American Heart Month

February 6, 2017

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February is American Heart Month. The HKC Newsletter, WOWS, has been recognizing the significance of the month by connecting awareness building ideas with mini lessons to build habits for healthy hearts. HKC’s Healthy6 are the cornerstone for both our comprehensive nutrition education, Balance My Day, and the mini lesson suggestions found here.

Snack Attack “Mini Lesson”

  • Talking Points:

According to the American Heart Association, choosing less added sugar helps keep a heart healthy. Many of us are choosing much more added sugar than recommended. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identify Food Category Sources of Added Sugars in the U.S. Population Ages 2 Years and Older as 31% coming from snacks and sweets and 47% from beverages. Limit added sugar to less than 10% of calories. (Calorie needs differ by age, gender and activity level. Choose MyPlate Checklist describes calorie needs for different age groups.)

  • Activity:

Collect and review Nutrition Facts Labels of foods that contain added sugar such as candy, cakes, cookies, fruit drinks, and soft drinks. Determine the added sugar content per serving. For visual impact, use sugar cubes or teaspoons of sugar to represent the amount of sugar in one serving. (1 sugar cube = 1 teaspoon = 4 grams)

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.

Help kids connect the happiness of special celebrations with healthy choices.

Fruit and Veggie Snacks

CELEBRATION SNACKS

Popcorn. Low-fat and sprinkle with seasoning.

Parfaits. Low fat yogurt or pudding, fruit, and granola.

Frozen yogurt popsicles. Blenderize low-fat fruited yogurt, berry juice and berries and freeze.

Mini-bagel pizzas. Whole grain bagels halves, pizza sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Mini waffles. Whole grain frozen waffles, low-fat cream cheese, fruit.

Trail mix. Whole grain low sugar cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruit.

Fruit kabobs. Alternate seasonal or favorite colors and shapes.

Raw veggies with dip. Different colors, shapes and sizes add appeal.

Chips and salsa. Whole grain chips with veggie or fruit salsa.


CELEBRATION DRINKS

Refreshing, ice cold water

Fruit infused water

Sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice


CELEBRATION ACTIVITIES:

Veggie Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar raw veggies such as celery, carrot and green pepper sticks, but then provide some unique veggie samples to taste test and rate like sweet potato, jicama, Chinese cabbage, turnips and rhubarb.

Fruit Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar fresh apple, orange and banana slices, but also include unique fruits like mango, pineapple, berries and star fruit. (Optional: Include dried fruit samples like apricots, cranberries, prunes, and cherries.)

Build your own trail mix: Offer choices of low sugar, whole-grain cereals, seeds or nuts, dried fruits and snack crackers. Kids scoop appropriate serving sizes of their choices into individual plastic baggies.

 

 

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Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks printable

Here are a few examples from our printable:

Valentine Fruit Bouquet – Using red or pink plastic skewers, alternate watermelon cubes, strawberries, cherries and red seedless grapes. Add a low-fat vanilla or berry yogurt for dipping!

Eat Your Heart Out Popcorn – Fresh popped popcorn lightly kissed with cinnamon sugar is special.

Tiny Treat Bags – Tie snack or sandwich size plastic bags with a red or pink ribbon. Add just a sprinkling of red and white chocolate covered candies to some tasty combinations such as:

  • Cran-raisins, almonds and pecans
  • Dried cherries, almonds and dried banana
  • Dried apples, peanuts and walnuts

The link to our printable list is: Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks

 

 

happy-valentines-day-40Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks
Here are a few examples from our printable:

Valentine Fruit Bouquet – Using red or pink plastic skewers, alternate watermelon cubes, strawberries, cherries and red seedless grapes. Add a low-fat vanilla or berry yogurt for dipping!

Eat Your Heart Out Popcorn – Fresh popped popcorn lightly kissed with cinnamon sugar is special.

Tiny Treat Bags – Tie snack or sandwich size plastic bags with a red or pink ribbon. Add just a sprinkling of red and white chocolate covered candies to some tasty combinations such as:

  • Cran-raisins, almonds and pecans
  • Dried cherries, almonds and dried banana
  • Dried apples, peanuts and walnuts

The link to our printable list is: Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks

Your official HKC Halloween Challenge: Help your kids think about what they’re drinking (Drink Think) while enjoying all their tricks and treats. Water is the best source of fluids to keep kids hydrated and wash down fun treats. If not iStock_000014579838Smallwater, help them pick from low-fat or fat-free milk or 100% juice. Here are a few more tasty tricks and healthy treats!

