Get Your Plate in Shape with Active Play

March 29, 2012

Boy with MyPlate foodsGirl with MyPlate foods

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.

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