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!
March 28, 2013
Healthy Kids Challenge® supports Let’s Move! Active Schools, and is offering resources and training to help schools provide an active environment for everyone.
Together, healthy eating and physical activity create balance. Healthy Kids Challenge is committed to helping leaders find ways to support kids and families in finding they C.A.N. (connect activity and nutrition), including:
- A partnership with SPARK evidence based PE programs.
- A Move and Learn activity in every nutrition curriculum lesson.
- Active Play is one of the Healthy6 habits.
- Integrating physical activity into every workshop and event. Kids and adults learn better with movement.
We support Let’s Move! Active Schools, “a comprehensive program that empowers school champions – P.E. teachers, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and parents – to create active environments that enable all students to get moving and reach their full potential.”
Check out our Balance My Day™ Nutrition Curriculum grades K-8:
- Comprehensive classroom lessons integrate math, science and language arts with the CDC HECAT (Health Education Analysis Tool) outcomes.
- Every lesson has a Move and Learn activity to enhance learning and add more minutes of physical activity to the day.
From school-based nutrition education curriculum and food service training to environmental and policy changes that make healthy eating and physical activity the easy choice, workshops are tailored for your audience and school or community. Let us design a training that meets your needs: half day-full day-breakout sessions!
Here’s an example of a recent HKC-SPARK Nutrition Education Training:
Training for staff in the West Orange, New Jersey school district was centered around:
- how to integrate brain breaks for better focus and concentration,
- healthy eating messages sprinkled throughout the school hallways, cafeteria, and classrooms, and
- nutrition education woven into PE and core curriculum K-12.
Hats off to Thomas A. Edison Middle School and the entire school district in West Orange, who truly understand the strategy of using good nutrition and physical activity to create a culture of health in the schools that can do nothing short of fueling student success.
“Teaching our students to maintain a healthy balance with eating and exercise is our top priority. The SPARK program is helping provide the tools and training to achieve this goal,” shared Corinn Giaquinto, Health and Physical Education instructor, Thomas Edison Middle School, West Orange, New Jersey.
We use the most current evidence-based recommendations of Centers for Disease Control and other leading organizations. Use this link for information about HKC strategies and outcomes. Have an active day!
From the Big Apple of New York City to sunny California, Healthy Kids Challenge® (HKC) is a shining star in helping PEP grantees create a healthier school environment that lasts far beyond the three year grant award! HKC, a nonprofit with a staff of registered dietitians, is the exclusive nutrition education partner for SPARK, one of the best physical education programs in the world – a true solution to our problem of inactive and poorly nourished kids.
Since nutrition education was added to the PEP grant requirements in 2010, just 3 years ago, Healthy Kids Challenge has assisted over 50 PEP winners. Whether your school is looking to integrate nutrition education into core curriculum and comply with common core/state standards…or challenge your PE teachers with the task of adding nutrition to their PE/health curriculum, our success with guiding schools speaks for itself.
HKC provides training, resources, and technical assistance for:
- classroom and PE teachers
- after school staff
- school wellness councils and
- community partners.
Customized staff training, comprehensive nutrition education curriculum for grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 that meets all HECAT (Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool) standards set by CDC, and distance assistance and coaching can all be part of a successful PEP grant award!
Learn more at healthykidschallenge.com or call 1-888-259-6287.
February 28, 2013
Use SPARK and Healthy Kids Challenge® to win a PEP Grant! Since Healthy Kids Challenge is SPARK’s exclusive Nutrition Services partner, we can help your program meet all the requirements for physical education, physical activity, AND nutrition education. To date, more than 200 PEP grants have been awarded to organizations that chose to implement SPARK curriculum and training!
So, how are you going to connect physical activity with nutrition education in your PEP Grant application?
Use SPARK and Healthy Kids Challenge!
Here are the essentials to help you win a 2013 PEP Grant:
- 2013 PEP Grant Information -SPARK’s comprehensive resource guide and other links and even a video are located here.
- SPARK-Healthy Kids Challenge Sample Text for Grant Writers.
- Healthy Kids Challenge Grant Help
- Carol M. White Physical Education Program – THE link to the application and full details.
- PEP Grant Winners Speak About SPARK Phys Ed Program – YouTube
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-256-6287.
January 4, 2013
This month’s ideas are fresh and fun for the New Year, helping you create appeal for healthy eating with a fun Drink Think themed game and simple tips for helping kids make their own breakfast. Check ‘em out…
*Take Action! Play the “Size It Up, Measure It Up” Drink Think Game*
Make a healthy SPLASH with a Drink Think. Choose water or low fat milk more often.
Ask kids if they know the number of ounces for milk they can choose in the cafeteria; compare their response to the actual number of ounces. Proceed with a discussion about getting enough milk in a day and how to add it up.
- Pass out the paper plates and instruct each person to write whatever combination of numbers you would like them to practice (whole numbers or fractions)
- Everyone tosses their 3 plates into a designated circle.
- Once they have tossed their plates, they walk to the circle and pick up 3 more plates.
- Instruct each person to: a) add the number of ounces found on each plate and b) calculate the number of ounces they would still need to have to equal 8 ounces of milk in 1 serving.
Follow the link for the entire activity and bonus tips: Drink Think Action Idea
*Use the Breakfast Tip Sheet*
Help Kids Fix Their Own Breakfast
Click the link and then scroll down for the download.