  1. Halloween Trail Mix Activity and Recipe
    The activity idea actually originated as our Breakfast GO Power trail mix activity, but with a few tweaks you can still combine fun and interactive learning with your Halloween theme! Click on the link above for the full activity. Here is the recipe.

    • 1/2 cup cereal
    • 1/2 cup pretzel sticks
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup cranraisins
    • 1/4 cup peanuts
    • 1/4 cup mini-marshmallows
  2. Fit in Health on Halloween
    Did you know that by filling up on say, apples and peanut butter, right before going out trick-or-treating, then all those tempting candy treats won’t look quite so appetizing? It’s true! This is a link to our most recent parent tip sheet download (free, by the way) where you can find the simplest ideas for fitting in those ever-important fruits and veggies – yes – even on Halloween!
  3. Hand out Healthier Treats
    Halloween treats don’t have to be food! Look for inexpensive items in large quantities. Also keep an eye out for festive packaging.
    Foods

    • Boxes of raisins and dried cranberries
    • Fruit cups, like applesauce, diced peaches
    • 100% fruit leather
    • Trail mix
    • Pretzels
    • Crackers
    • Popcorn
    • Mini cereal boxes

    Non-food items:

    • Plastic Spider rings
    • Bracelets
    • Small toys
    • Stickers
    • Tattoos
    • Coloring books
    • Bubbles
    • Trading cards
    • Miniature decks of playing cards
    • Party-favor size Play-Doh
    • Small change – mix pennies, nickels, and dimes
  4. Make Healthier Candy Choices! Yes, you can!
    • Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
    • No gummy or chewy candy that likes to stick to teeth
    • Buy it as close to Halloween as possible and don’t open it until Halloween
  5. Add a Healthy Physical Activity “Treat”
    • Find 2 inexpensive witches cauldrons and fill with spooky items like plastic spiders, fake teeth and such. Line up the kids in 2 groups and place the cauldron a good distance opposite the kids. On command, the kids will run to the cauldron while the leader calls out a spooky item to find and take. After finding the item, kids run back to the line and the next person goes. The team with the first empty cauldron is the winner.
    • Prior to class, gather spooky items (see #2 above) and hide items in the school gym or a large area. Make out 2-3 scavenger lists of the items with names of class team members. Hand out the lists and lead kids to the area to “scavenge”. Allow 10-15 minutes to pass. The winning team finishes the list first or has the most items after the allotted time is up.

 

 

 

Help kids connect the happiness of special celebrations with healthy choices.Fruit and Veggie Snacks

CELEBRATION SNACKS
Popcorn. Low-fat and sprinkle with seasoning.
Parfaits. Low fat yogurt or pudding, fruit, and granola.
Frozen yogurt popsicles. Blenderize low-fat fruited yogurt, berry juice and berries and freeze.
Mini-bagel pizzas. Whole grain bagels halves, pizza sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Mini waffles. Whole grain frozen waffles, low-fat cream cheese, fruit.
Trail mix. Whole grain low sugar cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
Fruit kabobs. Alternate seasonal or favorite colors and shapes.
Raw veggies with dip. Different colors, shapes and sizes add appeal.
Chips and salsa. Whole grain chips with veggie or fruit salsa.

CELEBRATION DRINKS
Refreshing, ice cold water
Fruit infused water
Sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice

CELEBRATION ACTIVITIES:
Veggie Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar raw veggies such as celery, carrot and green pepper sticks, but then provide some unique veggie samples to taste test and rate like sweet potato, jicama, Chinese cabbage, turnips and rhubarb.
Fruit Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar fresh apple, orange and banana slices, but also include unique fruits like mango, pineapple, berries and star fruit. (Optional: Include dried fruit samples like apricots, cranberries, prunes, and cherries.)
Build your own trail mix: Offer choices of low sugar, whole-grain cereals, seeds or nuts, dried fruits and snack crackers. Kids scoop appropriate serving sizes of their choices into individual plastic baggies.

View HKC’s Healthy Celebration Snacks sheet for a variety of food group snack options.

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