September 13, 2012
- Using a MyPlate poster, point out the fruit and vegetable food groups.
- Have kids draw the MyPlate icon on a paper plate.
- Ask kids what veggies they eat. Instruct them to write in the veggie section of MyPlate, all the different veggies they usually eat.Find the full activity – and more ideas – on our September Monthly Action Idea page.
Active Play – Fun Moves Everywhere
This month our parent tip sheet focuses on Active Play. Click the link, scroll to the bottom of the page, download it and share!
Challenge yourself and your family to try these ideas to add more healthy activity into your day! Every little bit helps and soon a little bit, can make a BIG difference.
Active Play Every Day is one of the HKC Healthy6 messages, and matches up with MyPlate key messages teaching kids to “Be Active Your Way”. Teach Active Play to kids using this lesson titled Active Play in Every Day. Utilize MyPlate and activities kids enjoy to help kids hear, see, and practice the lesson.
Active Play in Every Day (Lesson 7: Grades 3-5, Balance My DayTM)
Outcomes: HECAT Standards 1.11, 1.15
Sample Discussion Point: For most kids, eating a healthy plate and less of high fat and added sugar foods, plus 60 minutes of Active Play every day gives healthy balance. If you eat too much fat and sugar, it is hard or impossible to get enough Active Play to balance the “energy in”.
Sample Discussion Question: If you have more “energy in” (food or drink), than the “energy out”, what can happen?
1. Divide kids into teams of 4. Explain that too much TV and screen time (like computers and video games) keep kids and adults from getting enough Active Play.
2. Ask teams to come up with 4 kinds of Active Play with these “rules”:
- The activities are something everyone on the team likes. Finding things you like to do together is a way you and your friends can encourage each other to be active.
- They are activities most people can do at any time and they do not cost or require traveling far to participate.
3. As a whole group, ask teams to share and discuss their activity ideas. If time allows, perform some of the Active Play ideas.
4. Distribute the Lesson 7 Worksheet. Guide kids to individually complete the worksheet.
Move and Learn
Perform “My Body” – An activity of song and motion!
1. Practice singing the following lyrics to the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean:
-My body lies over the sofa.
-My body watches too much TV.
-My body lies over the armchair, oh bring back my body to me.
-Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my body to me, to me.
-Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my body to me.
2. Once the class is familiar with the lyrics, explain they should sit or stand each time they sing a word beginning with “b”.
3. Start in a standing position. (At the end, everyone should be standing.)
4. Explain too much TV and screen time means less Active Play and less “energy in” balance.
5. Choose at least 60 minutes of Active Play every day.
Healthy weight happens when “energy in” (food and drinks) = “energy out” (Active Play”). Too much high fat and added sugar food can overload “energy in”, making it hard to get enough Active Play for good balance.
These are just sample parts of Lesson 7 – the sample lesson activity and the Move and Learn activity are from p. 111 in grades 3-5 Balance My Day Nutrition Education Curriculum. The worksheet, , discussion points and questions, and answer key are available for your review, along with school nutrition services and Taste and Learn activities supporting this lesson. Learn more on the Balance My Day Nutrition Education Curriculum page, or contact us with questions.
- Snack Attack: Part 5 of the Healthy Kids Challenge Way to Teach MyPlate to Kids (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Fruits & Vegetables: Part 2 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)
May 5, 2011
Healthy Kids Challenge has a saying “Kids C.A.N.” (Connect Activity and Nutrition) and puts those words into ACTION! We refer to physical activity as Active Play as a reminder that it is easier for physical activity to become a daily habit when it is enjoyable. So click here and ENJOY this sample lesson connecting active play with learning healthy breakfast habits. For more ideas and tips, see the new page on our web site dedicated to Active Play, Balance My Day.
January 10, 2011
This month we’re featuring answers to three physical education and activity questions we hear most from teachers.
1. I want simple games and activities that improve hand/eye coordination (which we know is great for reading skills too!).
Striking activities work very well to improve hand-eye coordination. In the SPARK K-2 unit choose activities from the Dribbling, Volleying, and Striking Unit, and in the 3-6 curriculum try the racquets and paddles unit. These units will provide fun and easy activities to develop their skills.
2. I know SPARK has been well researched and found to be a leading PE program. Can you explain what sets SPARK aside from others out there?
SPARK has been proven to work and last. Over 45 publications have been written to support this claim. SPARK is the ONLY National Institutes of Health researched program that positively affects ALL of these outcomes: Activity levels, fitness, sport skills, enjoyment, and academic achievement. Teachers improve the quality and quantity of instruction, and the positive effects of SPARK are lasting.
3. How do I get our coaches to embrace SPARK and what they offer?
Share the valuable content and resources that SPARK has to offer. This includes instructional units designed to increase fitness levels, develop sport-specific skills, and promote cooperation, teamwork, and lifetime activity. In the sport-skill units, students practice basic skills and apply strategies during individual skill builders, partner challenges, and small-sided modified games.
