Kindergarten children eating lunch

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) resource HEALTH AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT makes it clear that healthy eating and physical activity are linked to academic achievement. This means it is very much worth ensuring that we take the time to make it the most effective.

The Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum foundation has set the stage with learning theories and evidence based content for the greatest success. The content is built on the foundation of six healthy habit messages: daily physical activity and choosing breakfast, fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, right-size portions, and healthy beverages. The curriculum meets standards recommended by the CDC HECAT (Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool). Hands-on learning activities are designed to build skills for making healthy choices. The following appealing messages are repeated in different ways:

  • Active Play, Balance My Day
  • Breakfast GO Power
  • Drink Think
  • Fruits & Veggies – Every Day the Tasty Way
  • Smart Servings
  • Snack Attack

Along with building skills for making healthy choices, we help educators set kids up for success by creating settings that support healthier choices. For some time, research has supported healthier environments. The USDA Local School Wellness Policy requirements are one way healthier environments are supporting kids.

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Show off Wellness

January 16, 2017

Friends enjoying lunch

Build awareness of the benefits of healthy lifestyles by “showing off wellness.” The Healthy Kids Challenge Healthy6 is a set of healthy habits from which to build messages. Educators and students have found these easy to use and remember. Creating bulletin boards and displays enhance the “see, hear and do” of the Healthy Kids Challenge Balance My Day Curriculum or stand alone to create awareness.

Consider all the ways the Healthy6 can be used:

  1. Fruits & Veggies – Every Day the Tasty Way
  2. Active Play, Balance My Day
  3. Breakfast GO Power
  4. Smart Servings
  5. Drink Think
  6. Snack Attack

See HKC’s January 18th WOWS Newsletter for great ideas for showing of wellness.

young family preparing meal in kitchen

In this month’s WOWS Newsletters, we are talking about Taste and Learn. It is another example of Healthy Kids Challenge’s signature Hear-See-Do learning. Learning is enhanced when kids can visualize (see) the message they are hearing and they practice the behavior (do).

Any time you can get kids to help in the kitchen is a great time. Starting with Halloween and through the end of the end of the year, we see a surge in access to sugary holiday sweets! Taste and Learn activities can give a boost to a balanced approach.

Along with cooking, recall the Healthy Kids Challenge Healthy6 for healthful holiday balance:

  • Fruits & Veggies Every Day the Tasty Way! At parties and holiday meals, plan to include and choose fruits and veggies.
  • Breakfast GO Power. Skipping meals to save up before a party isn’t a good strategy. Having a healthy snack before a party can help you eat less.
  • Drink Think. Water is always a great choice.
  • Smart Servings. Eating holiday candies and cookies is okay; just eat smaller portions less often.
  • Active Play Every Day. Turn off the electronics. For healthy balance, do something that gets you moving and that you enjoy for at least an hour every day.

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.

Syracuse Children's Health Fair
Active Play can be a part of every day…and it’s just that, play – something that is fun and enjoyable. Rainy days encourage me to be creative and think of ways to get moving while we are stuck inside. It certainly doesn’t take fancy equipment or a gym membership to be active. I thought about ordinary items around my house (and yours) that can get you jumping, running, and moving around! Here are 5 tips for active play on a rainy day:

  • Scarves – make a game out of tossing it up and trying to catch it. Try twirling around before catching it.
  • Balloons – blow them up and start batting them around. How high can you toss it? Can you toss it up, do a jumping jack and catch it before it hits the ground? Play a game of toss with a partner. Pretend each balloon is a tasty fruit or veggie in that color and name as you toss!
  • Paper Plates – use as a Frisbee or scatter a few on the ground and pretend to be a frog leaping from one to the other.
  • Paper – crunch up a piece of paper into a ball shape and practice shooting hoops into a small bucket or trash can.
  • Music -put some tunes on and join in with your kids! You will get to spend quality time and have fun with them as well as get your heart pumping.

Here’s to Active Play every day!

clapYou know it’s coming…as Thanksgiving and winter break approach kids get fidgety and need more help focusing on school work. Below are three HEAR-SEE-DO ideas to help kids re-focus.

Help kids hear the message that an active break helps them refocus on school work.
Let them see examples of quick and easy movements they can try.
Let them do by performing active play brain breaks.

  1. Crossovers (right & left brain exercises) – Have kids move their right elbow across their body to their left knee as they are raising it. Touch and resume to standing. Do the same with the left elbow and right knee. Repeat these 2 movements back and forth continuously for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Pencil Jumps – For a quick movement break between lessons have each student place a pencil on the floor. On command kids are to jump over their pencil a designated number of times.

  3. Over, Under, In-Between – For younger elementary kids, have them hop over, crawl under or walk (skip, gallop) in-between various items in the classroom.

 

 

DanvilleA recent HKC Balance My Day Training in Danville, KY had P.E. teachers and food service staff hitting the books! Popular children’s books, that is. “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey (Viking Press) and “I’m a Seed” by Jean Marzallo (Scholastic) inspired staff to plan ways to get students invested in eating healthier and moving more.

Food Service staff planned to serve blueberries and post fun facts about blueberries in the cafeteria and P.E. teachers designed physical activities that emphasized different fruit and vegetable colors. I loved seeing the excitement on Food Service Director, Patty Taylor’s face as she used a book about honey to plan a program for students involving presentations by local bee keepers.

A Danville P.E. teacher mentioned that until the HKC Balance My Day training, she felt frustrated with the lack of time she had to prepare and deliver nutrition education. I was happy to hear that she was leaving the training feeling equipped to provide nutrition education in warm ups, cool downs and P.E. games.

Danville cafeterias have newly installed television monitors. By the end of the HKC Training, Danville Staff had plans to use those monitors to present fun food facts.

I applaud the Danville Schools for their commitment to helping students eat healthier and move more by including the school nurse, cafeteria staff, P.E. teachers and classroom approaches in their plans.

“Excellent. Full of great ideas. Helpful with problem solving issues.” – P.E. teacher

“More classroom teachers need to attend. Very useful workshop.” – P.E. teacher

“Excellent workshop. Interesting and fun.” – School foodservice staff

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