June 28, 2012
Now ALL grade levels of Balance My Day™ – from Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade – utilize MyPlate as a teaching tool!
“Balance My Day™ Curriculum is THE most comprehensive and realistic nutrition education curriculum I’ve seen in my 25 years of practicing nutrition education. This guide is a thorough, easy-to-use tool that RDs, nutrition educators, foodservice personnel, teachers, administrators and parents will benefit from. I appreciate that there are kid’s activities, fitness activities, bulletin board ideas and lesson plans all wrapped up in one book.” — Jane Pelkki, MPH, RD LD
With Balance My Day™…
Move and Learn!
Every classroom lesson is enhanced with an activity that adds more movement to the day! Move and Learn can be implemented in the classroom or to enhance nutrition education in PE.
Taste and Learn!
As enhancements or for cooking classes, kids prepare a simple great-tasting recipe and learn healthy eating skills.
School Nutrition Services activities put the “polish” on healthier choices as the easy to make and appealing choices!
Healthy Kids Challenge® connects nutrition education and physical activity with every day ideas! Nothing shows how to make the connection better than the nutrition education curriculum, Balance My Day™!
May 17, 2012
Emma Williams of Harding Academy, Searcy, AR., won a “Chef for a Day” with her whole grain recipe, Fruity Chicken and Rice Salad. Emma cooks a lot with her family. From that experience, she has learned to incorporate MyPlate guidelines in her every day eating. She showed us that by adding whole grain, brown rice and kid-friendly ingredients to this recipe entry.
“I came up with this recipe so I could make a fast and healthy school lunch instead of ‘just’ a plain sandwich.” – Emma
Fruity Chicken and Rice Salad
1 (13 oz.) can chicken breast meat, packed in water
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, in own juices
½ c. dried cranberries
1 c. cooked brown rice
1 medium red apple, diced
¼ c. low fat mayonnaise
1 pkg. whole wheat sandwich thins
- Drain and flake the chicken into a mixing bowl.
- Drain the canned pineapple and add to the mixing bowl along with the cranberries, rice and apples. Mix well.
- Fold the mayonnaise into the bowl ingredients and coat well.
- Serve as a sandwich with lettuce leaves, or on a lettuce bed as a salad, garnished with dried cranberries or sliced apples.
- Serve either recipe variation with a glass of skim milk to include all 5 MyPlate food groups in this lunch meal.
- Store leftover salad mixture in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 4 days.
For more award-winning recipes from the 2012 Stirring Up Health Recipe Contest, click here.
May 3, 2012
This specialty PB&T(Peanut Butter and Tuna) recipe won Justin Brownell a “Chef for a Day” at his junior high school in Wappingers Falls, NY, by entering the “Stirring Up Health™” recipe contest. Justin enjoys getting into the kitchen to try healthy foods and new tastes. “After eating at a Thai restaurant and liking a seafood dish with peanut sauce, I tried to create something similar to fix at home,” he explained. Justin realizes he feels better and is able to perform better at school and during afterschool sports when he’s eating healthy foods.
2 Tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
½ tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. sweet red chili sauce
2 Tbsp. low fat mayonnaise
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 (5 oz.) can tuna, packed in water (*Can substitute canned chicken for a PB&C)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. scallions, sliced
2 Tbsp. walnuts, chopped
¾ c. red cabbage, thinly sliced
6 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 small whole wheat sandwich wrappers
- Microwave the peanut butter for 30 seconds in a medium-size microwavable mixing bowl.
- Whisk the heated peanut butter and add the next 9 listed ingredients, mixing well.
- Drain the canned tuna and add to the mixing bowl, along with the cilantro, scallions and walnuts. Toss the ingredients.
- Spread 1/3 of the tuna mixture in the middle of each sandwich wrapper.
- Top each wrapper with 1/3 each of the red cabbage, carrots, and red bell pepper.
- Roll the wrappers up by folding in the long sides first, then rolling from bottom to top, as tight as possible.
- Cut in half on the diagonal.
- Serve with 1% or skim milk and fresh fruit to include all 5 MyPlate food groups in this meal.
For more award-winning recipes from the 2012 Stirring Up Health™ Recipe Contest, click here.
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!