Let us know what you think of these questions and answers! If your school needs to develop a healthier environment, together, SPARK and HKC offer an “IGNITE a Healthy Environment” Program.
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!
October 19, 2010
Prairie Point Elementary is making strides in integrating physical activity into the school day! See a snapshot of what this school accomplished in 2 years of working with Healthy Kids Challenge through the HKC-CIGNA Showcase School Challenge. And these are only the physical activity highlights!
- Increased minutes of motion in 100% of classrooms by 30 minutes per week; a 30% increase over the previous year! Collectively, students are getting an additional 15,000 minutes of activity each week! Some of the steps to this success included:
- Integrated activity bursts into core curriculum, which increased from 0% to 40% of classrooms every day.
- School district purchased beach balls and scarves for 100% of classrooms.
- 100% students, 95% teachers, and 5% parents took a 1-week physical activity challenge. After taking the challenge 55% of participants said they had more physical activity because of the challenge.
- Walking school bus (one day per week for 8 weeks) participation was 23% students, 3% parents, and 1% staff. After the 8 week program, 50% reported they had more physical activity because of the program.
- 90% of 3rd – 5th grade teachers reported improved student focus in their classrooms since implementing physical activity changes.
- 50% more staff are participating in wellness activities since becoming a Showcase School.
- 100% of staff and students participated in new bi-monthly walks. More than 2,250 miles have been walked collectively!
- 200% increase in the number of events that send healthy messages or include physical activity in just this school year!
“HKC has achieved many things and its importance is obvious! It was an eye opening experience on how the little things can really add up to a lot. I like the module that talks about instead of doing something new, keep what exists and make it better.” CIGNA Showcase School, Prairie Point Elementary, Kansas City, MO, Andrea Best, Health Room Aide
School-wide minutes of motion were added last year, but administration challenged the staff to add even more physical activity throughout the school day this year. Guidance and ideas from Healthy Kids Challenge, faculty meetings, and an on-site presentation helped staff meet the challenge this year. Here is a sampling of how movement was integrated throughout the school environment:
- More movement to and from classes: students could be seen hopping to lunch, walking backwards to their classroom, or doing hand work on their way to computer lab.
- More movement during class: every classroom teacher energized students with quick brain breaks
- More movement as a reward for good behavior: an extra 20 -minute recess on Fridays for 192 students in 2 grade levels
- More movement during special events: A Spirit assembly held all-school relays and a Holiday assembly challenged students and staff in snowman-building and reindeer races.
By the end of the year, the increased physical movement outside of P.E. resulted in 100% of the 24 classrooms having added brain breaks,
23 (96%) integrated activity into curriculum,
8 (33%) added minutes of recess, and
23 (96%) increased movement during recess.
That is approximately 20 minutes more physical activity for all 506 students weekly as compared to last year.
The total minutes added per student for the entire year: 720!
“The entire school – 506 students in 24 classrooms – doubled the minutes of motion compared to last year. Teachers love the Jammin’ Minutes I send out once a week with classroom ideas for brain breaks and more. Staff enjoy the interaction with the students and are seeing the benefits of it.” CIGNA Showcase School, Prairie Point Elementary, Kansas City, MO, Andrea Best, Health Room Aide
September 28, 2010
This month we’re featuring answers to four physical education and activity questions we hear most from teachers.
1. Some kids are so competitive and into sports and others who aren’t so inclined often feel left out in recreational sport activities, but do enjoy participating. Suggestions?
Choose activities that are less sport oriented and use ones that ensure everyone is moving at the same time. If there are teams involved they should be small in numbers so all students have the opportunity to participate. Finding activities that focus on movement and not “athletic ability” helps all students feel comfortable participating.
2. What works for discipline instead of taking away recess time or the whole recess?
Focus on positive behaviors. By choosing to provide only consequences we are focusing on the negative behavior. Instead try increasing appropriate behavior and choosing content that encourages students to stay on task. Focusing on rewarding and encouraging positive behavior goes a long way in reaching the behavior you desire in your students.
3. I need ideas for brain breaks in the classroom, where do I go to get some?
There are a lot of websites that have great ideas and valuable information supporting the need for brain breaks in the classroom. Some websites include Action-Based Learning (abllab.com), Brain Gym (braingym.org), and North Carolina Physical Education is Active (ncpe4me.com).
4. Who makes the rules for the amount of PE time in school each week? Does it change as the kids get older?
The mandates are usually made at the state level with a minimum number of minutes per week required. It is up to individual districts and schools to enforce these requirements and they are able to increase the number of minutes required if they choose to do so. As students move from elementary school to middle school and high school, the number of required minutes increases. In many states, 150 minutes is required at the elementary level and 225 minutes is required at the secondary level.
Let us know what you think of these questions and answers! If your school needs to develop a healthier environment, together, SPARK and HKC offer an “IGNITE a Healthy Environment” Program (Click here for more info).
