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:
Throughout the 6-part series, The Healthy Kids Challenge Way to Teach MyPlate to Kids, I’ve noted the fact that we’re only providing parts of the comprehensive lessons. Here is a sample lesson for School Nutrition Services staff, which enhances the classroom MyPlate lessons.
Use this activity to build connections with kids to increase school meal participation and support classroom nutrition education!
Break the Code for Breakfast Power (p. 208, School Nutrition Services Section, Grades 3-5, Balance My DayTM)
- In classroom Breakfast GO Power lessons, kids are learning that breakfast helps give them:
- GO Power to feel less tired
- HEALTH Power with more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients
- BRAIN Power to make learning easier
Materials: Worksheet (p..218), Pencils
1. Collaborate with the teacher(s) to show kids the GO Power of school breakfast!
2. Show kids school breakfast menus and corresponding nutrient analysis. Point out all the different nutrients indicated by the analysis. If your school does not do an analysis, talk about the menu guidelines your are required to use to ensure nutrient needs are met. Bring several Child Nutrition labels to class to show kids how you ensure prepared foods meet guidelines.
3. Use the Break the Code for Breakfast Power Worksheet to reinforce the message.
School Nutrition Services is the ideal partner to enhance the lessons. In addition to reinforcing curriculum lessons, suggested activities create appeal for School Nutrition Services and healthy eating using:
- Bulletin boards
- Theme days and other meal participation marketing
- Classroom connections (including worksheets)
- Family connections
- Active Play: Part 6 of the Healthy Kids Challenge Way to Teach MyPlate to Kids (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Nutrition Education That Works Everywhere Kids Live, Learn, and Play (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
April 1, 2011
Thank you for participating in the Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge during National Nutrition Month 2011. Every weekday of March we have posted on Twitter a new daily color-eating challenge. Our “final four” are here for you. (Coincidentally, the NCAA Final Four is this weekend, but that’s another blog post…)
Week 5 – March 28-31, 2011
1. Try veggies in a veggie – stuffed peppers – for a great tasting snack or side dish. See Del Monte’s healthy recipes for ideas!
2. Canned Counts. Open up a can of veggies or fruit and enjoy for a healthy afternoon snack!
3. Delicious Dessert. Plan to eat fresh or canned fruit for dessert after every evening meal, instead of high fat or sugary options.
4. Dip It. Plan to snack on fresh veggies and add a tasty low-fat dip.
Remember, if you completed the Eat Right with Color Challenge and you tell us about it, you can enter to win a “colorful” prize! Leave a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org !
March 25, 2011
Congrats on making it through week 4; you’re in the home stretch! Here are this week’s Eat Right with Color Challenges for March 21-25, 2011:
1. Color Champions! Increase your kids’ fruit and vegetable intake by trying any one of the tasty winning recipes from last year’s Stirring Up Health Recipe Contest.
2. Eat Right with White. White foods have colorful nutrients too! Kids can try mushrooms and onions on top of a grilled steak, a fresh garden salad, and sliced bananas.
3. Fresh, frozen or canned: It’s easy for kids to eat an additional serving of veggies at dinner tonight. Try an easy Del Monte recipe with added veggies.
4. Go Green! For lunch kids can enjoy a leafy green salad before they eat anything else.
5. Change the texture: Use pureed fruits (berries, apples, peaches, pears) to top kids’ pancakes, French toast or waffles! So different and so yummy!
Hang in there for the final four challenges next week!
March 21, 2011
We’d like to shine the spotlight on our partner Lifeway Foods for their amazing support of nutrition education for kids during their coast-to-coast 25th Anniversary Tour. Their blog post We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1986! gives just a glimpse of the fun atmosphere surrounding the 25th Anniversary celebration! Kicking things off is a fabulous cross-country tour, an 11-week, non-stop party from coast to coast, celebrating everything fun and funky about the 1980s.
What’s YOUR favorite 80′s memory? We’ve got some staffers who grew up in the 80′s and they’ve shared just a few: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Boomboxes and cassette tapes, and BIG Hair and side ponytails! Add your own favorites on Lifeway’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LifewayKefir!
The tour kicked off last week at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Now the retro road trip is hitting the road, with plans for weeklong stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Boston. The party will culminate in New York City, with Lifeway Foods Executives ringing the NASDAQ stock market closing bell in Times Square on May 16.
Health-conscious families, college students, and fitness enthusiasts alike are invited to the free festivities, which will celebrate the 1980s with an awesome modern twist. Activities include
- pedaling the customized human-powered blender bike, blending tasty Lifeway Kefir smoothies
- taking a blast-from-the past 1980s-styled photo using green screen technology
- participating in digital games
- enjoying Foursquare check-in prizes and
- sampling Lifeway’s healthy and delicious lowfat flavors, including new Birthday Cake flavor!
In addition to throwing this totally rad party to commemorate 25 years in business, Lifeway Foods will donate a total of $25,000 to Healthy Kids Challenge. The goal is to have guests in each city generate 2,500 minutes of pedal power on the human-powered blender bikes within the week. For every minute a guest pedals, Lifeway will donate $1 to the organization. Lifeway’s donation will enable us to expand the number of schools and youth organizations we can support with our nutrition education programs in the ten cities the anniversary tour visits.
According to Edward and Julie Smolyansky, CFO and CEO of Lifeway Foods, respectively,
“We are beyond excited to reach this milestone in our company history and celebrate with a national 80s themed anniversary party! Because kefir is a nutritional beverage loaded with probiotics, calcium and protein, Healthy Kids Challenge is the perfect partner for Lifeway Foods as we are both focused on nutrition and the importance of living a healthy life.”