November 29, 2012
- Sign-up for our Wednesday WOWS E-newsletter. Receive simple, easy-to-implement ideas to support healthy eating-physical activity habits for kids. Share the ideas and use them to help put wellness policies into actions.
- Try out a Monthly Activity Idea at a staff meeting and provide the link for interested teachers to get more ideas.
- Recognize teachers who are integrating nutrition and physical activity into daily practices. (Studies show that exercise increases kids’ academic success.) Allow those teachers 10-15 minutes to demonstrate an activity for others.
- Use HKC-CIGNA Mix 6 for Healthy Balance Toolkit for staff wellness, which includes ideas for employers and healthy habit tips handouts for employees.
- Role model healthy choices. For example,
- Add simple stretches or other physical activity during a staff meeting.
- Use a “walk with the principal” (rather than food) to reward students.
November 8, 2012
It might surprise you! This is one unprecedented contest with a truly comprehensive prize package. One lucky school that serves any grades, K-12, will win a comprehensive Healthy School Makeover worth up to $45K! Here’s what the winning school’s Grand Prize package includes:
• SPARK: SPARK Curriculum and Training package, valued at more than $10,000
• Sportime: Equipment package aligned with SPARK program, valued at up to $9,000
• Healthy Kids Challenge: Healthy Kids Challenge “Balance My Day” nutrition curriculum package and training, valued at $2,400
• AAHPERD/NASPE: Customized Lets Move in School training package valued at $4,500
• Skillastics: Two Let’s Move in School Skillastics packages and training, valued at more than $2,000
• Healthy Lifestyle Choices: HLC Curriculum and Training package, valued at $5,500
• GenMove: Equipment, programming and training package valued at $3,300
• The First Tee: The First Tee National School Program curriculum, training and equipment, valued at more than$3,200
• ANNIKA Foundation: Annika Sorenstam to present grand prize to winner
Over 190 schools around the country have submitted videos to try and win a healthy school makeover. Now it’s time for you to help choose the best!
We encourage you to vote once per day through November 14, 2012. By casting a vote you’re demonstrating your support for schools and communities as they try to combat childhood obesity and help youth lead healthier lives.
There are so many amazing, inspirational videos to choose from… which one is your favorite?
Click Here to view the videos and vote for your favorite.
October 18, 2012
Happy National School Lunch Week! This is part 2 in a series of posts we’re doing on celebrating the positive school lunch changes in schools across the country.
Before we celebrate today, I want to challenge you to DO something in honor of National School Lunch Week: Go to a school (your kids’ school, a school in your neighborhood, your old school, any school) to eat lunch and Tweet about the healthy food. Let’s get our schools and our kids on board with eating the new, healthy school meals so they are ready to learn and play! When you Tweet, be sure to add the hashtag #schoolfoodsrule so everyone can follow the conversation.
Now on with the celebration…
C – Chopped. School Nutrition Professionals Compete on the Food Network Show Chopped. See how much these ladies love the kids they serve!
E – Eat with your eyes on the Facebook page of the Child Nutrition Program at Provo School District in Utah.
L – Leading the lunch lines: Middle school students are fruit and veggie ambassadors at Slater Jr. High School in Pawtucket, RI.
E – Enjoy a little taste of Tray Talk.
B – Breaking down barriers: In Akron, Ohio the school lunches are “ahead of the curve.”
R – Rock solid: School Meals that Rock.
A – Adults are cooking up positive role modeling: Check out the food coaching program at Hopkins Public Schools in Minnesota.
T – Take a Deeper Look Into School Lunch.
E – Eat your heart out in Oregon: School lunches: Thoughts and tips from a school chef, a farm to school program director, a dietitian, a vegan blogger and a sixth-grader
Remember to say thank you to your school foodservice directors and staff this week for all their hard work and dedication. Hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s National School Lunch week.
September 20, 2012
Did you know that what kids eat is linked to how well they perform in school? When kids’ basic nutrition and activity needs are met, they have the energy to learn and achieve. So what are the academic benefits of nutrition and physical activity?
- achieve better test scores in reading, writing, and math
- are alert and more prepared to learn
- are more likely to attend school
- show better behavior
- show improved ability to concentrate on their work
- are better able to perform complex tasks
- have higher self-esteem
- manage stress and anxiety better
- are healthier overall, that is, less likely to become ill
Studies show a connection between nutrition, physical activity and students’ academic performance. In fact, Florence and colleagues came to the conclusion that, “above and beyond socioeconomic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance.”
Stay tuned for some simple, fun ways to help kids boost their academic performance using foods and fun moves!
-Parker, L. “The Relationship between Nutrition and Learning: A School Employee’s Guide to Information and Action”. Washington: National Education Association, 1989
-Food and Research Action Center, “Breakfast for Learning”,Child Nutrition Fact Sheet, 2007
-G. C. Rampersaud and others, “Breakfast Habits, Nutritional Status, Body Weight, and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105, no. 5: 743–60, 2005
-California State Board of Education, “State Study Proves Physically Fit Kids Perform Better Academically”. Sacramento CA, 2002
-Castellli DM, et.al. “Physical fitness and academic achievement in third- and fifth-grade students”. J Sport Exerc Psychol. Apr;29(2):239-52, 2007
-Florence MD, et al. Diet Quality and Academic Performance. Journal of School Health, April 2008, Vol. 78, No. 4