Group of happy kids running through green field

At school, physical activity is linked with academic achievement. Planning opportunities and places for kids to move more helps them achieve more. In or out-of-school physical activity balances eating choices.


Equal parts:

  • School Actions
  • Family Involvement
  • Community Support


  1. Mix together classroom movement, school recess and physical education.
  2. Stir in family involvement (using activities like walking, biking, and weekly tips).
  3. Fold in community support by conducting walkability & bikeability checklists and sharing information with school and community leaders, as well as the media.
  4. Pour into policies and practices and “bake” until well set.

Note: Many communities and schools hold yearly spring walk or bike to school events, which is a great way to motivate kids to move more.

School/Community Resources include:


Family At Home In Eating Meal Together

A number of smaller “bits” of healthy changes over time can add up to make a big difference. At home or at school, changing our own habits and way of thinking is just as easy as practicing small changes.

It is still common to hear parents and teachers talk about rewarding kids with sweets like ice cream or a school pizza party. The concern is not because the kids are having ice cream or pizza, which can be part of a balanced eating plan. It is the consistent use of foods (very often sweets) that is perceived as a reward by the child…a habit that can be carried through life. Each month in 2018, choose several small “bits” of change. Practice helps form healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Ideas to Start the Year

  1. Turn off whichever screen is on (TV, computer, phone) while eating at home. Instead, talk with your family members.
  2. Put snacks on a plate instead of eating from a bag or box.
  3. Use fun physical activity as a reward. Anyone for miniature golf or a scavenger hunt in the park?
  4. Drink water instead of sugary beverages.
  5. Try a fruit or vegetable that you don’t usually eat.
  6. Tune up your “hunger meter.” Eat and enjoy small bites. Stop eating when you are pleasantly (instead of uncomfortably) full.

It’s only the 2nd of October and it’s shaping up to be a very busy month! If you are looking for activities for healthy kids this month, we’ve got something here for you:

  1. WALK to SchoolApple photo
    Join kids and families around the globe to walk and bicycle to school in October! Remember that Wednesday, October 7, 2015 is Walk to School Day!
  2. ENJOY Family Meals.
    Focus on family meals with the Eat Better, Eat Together promotion throughout this month. Washington State University Extension offers free brochures and a toolkit to get you started.
  3. EAT Apples!
    This is meant to be a tasting menu for an “Apple Pairing Party” but don’t you think also works for kids’ snacks? Either way, celebrate Apple month by trying a new way to eat apples!

Group of children exercising in the park surrounded by beautiful nature.  [url=][img][/img][/url] [url=][img][/img][/url] [url=][img][/img][/url] [url=][img][/img][/url

Help kids – and even other adults – realize the healthy energizing effect of active play outdoors.

  1. Take a nature walk outside and along the way when kids see and learn about a new or different bird, bug, animal or plant, the group performs an active movement (hopping, running in place, arm circles).
  2. Download and use this month’s Classroom & Afterschool activity, Healthy Choices Scavenger Hunt, but take it outside to perform on the playground.
  3. Coordinate a class field trip to a local community garden during a time when they need help planting or harvesting. Let kids get involved and active! Or consider a Fruit & Veggie Field Trip. (Check out Target Field Trip Grants.)
  4. Adults can be great role models! Try these ideas, and talk to kids about why you choose to do them:
  • Ask kids to join you on your morning or evening walk or jog.
  • Park further from work, the grocery store, or shopping mall to intentionally walk a little further to your destination.
  • Use the stairs everywhere you go-indoors and outdoors!

Remember HEAR-SEE-DO:

Help kids hear the message that active play feels good.
Let them see ways to be active outside.
Let them do by walking, seeking items and doing outside chores that are fun.

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

Create Awareness

  • Grab attention with a bulletin board or banner. One example:
    • Go Power! Breakfast gives bodies more energy!
    • Go Power! Breakfast gives minds more think power!
    • Go Power! Breakfast helps build a tasty, healthy MyPlate!
  • 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!
  • Find ideas in the Health Works Basic Kit.

Build Skills in the Classroom

  • HKC Food Cards – 156 common MyPlate food pictures for nutrition education activities for Childcare providers and K-2 grades: Use magazine photos or HKC food cards to discuss healthy breakfast foods with kids. Encourage them to ask for those healthy foods at home.
  • Have kids create healthy breakfast menus including 3 MyPlate food groups or
  • Use our breakfast Classroom & Afterschool Activity “Shape Up My Day with Breakfast for GO Power“. Challenge kids to share these ideas with their parents.
  • Many more easy and flexible ideas can be found in the Balance My Day nutrition curriculum for grades K-8.
  • Taking healthy action is hard when you don’t know where to start…let us help with customized training to meet your needs!

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.
  • The Take Healthy Action booklet and our other wellness team resources are great help in getting started!
  • Every month, we have 22 new Healthy6 printables for classroom, parents, community, and individuals free on our website!

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

1. Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health – Centers for Disease Control and Preventionrandomimage_left

2. How to Get Parents on Board with Healthy Change – Healthy Kids Challenge

3. Connect with Community and Family – Healthy Kids Challenge

4. Working Systematically in Action: Engaging Family and Community – SEDL National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools

5. Promising Partnership Practices – National Network of Partnership Schools, Johns Hopkins University

6. HFRP Interactive Events – Harvard Family Research Project, Family Involvement Projects

7. Parents for Healthy Kids – Action for Healthy Kids

8. Empowering Parent Advocates – Rudd ‘Roots Parents

9. Resources for K-12 Schools Parent Engagement – Northern California Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)

All the new HKC Healthy6 Printables for classrooms, afterschool, and parents are posted and ready for your use!iStock_000006099045XSmall

Classroom & Afterschool
Healthy6 ideas for easy to teach, learn, and practice nutrition and active play activities:

  • Active Play- Active Play Challenge Log
  • Breakfast – Trail to Go (making a breakfast trail mix)
  • Drink Think – Crazy Calcium Catch (grades K-2)
  • Fruits & Veggies – Get Your Plate in Shape
  • Smart Servings – Label Smart
  • Snack Attack – Snack Attack Solutions (grades 6-8)

Parent Tips
These one-page handouts are ideal for health fairs or to link the Healthy6 messages to home.

  • Active Play – Take a Break to Energize?????????????????????????????????
  • Breakfast – Quick & Easy Breakfast Ideas
  • Drink Think – Choose Power Beverages
  • Fruits & Veggies – Variety Adds Appeal
  • Smart Servings – Smart Servings on MyPlate
  • Snack Attack – Grab and Go Snack Ideas

Don’t forget we also offer Healthy Me Challenges and WOWS newsletters to support your efforts!

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