And the winner of the Get Your Plate in Shape Challenge is Liz Samball. Liz won a Healthy Kids Challenge T-shirt and a set of Explore MyPlate wristbands for her pictures and story about how she helps kids get their plates in shape. Congrats, Liz! Check out her pictures and success story!
And speaking of winning…everyone wins with when a garden grows! Don’t you agree? This month just happens to be National Garden Month, too. I have a wonderful case of spring fever right now, so I have to share with you my latest web resources for gardening…gardening with kids of course!
Kids Gardening is a wonderful resource from the National Gardening Association, with a plethora of info., including their sections devoted to school gardening and family gardening. I have so much more to share about gardens in the next couple of weeks, so to close this week I simply challenge you to take one simple action to get your garden started!
While You’re Waiting for Our Winner, Check out These Easy To Use Afterschool and Summer Program Ideas
April 5, 2012
We are getting ready to announce the overall winner of the Get Your Plate in Shape Challenge next week, so hang in there. Thanks so much for participating! If you want to peek at all the kids’ plates, they are in a picture album on our Healthy Kids Challenge Facebook page.
Do you need easy to use afterschool or summer programming ideas? I have compiled 6 Easy to Use Afterschool and Summer Programming Ideas to keep you busy planning and prepping. These should build on the information you received in the E-newsletter this week. If you don’t receive our E-newsletter, and you would like to, be sure to sign up for it here.
Each of these activity ideas can be used alone or combine all 6 to make a comprehensive sequence of Healthy6 messaging for your program. Enjoy!
- A Balanced Day – a Healthy6 Snack Attack activity
- Active Play in Every Day – a Healthy6 Active Play activity
- Fruits and Veggies Crunch and Munch – A Healthy6 Fruits and Veggies activity
- MyPlate, MyPlanning Tool – A Healthy6 Breakfast activity
- Smart Servings Balancer Choices – A Healthy6 Smart Servings activity
- Think Breakfast Drinks – A Healthy6 Drink Think activity
March 29, 2012
Our fan, Liz Samball, PE/Health teacher at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, DC, wins recognition this week of the Challenge for shaping up her students’ plates! She sent photos and a fun group activity.
She is incorporating healthy eating messages along with her physical education classes. Methods that Healthy Kids Challenge promotes!
Every March we do a large unit on nutrition that ends with a food project. This year, the students were challenged to create a real life MyPlate snack. These two students not only chose a food for each food group but put them on their plates in the correct wedge. Here are some food choices kids selected for their plates.
- Fruit- fresh strawberries; also dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries; and apple chips for a crunchy snack that’s healthier than potato chips
- Vegetable- sugar snap peas, celery, and some students were brave enough to try edamame for the first time and liked it
- Dairy- low fat Greek yogurt for a fruit dip, and almond milk for those that are lactose intolerant
- Grains- whole grain crackers
- Meat and Protein- almonds and low fat turkey pepperoni
- Oils and Fats- light Ranch dressing for a veggie dip
All students agreed that the snack was healthy and delicious! – Liz Samball
Now, here are some active play ideas for you to use to get more movement in your day!
- Schedule It In. Make active play a priority by scheduling time for it this month into your personal planners, family calendars and work appointments. Set a date for healthy active play today!
- Out and Back. Greet the morning sun! Get up a 1/2 hour earlier 3 days a week to walk 15 minutes out from the house and back. If mornings don’t work, walk as soon as you get home from work before evening actitivities begin.
- Enjoy Nature. Gather friends or family to bicycle through flowering neighborhoods, walk through public gardens, or play in the local parks. Plan to visit and actively play at a new location each weekend this month.
- Learn Something New. Renew your exercise routine with a new outdoor sport or game. Learn to play tennis, Frisbee golf, hacky sack, sand volleyball, outdoor racquetball or handball. Check your local community center for beginner classes.
For more Active Play, Every Day ideas, go to our Active Play web page. Last but not least, be sure to check out this new Active Play resource: Playing Smart - A nuts-and-bolts guide designed to help school staff and other community leaders craft and implement joint use agreements. This is produced through a partnership between NPLAN and KaBoom.
