirth faster
  • Helps foster an emotional connection between mother and child

While any amount of breastfeeding benefits a baby, it is recommended that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life. 

Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially in the first few days. Talk with your pediatrician or lactation consultant to discuss any question you have or any problems you may face along the way. You can also visit Les Leche League online or call 1-800-525-3243 to get more information and advice on breastfeeding.

Healthy Eating


  • Fast, Fresh, and Fun – Try First 5’s healthy and easy recipes cookbook for the whole family (click here to download).
  • Visit for tips on:
    • Tips for picky eaters
    • MyPlate Tips for Prescholers
    • How much food does my preschooler need?
    • Fast, Fresh, and Fun – Try First 5’s healthy and easy recipes cookbook for the whole family (click here to download).
food plate

Physical Activity

Father and son playing soccer outdoors
Follow these tips to help your preschooler be active:
  • Encourage your preschooler to play actively several times every day. Preschoolers’ activity may happen in short bursts of time instead of all at once.
  • Limit TV, tablet, and other screen time to less than 1 hour total per day, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Preschoolers need quiet time but make sure your preschooler is not inactive for too long. Read a book together or create a craft rather than unwinding with screen time.
  • Be a role model and limit your own inactivity. Your preschooler will learn that being physically active is part of a healthy life. Manage the time you spend watching TV or using mobile devices.
  • Look for active childcare settings that engage children in play and regular physical activity.
  • Make active play fun for the whole family. Let your child help plan the fun! Take a walk together after dinner, play catch, kick a ball, or turn up the music and dance.
  • For more tips how to be an active family, visit