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!

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.

Too many applesPlease join us in recognizing those who submitted ideas for the Nutrition Education Tool Box Challenge, and the steps they are taking to help make a healthy difference for kids! We also recognize that any time is a busy time for educators! So we want to send a special message of our own to all who participated: “Thank You for taking the time to share your creative ideas with others. We encourage you to continue to be an inspiration to your peers!” – from all of us at HKC.
You may download your own copy of the Nutrition Education Toolbox Challenge here, and access all 11 new ideas from these awesome educators and youth leaders:

  • Vicki Phillips, Avon Upper Scioto Valley Schools, OSU SNAP-Ed, Kindergarten
  • Angie McCluskey, Northside ISD – Mireles Elementary School, Kindergarten – 2nd
  • Brianna Liles, Generation FIT, Elementary and Middle School levels
  • Linda Jackey, Fit Kidz, Grades K-5
  • Renee, Home School, Grades 3-7
  • Kathy Dean, Summit School of Ahwatukee, Grades K-8
  • Laura Roth, Wellston Middle School, Grades 6-8
  • Bonnie Goehringer, Heaton Middle School, Grades 6-8
  • Susannah Levine, Wichita Southeast High School
  • Shannon FitzGerald, Avon Lake City Schools, Grades K-12
  • Lisa Robinson, Michigan Technical Academy, 4th Grade

In case you missed the Challenge, we recently asked schools and youth programs to send examples of how they are helping to meet the challenge for healthy kids! The HKC Nutrition Education Tool Box is the culmination of those ideas submitted, and is being shared so anyone in need of nutrition ed ideas can benefit.
Through tips, activities and nutrition education curriculum, we continuously strive to help educators and youth leaders meet the challenge for healthier kids!
****Now we Challenge YOU to take healthy action today for “Breakfast GO Power” using one of the ideas from the Tool Box:

“No Breakfast Bad Guys” Grades K-2

Move and Learn Activity

Objectives: Teach the benefits of eating breakfast

Supplies: HKC Balance My DayTM nutrition curriculum lesson, Why Breakfast? and picture food cards


I reinforced the benefits of eating breakfast by playing a tag game I call “No Breakfast Bad Guys.

“It” wears a sign with the word BREAKFAST with the NO sign printed over it.

If “It’ tags you, you have to take a nap because you don’t have any energy from not eating breakfast.

One of your classmates has to bring you nutritious food (I used pictures from the Balance My Day Teacher Guide) to eat for breakfast. Then you may run again.

No one is ever OUT and it not only encourages children by exposing them to options for healthy choices, but it also reinforces that they will run out of energy through the day without breakfast. It is good to see the children helping each other and the cooperation so that no one “naps” for very long.

Vicki Phillips, Avon Upper Scioto Valley Schools, OSU SNAP-Ed, Kindergarten

*A Healthy Kids Challenge Note:

Eating breakfast is also linked to better grades and academic performance, improved nutrition, healthier weight, and better memory. It is recommended that a healthy breakfast includes at least 3 of the 5 MyPlate food groups. The activity is a great example of how to link learning with physical activity!
What new ideas are in your Nutrition Education Toolbox???

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