Make it Personal

August 22, 2016

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Commitment is an ingredient in the recipe for success. When school wellness team members have a personal interest in wellness, they are much more likely to promote healthy behaviors and participate in creating healthier environments.

School wellness team members have the power to change misconceptions about what a healthy eating means. For too long, many have viewed good nutrition as a “diet” when in fact all foods can fit with balance. Team members become role models and ambassadors for healthy change. MyPlate, Let’s Move, USDA Team Nutrition and Healthy Kids Challenge Balance My Day Curriculum are resources that demonstrate how “all foods can fit” with moderation, variety and healthy balance.

Inspire AWE-some CHANGE

August 16, 2016

Girl Eating Watermelon

AWE-some CHANGE is a measure which you can use to determine the potential success of your actions. HKC coined these acronyms that refer to actions that are…

(For intended audiences)

Appealing and fun

Welcoming and inviting

(and for those implementing actions)

Easy and simple

Repetition of memorable healthy messages helps to further the effectiveness of actions. For example, Healthy Kids Challenge uses catchy names for healthy habits. One of the Healthy6 Habit is Active Play Every Day. Using the name as part of a fun activity helps make physical activity even more appealing. Active Play Every Day, Makes Me Want to Dance is an example of a Healthy Kids Challenge AWE-some activity idea. Kids practice dance steps in PE and are encouraged to teach them to family members. At different times, such as at field days, as a reward, or at a dance party, kids are encouraged to perform the steps.

School Wellness Success

August 10, 2016

Gym Class

As outlined by CDC, there are many benefits to school wellness! However, sometimes the benefits get lost in misunderstanding and interpretations! Communication is a key to getting everyone on board for successful change. Develop simple consistent messages of the links between physical activity, healthy eating, health and academic success. Healthy kids feel and learn better!

Identify opportunities for community partners to express their support. Not only will community partners add credibility to the changes proposed, they can also enhance communication through their networks.

Seek ways for families to participate in decision making and express their concerns. Develop trust through two way conversations. For example, at parent-teacher conferences share (on a bulletin board, or provide as a handout) a healthy snacks list and invite feedback.

Cigna Dallas RSCE Breakfast team

Build support for wellness among school administrators, teachers, nurses, nutrition services staff, families, kids, and community partners! The connection between the increased availability of healthier food choices and physical activity to enhance academic achievement has been demonstrated.

Create excitement to take action by demonstrating strategies that help supporters learn by hearing, seeing, and doing. Take opportunities to serve up healthy snacks with a few learning tips; no one will suspect they just received a mini nutrition education lesson. Plan activities that help people move and find how fun physical activity can be. We call this “Active Play”! Follow the August Healthy Kids Challenge WOWS Newsletters for healthy snacks; plus, learn ideas and other actions to motivate activity that leads to enhanced health and academic achievement.

Healthy Habit Builders

July 25, 2016

Boy_Drinking_Water

We hope the activity ideas for events and health fairs in this month’s blogs and Healthy Kids Challenge WOWS Newsletters have been an inspiration. For those of you who already practice hear-see-do, we respectfully hope you will share your ideas with others. The activity ideas go beyond the typical “tips handout.” They have event goers actually hear a healthy message, see why it is important or how a change is made, and then either commit to make a “shift” to healthier choices or practice what they have observed during the activity.

You can make a difference today for tomorrow. Regardless of where – at home, school, an event, or youth organization – “hear, see, and do” activities improve the potential for the development of healthy habits.

We incorporate this best practice in everything we do. All of the lessons in the Healthy Kids Challenge Curriculum, Balance My Day, incorporate these objectives, too. Whether it is Move and Learn in classroom lessons or optional Taste and Learn activities, the curriculum provides active, hands-on learning.

Swimming

All this month in the Healthy Kids Challenge Newsletter, WOWS, we are providing activity ideas for school and youth organization events and health fairs. Our ideas are for hands-on healthy eating skill building. Ideas also include demonstrations of how moving more can be fun!

The most recent activity, “Plate Dancing,” is something that gets even those who are shy about performing physical activity in front of others moving. It has been successfully used for young kids and well as university students. We encourage you to either use this month’s ideas in planning or to inspire your own variations. Help build options for healthy choices.

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Kids (and adults) learn better when they can hear-see-and-do. As noted in an Eatright (the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) posting, How to Sell “Healthy” to Kids…

“Children are black-and-white thinkers and learn best by hands-on activities. To tell them vegetables are healthy pales in comparison to letting them make a salad or help with a stir-fry. Teens, on the other hand, may want to eat healthy if there is an immediate benefit: a leaner body, more energy, or clearer skin. ‘Healthy’ has to have some pay off for teens.”

To sell “healthy” at home, use MyPlate as a guide and let kids help plan menus and grocery shop along with age appropriate preparation of menu items. At school and youth organization events, use hands-on activities that get kids involved such as the one in a recent Healthy Kids Challenge WOWS newsletter.

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