We are thrilled that Lifeway Foods has chosen Healthy Kids Challenge as the beneficiary of their generous donation. Together we can make a difference in young people’s lives!
Want to see if the tour will be in a city near you? Check out our map here.
To stay updated on Lifeway’s 25th Anniversary mobile tour, “Like” Lifeway Kefir on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifewaykefir or follow Lifeway on Twitter @lifeway_kefir.
March 17, 2011
1. Veggie Fresh. At the market, make it a point to purchase some fresh vegetables on sale and eat them for a meal within 24 hours.
2. Color your snack with calcium. Try low-fat cheese and apple slices, use blended low-fat cottage cheese as a veggie dip, top canned fruits with low-fat yogurt, or drink a glass of low-fat milk.
3. Canned on hand? Eat a can of veggies from your pantry. Keep a good supply using Del Monte’s handy pantry list.
4. Be Creative! Combine different fruit and veggie colors and flavors. Strawberries/bananas, tomatoes/peppers, or pineapple salsa.
5. Nature’s Fast Food. Carry home-made fruit snack packs when traveling or on the go!
Coming up next week are colorful recipe and texture challenges…
March 10, 2011
Welcome back to Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge! How did you color your daily diet this week? Was it easier than last week?
Week 2 – March 7-11, 2011
1.Rate Your Plate! Find out how you rate when it comes to making daily meal choices. http://www.eatright.org/NNM/content.aspx?id=5334
2.Color your plate with whole grains & explore the variety! Try barley, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa; in a soup, side dish or salad.
3.Fruit Snacks. Try fruit as part of one snack each day. Choose from your favorite fruit – fresh, frozen, canned or dried!
4.Veggies PLUS. Eat an additional serving of veggies for dinner every day; Del Monte’s Recipes for Wellness make it easy!
5.Healthy Dessert Alert. Have applesauce, fruit cocktail, or canned peaches for dessert.
Remember the weekends count too! Here’s what to do: Pick one of this week’s challenges and repeat it on Saturday. Repeat it again on Sunday, or pick another for Sunday. It’s simple!
Coming up…canned veggie ideas and more!
January 24, 2011
The time to act is now. We all have a role and a responsibility in healthy school meals even if we aren’t the cooks in the kitchen! Anyone at school can take at least one action today:
1. Make your voice heard.
- Comment on the USDA’s proposed changes to nutrition standards for school meals at www.regulations.gov. If you want to review the proposed changes, click here. A press release from USDA also outlines the changes which include MORE fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat and fat free milk; and LESS saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and calories.
2. Make one simple change.
- The HKC best practice,School Foodservice Makes a Healthy Impact, shows that a simple menu addition of Ranch dressing and raw veggies can increase healthy veggie choices made by kids at lunch! Don’t think it’s that simple? Just start the conversation and you might be surprised what’s possible yet today!
3. Share a Tray of the Day for Success at School.
- Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, a dietitian and author of Nutrition for the Future blog, hosts the Facebook page School Meals That Rock. This is a place to share what is RIGHT with school nutrition in America. Share your “Tray of the Day” by sending a photo, with date served and a brief description of the meal to email@example.com.
Many, many more steps exist, but I hope you can start where you are today!
December 28, 2010
Get in on the action at the Walk Through the PyramidTM during the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend Expo. Thousands of families will get to actually walk through the food pyramid, learning healthy food choices and getting some activity at the same time! Healthy Kids Challenge® and presenting sponsor CIGNA are partners with the goal of educating families about making healthy behavior a priority and to help children integrate these habits into their everyday routines.
Even in the rain and freezing temperatures last year, CIGNA employees’ families were among Walk Through the Pyramid participants who waited in line for the experience.
“My kids were there and loved the Healthy Kids Challenge experience. They wore their pyramid bracelets the whole weekend!” Patty Caballero, CIGNA
CIGNA and Healthy Kids Challenge have collaborated for several years, working together to develop and implement programs that drive behavioral changes in many important settings where kids and families live, learn, work and play.
This year one of our Healthy Kids Challenge staff will join the CIGNA running team at the races as well! Tiffany ran her first marathon at Disney World in 2008 (see previous post), and this year she has accepted an even greater challenge – she is racing Goofys Race and a Half Challenge.
We at Healthy Kids Challenge acknowledge Tiffany and all the CIGNA runners for truly making healthy behavior a priority for themselves and their families! Of course showing off a Mickey or a Goofy medal will be fun, too!
Remember to participate in the Walk Through the Pyramid and meet our “Goofy Challenger” from Healthy Kids Challenge!
November 30, 2010
Healthy Kids Challenge and Field Trip Factory are partnering to share joint visions in guiding communities to make healthy living a habit for kids and their families. Field Trip Factory has been a leader in experience-based learning for over 15 years.
In many communities, Field Trip Factory is providing community-based field trips, which address a variety of social needs and also support children’s classroom curriculum. The Nutrition, Health & Wellness field trips transform local grocery aisles into learning centers as students sample their way to a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy, making smart choices and learning how to integrate exercise into daily living are the primary messages of these hands-on field trips. The following field trips are hosted by local grocers:
- Healthy Eaters
- Well-balanced Kids
- Be A Smart Shopper!
- Guiding Stars
- A Healthy Me by the Numbers
- Be A Healthy Shopper
- Explore the Store!
- Kid Healthy Ideas
- Be a Healthy Buddy
- Challenge Your Health IQ
Use the ZIP Code Finder to see what’s available in your community!