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.

Discover smart servings for healthier eating habits with a Smart Servings Challenge!Healthy Kids Challenge helps kids eat, move, and enjoy healthy balance

Size Up Your Servings

Here’s a fun exercise to see how you measure up when it comes to serving size, sugar and fat.

  1. Make a list of the top 10 foods you eat most often.
  2. Fill in the amount recommended as a serving by MyPlate.
  3. Look at labels for each of the foods listed and place checkmarks by foods with a higher percentage of fat or sugar (generally foods that list fat or sugar as one of the first five ingredients on the label have a high percentage of fat or sugar).
  4. Place a check mark by the foods that you need to watch your serving size.

Challenge yourself to eat these foods in smaller servings and/or less often.

Feel free to access the entire Smart Servings resource in the HKC-CIGNA Healthy Balance Toolkit.

You might also want to download and use this free tip sheet called Make Healthy Enjoyable. We really need to keep the fun in health, too!

The Challenge: Make it easier for your family to choose healthy foods – at home, eating out, wherever! Building on the ideas from this week’s WOWS newsletter, here are some simple ways to make it happen: Healthy Kids Challenge helps kids eat, move, and enjoy healthy balance

  1. Keep grab ‘n go breakfast ideas in reach, like string cheese, whole grain crackers and an apple.
  2. Try a new fruit or veggie, like jicama or starfruit, as a family.
  3. Flavor ice cold water with lemon, lime, or orange slices to give it a zing when choosing it as a mealtime beverage instead of sugary drinks.

Also, I want to point out that Let’s Move Healthy Families is a great resource, aligned with our principles, providing ideas like:

  • Mix vegetables into dishes, like adding peas to rice, or cucumbers to a sandwich
  • Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken or extra lean ground beef for hamburgers or pasta sauces
  • Have kids drink water at snack time
  • Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions

There are so many ways you can meet this family challenge, but you must first CHOOSE to take action. Today’s a great day to start!

One of the best strategies to teach kids healthy habits is to be a healthy role model yourself. After all, actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to kids!

So, here are some role modeling tips, based on our Healthy6 key messages that will get you and your kids on the path toward healthy habits for life. And the theme for National Nutrition Month this year is also, Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day; a convenient tie-in to these tips today!

  1. Fruits and Veggies Every Day. Eat YOUR Veggies! …and your fruits. When kids see you eating them, they’ll be more likely to try them, and like them too.
  2. Make Smart Serving Size Choices. Serve yourself appropriate portion sizes, and don’t overeat. Also, talk to kids about your own feelings of hunger and fullness to help them learn portion control, too.
  3. Do Your Own Drink Think. Make ice cold water or skim milk your drink of choice at every meal, and your kids will come to expect it as the norm, not the exception.
  4. Attack Everyone’s Snacks. Build healthy snacks into your own routine, and sit down and eat them with kids whenever possible.
  5. Active Play, Balance Everyone’s Day! Get out there and move around with the kids, whether it’s an organized sport, or just free play. Find your own fitness routine and let the kids see you making it a priority every day.
  6. Build Breakfast into Your Day. When kids see you enjoying breakfast every day, they are more likely to join in and start their day that way too.

What are you doing to Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day throughout the month of March?

US Nutritional Fact Label

US Nutritional Fact Label (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Choose Smart Servings! Sometimes it is not WHAT you eat, but HOW MUCH. Added fat and sugar content are clues to serving size.

Label Smart Activity
Kids learn serving sizes, practice measures, math & physical movement skills, and set a goal


  1. As a group, look at a Nutrition Facts label and locate the serving size information.
  2. As a whole group, or in teams, ask kids, without looking at the labels, to guess:
    • The serving sizes for each food.
    • The number of servings in a package.
    • After each guess, have one or more kids read the package to see if they guessed correctly.

For the complete directions on this February activity, click here. This activity is also found on page 9 of the Health Works! toolkit – Smart Servings booklet. For more activity ideas like the one above, check out the Healthy Kids Challenge Online Store.

Snack Attack On the Go!

Download this FREE printable and copy-ready tip sheet for sharing with parents and staff. Ideas include the following:

  • Purchase individual low-fat cottage cheese containers with fresh fruit to go along.
  • Buy a bag of plain, flavored or peanut butter filled pretzels and include low-fat milk containers.

Education for parents/kids on Healthy6, like eating breakfast, healthy snacks and smart servingsHealthy Kids Challenge helps kids eat, move, and enjoy healthy balance

Kids still hungry? Athletes need more?

  • Breakfast GO Power – Eat breakfast every day. It helps control appetite all day long.
  • Drink Think – Encourage kids to drink their milk or take the calcium-fortified juice that’s offered with their meals. Such a simple way to get more calories, protein and essential nutrients!
  • Fruits & Veggies Every Day – Find ways to make the new fruits and veggies tasty and more appealing to kids of all ages.
  • Smart Servings – Portions have been distorted for so long that kids AND adults need to smart size their servings.
  • Snack Attack – Planning snacks throughout the day is a key way to control hunger for kids of all activity levels.
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