May 22, 2013
If you haven’t been to the Let’s Move! website, or even if you have, there is always something new to support healthy kids! One thing we love about Let’s Move! is the way they make it easy to choose healthy, easy to take action, and easy to – yes – MOVE.
Easy Move for Kids: Try new fruits and veggies.
Take it further: Download the full Kids action plan
Easy Move for Parents: Take a walk with your family after dinner.
Take it further: Download a full Parents action plan
Since May is Active Play month at HKC, I do want to point out the whole section on Let’s Move!’s website devoted to getting active. The Get Active section has specific areas targeted at families, schools, and communities. You’ll love the area that gives kids options of “What To Do” on the Let’s Move Outside pages.
A super-easy way to eat healthy is finding the new MyPlate recipes on Pinterest. The Partnership for a Healthier America, Let’s Move!, USDA’s MyPlate, and the nation’s top recipe creators teamed up to make it easier for you to put nutritious meals on the table. Just search for MyPlate Recipes on Pinterest.
Speaking of Pinterest, remember we’re on there too, spreading the word-I mean, the pins-about everything to help build a healthy world for kids! Go to pinterest.com/healthykidschal or simply search for our name.
How do you make healthy the easy choice?
May 16, 2013
The Learning Connection Report from our partner in health, Action for Healthy Kids, aligns perfectly with our model for the Balance My Day™ curriculum and we are thrilled to join them in demonstrating that well-nourished and active kids are better equipped for success!
- physical activity supports academic achievement,
- well-nourished kids learn better and
- that healthier practices in schools can increase school revenue.
The easy-to-read special report, released in 2013, is a roadmap for parents, educators, school administrators and school volunteers to create healthier school environments so the kids in their lives are better positioned to learn.
It’s a follow-up to Action for Healthy Kids’ landmark 2004 report The Learning Connection: The Value of Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity in Our Schools.
Read the full report:
Learn more about HKC’s Balance My Day™ nutrition curriculum.
May 9, 2013
May is THE month for Active Play! In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, I challenge you to help kids get more active play by using at least one of the following options:
- Download the Active Play Challenge form and copy enough to give one to each kid.
- Explain to the kids that you are going to challenge them to feel good, look great and have fun with minutes in motion during the day!
- Hand out the Challenge forms and explain how to track points each day.
- Encourage kids to get an to join them in active play, and get extra points. Have the parent/guardian sign the log, and the kids can bring it back to school.
- At the end of 1 week, discuss with kids their results.
Family Fun Means Motion - Print this new sheet from our “Active Play, Balance My Day” Healthy6 tip series. It helps you make physical activity fun with tried and true family games! It’s a great way to get the whole family moving.
Partner Spotlight on SPARK
You may have seen this already, but I want to share that this month in our weekly WOWS newsletters, we are featuring some of our Partners In Health. Since I’m already sharing some of our active play ideas here, I thought I’d mention that our partner, SPARK, has free physical activity and P.E. lesson plans online. Check ‘em out!
May 2, 2013
Celebrate School Lunch Superhero Day on Friday, May 3rd! The day aims to showcase the ways in which school nutrition professionals make a difference for every child who comes through the cafeteria. It also kicks off the School Nutrition Association’s week long School Nutrition Employee Week, May 6-10, 2013.
Here are a few creative, yet simple, ways to join in the celebration:
- Find simple tips such as the following on SNA’s website: “Announce School Nutrition Employee Week (May 6-10, 2013) on the signs in front of the schools. Make sure that the week is featured on the schools’ calendars and in newsletters. Don’t forget to include the celebration on your menus for the week.”
- Submit your School Lunch Superhero pictures to be featured on the School Meals That Rock Facebook Page. They have already begun showcasing some Superhero Employees and School Districts, and will continue throughout next week. Inspiring!
- Hand out these free Certificates of Appreciation for School Nutrition Employee Week from LearningZoneXpress. Simply download and print!
- Simply offer your school nutrition employees a sincere “Thank you!”
Healthy Kids Challenge Supports Let’s Move: How Cities and Towns Can Make Healthy Food Affordable and Accessible
April 25, 2013
This is the final challege for April: Make healthy food easier to access in your community. That’s a tall order, but not impossible. We know because we work with communities every day to meet this challenge of making the healhty choice, the easy choice. It takes time, commitment, a plan, and support, to say the least. But don’t take our word for it, read on to see why we fully support Let’s Move!…
“More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are more than a mile from a supermarket. These communities are known as “food deserts” since they lack access to affordable, nutritious food. Lack of access is one reason why many children are not eating recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Food insecurity and hunger among children is widespread. A recent USDA report showed that in 2008, an estimated 49 million people, including 17 million children, lived in households that experienced hunger multiple times throughout the year. Let’s Move! to ensure that all families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities.
In our effort to fight obesity in children and adolescents, it is important that we focus on increasing access to healthy and affordable foods. Here are some ways that cities and towns can play an important role in providing access to affordable and healthy food options through activities such as the following:
- Establish a Food Policy Council
- Increase enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Support the sale of local foods across the community by offering incentives and encouraging the establishment of farmers’ markets.
- Promote policies that support and protect community gardens.
- Pass food policies that require food and beverages purchased with government funds to meet certain nutrition standards.
- Require access to free and safe drinking water in public places.
- Ensure that residents can access healthy andd affordable food through public transportation—by realigning bus routes, providing free shuttles, or other means.”*
(*Let’s Move!, Make Healthy Food Affordable and Accessible page.)
So to help you along the path of creating a healthier community, here are some more resources:
April 18, 2013
The Challenge: Make it easier for your family to choose healthy foods – at home, eating out, wherever! Building on the ideas from this week’s WOWS newsletter, here are some simple ways to make it happen:
- Keep grab ‘n go breakfast ideas in reach, like string cheese, whole grain crackers and an apple.
- Try a new fruit or veggie, like jicama or starfruit, as a family.
- Flavor ice cold water with lemon, lime, or orange slices to give it a zing when choosing it as a mealtime beverage instead of sugary drinks.
Also, I want to point out that Let’s Move Healthy Families is a great resource, aligned with our principles, providing ideas like:
- Mix vegetables into dishes, like adding peas to rice, or cucumbers to a sandwich
- Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken or extra lean ground beef for hamburgers or pasta sauces
- Have kids drink water at snack time
- Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions
There are so many ways you can meet this family challenge, but you must first CHOOSE to take action. Today’s a great day to start!
April 11, 2013
Honoring our special April Healthy Foods Challenges, we have 3 freebies to help you meet those challenges this month. Enjoy!
Snack Attack Activity
1. Ask kids to name benefits of snacks containing less fat and less added sugar.
- Help us feel good and feel good about ourselves
- A healthier body weight
- A healthier heart
- Gives more nutrients to do our best in school
2. Discuss why we make the choices we do. Is it because the snacks:
- Taste good?
- Are easy to fix?
- Satisfy hunger or give energy?
- Are what their parents or someone else buys or fixes?
- Are the coolest ones to eat?
TWO Snack Attack Printables!
When on the go, bring along energizing snacks! Whether traveling, camping, or transporting kids to activities, the following ideas are sure to help you satisfy those hunger attacks in a hectic day.
Make the next happy celebration a healthy one too! These snack ideas and activities can be as popular as the traditional high fat and sugar party foods!