During Taste of Chicago at the Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC) Walk Through the Pyramid over 1,000 kids and families walked through MyPyramid food groups, talked to the dancing carrot, and got moo-ful tips from the milk group cow while learning more about healthy eating and physical activity! Del Monte Foods, a sponsor for both this year’s Healthy Kids Challenge Walk Through the Pyramid and Ready, Set, Cook and Eat events, helped bring edu-tainment at its best!
All day long, moms, dads, caregivers and youth group leaders engaged their kids in healthy eating and physical activity conversations. At every food group, participants saw and touched healthy food choices. In the physical activity area kids were spotted moving and grooving to the “slide”, hopping, jumping, and laughing! One dad led his whole physical activity pyramid section in chanting “You are awesome!”
Everyone walked away with a Del Monte beach ball and a bracelet reminder of how to balance healthy eating choices with physical activity. Parents left with quick, healthy Del Monte recipe ideas and experienced how easy and fun healthy living habits can become. Two parents were heard saying, “This is so clever!” and “This is great, hope to see you again next year”.
Also at the Taste of Chicago Family Village, the words “Ready – Set – Cook!” kicked off delicious ideas and healthy fun!
The event’s message was Breakfast GO Power. To begin the fun, three teams comprised of one adult and 3 kids chose names like “Delicious”, “The Hot Plates”, and “The Cooks”. Each team was given a “surprise” bag of groceries and asked to create an appealing healthy meal. While the teams were cooking, the audience participated in the edu-tainment, providing creative breakfast ideas of their own. As a reminder to balance healthy eating choices with physical activity, the audience won Del Monte beach balls.
The results were healthy fun for all and quick creative breakfast ideas like breakfast “appetizer trays”, burritos and a yummy morning sandwich. One of the team leaders,a youth group director, described the experience by saying “This was fun and good for the kids!”
Executive Director, Vickie L. James, RD, LD, summed up HKC’s second year to participate in the Taste of Chicago’s Family Village by saying, “We’re thrilled to have been a part of ‘America’s City Picnic’, showcasing affordable, simple steps for Chicagoans to create healthy lifestyles. Events like this further HKC’s efforts to meet First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move challenge for us all to be a solution to building healthy communities.”
Sarah Ludmer, RD, LD, Senior Nutritionist for Del Monte Foods said, “Del Monte is proud to be a part of such a unique event that brings family and health together. Our products make it easier for kids and parents to incorporate nutrition into their everyday lives.”
March 15, 2010
A Healthy Kids Challenge view of school physical education standards when it comes to wellness…and one of our simple, every day, evidence-based solutions.
What Schools Tell Us:
What do you do when physical education time gets whittled away to accommodate for school musical programs and special events?
Based on the Bridging the Gap research program, many districts had policies that required a specific amount of time for physical activity, but not for physical education. In this way, some district policies actually encouraged schools to fall below recommendations of the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) for time spent in physical education (i.e., 150 minutes of physical education per week at the elementary level and 225 minutes per week at the middle and high school levels).
Support recommendations of the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) for school time spent in physical education. Give physical education respect like other class curriculum topics. Share best practice ideas with physical educators you know, like the one below!
The HKC best practice, Goal Setting Motivates Kids, shows a fun pedometer activity that increases minutes of motion in P.E. class when kids set their own goals.
Putting Physical Education into Action = Best Practice
Share your physical education ideas with us!
Healthy Kids Challenge commends First Lady Michelle Obama for her attention to kids’ health. The First Lady has unveiled Let’s Move, a national campaign to get kids healthy and keep them healthy. Let’s Move will engage people across the business, school, community, healthcare and family sectors. The extensive plan will generate actions to provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.
Let’s Move is a four prong approach -
- Helping parents make healthy family choices
- Healthier foods in schools
- Access to healthier, affordable foods
- Increasing physical activity
What can YOU do to help?
- Go to the Let’s Move campaign’s new Web site, review the content, and CHALLENGE yourself to MOVE and do something. Whether it be a personal healthy change within your family, volunteering time with youth programs, or supporting systems change in your community, take that first step!
- Share your ideas, tips, and success stories with us, and with others because we’re all in this together! Support systems are critical to sustainable healthy change!
- Blog with HKC! We would love for this blog to serve as an opportunity to build a healthy community of followers interested personally and professionally in kids’ health. Your challenges, best practices, frustrations, and vision for kids’ health are important for us to move to the next level of helping combat childhood obesity in a real world, financially feasible, time sensitive way.
What can Healthy Kids Challenge do to help YOU make a difference for kids?
As a leader for kids’ health, if you are seeking resources to help you with your change process, consider HKC simple solutions. If you need training, teaching tools, or distance assistance, Healthy Kids Challenge is positioned to help guide leaders looking for simple solutions to eat, move and enjoy a healthy balance.