March 22, 2012
Our fan, Karalee, wins recognition this second week of the Challenge for shaping up her snack with fruit – strawberries, strawberries, strawberries! Remember that small changes are the most sustainable. Simply adding a serving of fruit to a snack is an easy way to shape up your plate.
And speaking of recognition, we are so excited to share with you that our very own, Vickie James, RD, LD, has just been inducted into the MDPA Hall of Fame! The Marketing Disease Prevention + Awareness (MDPA) Hall of Fame is designed to honor those who have made substantial strides in helping to improve health through better efforts in marketing, communication, and improving awareness of important health issues. The focus of those inducted in this year’s class will be based on their contributions to fighting the epidemic of childhood obesity.
A hallmark of the Healthy Kids Challenge® is making healthy easier through our “Healthy6 messages”. When kids like Karalee find it easy to eat juicy, fresh strawberries for a snack every day, it is real world proof that “Fruits and Veggies Every Day the Tasty Way” is not only achievable, but sustainable. Find more simple, every day ways to add fruits and veggies to your day on our Healthy6 web pages.
Remember to show us how YOU shape up kids’ plates during this National Nutrition Month by sending your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
March 15, 2012
This young lady wins recognition for shaping up her breakfast with fruit. Small, simple, healthy changes are the most sustainable. This first weekly winner now gets a chance to win Healthy Kids Challenge Explore MyPlate wristbands and a fun, healthy-themed T-shirt.
Show us how you shape up kids’ plates during this National Nutrition Month by sending your pics to email@example.com.
“My son is loving his homemade 100% whole grain macaroni and cheese. My kids really can’t tell the difference between whole grain pasta and the refined white version.”
Be a part of our “Get Your Plate in Shape” Challenge! Add more fruits and veggies to your plate, try a new healthy food, drink low fat milk, whatever you and/or your family are willing to do!
- Send your family or kids photos and a description of how you changed your plate to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Look for your photos featured on Facebook and at www.healthykidschalllenge.com. You have a chance to be recognized as the Challenge winner and receive a fun Healthy Kids Challenge T-shirt and Explore MyPlate wristbands.
- Enjoy simple tips to get your plate in shape every day during National Nutrition Month on Facebook ( LIKE Us on Facebook) and our other social media sites.
- For further plate shaping ideas and a healthy recipe, visit HKC.
- Do something TODAY, March 8th, the official “What’s On My Plate?” Day!
March 1, 2012
Kids and families: We are issuing you a healthy CHALLENGE to Get Your Plate in Shape during this 2012 National Nutrition Month.
Starting today, send us pics of your kids and families showing your plates in shape — in MyPlate shape, that is — and tell us what you did to shape ‘em up! Send photos of your kids and family shaping up their plate to email@example.com. Look for your photos featured on Facebook and at www.healthykidschallenge.com, and a chance to become the overall “Challenge” winner!
Enjoy one simple way to get your plate in shape every day throughout National Nutrition Month on Facebook (LIKE us on Facebook) and all our social networking sites.
To get you off to a great start, here are simple tips to improve your plate’s shape!
- Create Color. Fill half your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and veggies! Use fresh, canned, frozen or dried to appeal to any age or taste.
- Add Whole Grains. Make “half your grains whole” by adding brown rice or barley as side dishes, or 100% whole wheat breads to your plate.
- Choose Lean Proteins. Use lean meats; fish, white chicken and turkey meat, extra lean beef and pork. Use lean cooking methods such as baking or broiling. Include beans and lentils in casseroles and side dishes.
- Include Low Fat Dairy. Get a healthy dose of calcium by drinking 1% or skim milk at meals! Use low fat cheeses, sour cream and yogurt in dishes.
- Take the Challenge! Get Your Plate in Shape in March for National Nutrition Month. Send photos of your kids and family shaping up their plate to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tell us what you did to get it in shape! Look for your photos featured on Facebook and at www.healthykidschallenge.com, and a chance to become the overall “Challenge” winner!
