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.

Wake Up to School Breakfast!

February 19, 2016

National School Breakfast Week starts on March 7th. This year’s theme is Wake Up to School Breakfast. Please share this photo and help us spread the word!  https://schoolnutrition.org/nsbw/

2016 School Breakfast Week

Go ahead and Take Healthy Action by teaching Breakfast GO Power messaging with multiple ideas and activities to drive the message home!

Create Awareness

  • Have kids create a list of favorite healthy breakfast foods. Challenge them to make breakfast a daily habit! Use the Explore MyPlate Teaching Cards to jump start their lists and teach about breakfast foods in the different food groups.

  • Promote breakfast as a good way to start every day, not just during testing days! Have kids find facts online supporting breakfast every day, make a poster, and line the hallways with their promotions.

  • Our Wednesday WOWS newsletter has ideas every week!

Build Skills in the Classroom

Change the Environment

  • Try out “grab-and-go” breakfast at school. Create appeal by marketing with signs everywhere. Have classes draw “Breakfast GO Power” messages; also present “Breakfast GO Power” commercials to another class.

Cook-up Cafeteria Excitement

  • Invite local celebrities to school breakfast, and as a bonus have a student reporter or class cover the event as a “media” story.

  • Create a plan with PTA to host a “Serving up MyPlate” breakfast as a way to give everyone a boost during testing weeks. For example, blend up smoothies and combine with a “build a breakfast trail mix” using whole grain cereal, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and nuts.

Connect with Families

 

physical education

In Flemingsburg, KY this HKC Balance My Day Training helped staff pick up where they left off at the last training: problem-solving to make wellness a priority in the school district.

The district’s Food Service Director and Managers, P.E. Teachers, a Cooperative Extension staff person and Youth Service Center workers worked all day to find creative solutions for the schools, such as:

How to teach kids and get them involved in healthy eating choices.

  1.  Use school menus in the classrooms for math, science and P.E. activities.
  2. Involve students in helping to publicize menus. One cafeteria was named using student input.

How to get more students to eat breakfast.

  1. Purchase mobile carts, which feature “grab and go breakfasts”.
  2. “Fuel Up to Play 60” Grant from the National Dairy Council.
  3. Staff at training all participated in an active game-one that can be used in P.E. or classrooms-that teaches kids to identify breakfast barriers and solutions.

As we broke for lunch, I saw a classroom full of kindergarten students run excitedly into the gym ready to move. Knowing that school staff have “ready to implement plans” for including healthy eating and fun physical activity as part of the whole school day assures me that Flemingsburg Students will have that kind of enthusiasm all school day long!

It was exciting to hear one Food Service Manager say that because of the recent district decision to provide free meals to all students, she feels like the district already puts wellness at the top of their priority list.

“Training provided us with useful information to help get staff, kids, Superintendent involved.” -School Food Service Staff

“Well executed and powerful ideas for help of the environment.”-Youth Service Center Worker

Eating breakfast supports academic success, so bring attention to this healthy habit! Start the school year with the fun MyPlate activity below for the kids you lead.

Help kids hear the message that eating breakfast provides GO Power!

Let them see examples of healthy, tasty food choices and active play ideas.

Let them do by providing interactive lessons.

Hear – See – Do Activity Idea

Adapted from Balance My Day™ nutrition curriculum K-2 Grades. Supplies: MyPlate food pictures, paper plates(1 for each child), glue/tape, crayons

  1. Place a variety of food pictures representing MyPlate food groups around the classroom.
  2. Explain that the kids will be creating a healthy breakfast meal on their paper plate. To be healthy, the picture should include at least 3 MyPlate food groups, like Grains, Fruit, and Dairy, but could include others also. Encourage kids to choose breakfast foods lower in added sugar and fat.
  3. Explain that when you say “go”, the kids will move around the room and choose ONE food for their breakfast plate and return to their desk. Let them know that as they move around, you will call out movements like hop, walk or skip to perform.
  4. Explain they will be able to repeat this picture selection at least 2 more times and to include at least 3 different food groups.
  5. After selecting their breakfast foods, have kids identify the foods and food groups. Glue or tape the food pictures on their plates or draw.
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