February 16, 2012
Kids and families: We are issuing you a healthy CHALLENGE to Get Your Plate in Shape in honor of National Nutrition Month, beginning March 1st, 2012 .
During March, send us pics of your kids and families showing your plates in shape — in MyPlate shape, that is — and tell us what you did to shape ‘em up with healthier food choices!
Enjoy one simple way to get your plate in shape every day throughout National Nutrition Month and share on Facebook and all our social networking sites. We’ll feature your photos on our website, newsletters, and choose an overall Challenge winner at the end of the month. Stay tuned for the details!
February 2, 2012
I’ll be the first to admit that Healthy Kids Challenge makes it a top priority to create, and recognize, win-win situations when it comes to the health of our children. Regarding the final USDA rules for school lunch, they are a huge step forward in improving school nutrition.
They also serve to create a win-win in the middle of an overall “food fight” mentality:
- Win by eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy
- Win by eating less fat and sodium
- Win by serving proper portions
Sounds a whole lot like MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, eh? I bet that’s not an accident.
I am by no means saying they are THE solution. They join the growing body of healthy sustainable changes; ultimately leading to a healthy environment for our kids (and all of us, really). It took months of compromises, public comments, trade groups, politics, and more, to come to these final rules. The end result is a set of rules that everyone can benefit from – #1 being our kids. Yes, there is still work to be done. It’s going to take creativity and cooperation to make budgets and timelines work. But we are all on the same team. And now we can move forward and make the best of the situation, with what we have, wherever we are.
In that spirit, I’d like to offer some tips to help you do what you can to make your own school’s meals into a win-win situation.
Show and Tell. Create a bulletin board or display table in the cafeteria showing some of the new foods and options that will be coming to your school’s meals.
Leader Lunch. Invite key administrators and school board members to lunch! Let them sample a tray made from the new menu. Present the guidelines and explain how you will implement them. Here is a sample menu from USDA.
Teach Teachers. Create a simple fact sheet about the new guidelines. Share at their staff meetings. Invite them to try new, improved school lunches.
Ask Students. If you already have a student advisory group, have them complete some menu surveys. If not, select a small group of students to survey. Ask questions about favorite fruit and veggie choices and whole grain foods to assist you with your menu planning.
For the official USDA press release and actual standards, click here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/PressReleases/2012/0023.htm
September 29, 2011
I have some exciting new kids’ contests to share with you as we come to the end of “Fruits & Veggies-More Matters” month!
- The first one is the Stirring Up Health National Middle School Recipe Contest.
- The goal is to engage the kids you know to create or modify a recipe to make it healthier, using USDA MyPlate guidelines. Two of the categories are Fruits and Vegetables.
- The contest is open September 1, 2011 – March 2, 2012 to all kids currently enrolled in 7th or 8th grade. Prizes include: Chef for a Day for 5 National Winners: A J&W University chef will prepare YOUR recipe with you at a school or youth group event!
- Go to the Kids’ Recipe Contest web page for entry rules, sample recipes, and past winners with the chefs who came to their schools!
- The second one is the MyPlate Fruits & Veggies Video Challenge.
- Create short videos (approximately 30 seconds) showing how you’re adding fruits and vegetables to your diet without spending a lot of money.
- 3 categories:
- Tips for kids
- Tips when eating at home
- Tips when eating away from home
- The goal of the challenge is to encourage healthy eating habits using MyPlate, which includes making half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- The third one is, admittedly, not a contest but a pledge. We think it’s so important that you personally take action that I want to challenge you to take this pledge today. It’s to join America’s More Matters Pledge for fruits and veggies. You could make this one into a contest by challenging kids to see which class or group can have the most taking the pledge!
It has been fun to share all these resources with you this month. Let me know if you want more along this line!
- 5 Kids Activities for Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Favorite Kids’ Fruit and Vegetable Cooking Activities (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Continue the MyPlate series? Start a new one? (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)