January 17, 2016
Go ahead and Take Healthy Action by teaching Breakfast GO Power messaging with multiple ideas and activities to drive the message home!
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
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.
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
Help Kids Fix Their Own Breakfast – Use this handout in the classroom and then send it home to families.
Take the Challenge – Take Healthy Action…Bite into Breakfast for Good Health
November 13, 2015
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.
- Use school menus in the classrooms for math, science and P.E. activities.
- Involve students in helping to publicize menus. One cafeteria was named using student input.
How to get more students to eat breakfast.
- Purchase mobile carts, which feature “grab and go breakfasts”.
- “Fuel Up to Play 60” Grant from the National Dairy Council.
- 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
November 6, 2015
A recent HKC Balance My Day Training in Danville, KY had P.E. teachers and food service staff hitting the books! Popular children’s books, that is. “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey (Viking Press) and “I’m a Seed” by Jean Marzallo (Scholastic) inspired staff to plan ways to get students invested in eating healthier and moving more.
Food Service staff planned to serve blueberries and post fun facts about blueberries in the cafeteria and P.E. teachers designed physical activities that emphasized different fruit and vegetable colors. I loved seeing the excitement on Food Service Director, Patty Taylor’s face as she used a book about honey to plan a program for students involving presentations by local bee keepers.
A Danville P.E. teacher mentioned that until the HKC Balance My Day training, she felt frustrated with the lack of time she had to prepare and deliver nutrition education. I was happy to hear that she was leaving the training feeling equipped to provide nutrition education in warm ups, cool downs and P.E. games.
Danville cafeterias have newly installed television monitors. By the end of the HKC Training, Danville Staff had plans to use those monitors to present fun food facts.
I applaud the Danville Schools for their commitment to helping students eat healthier and move more by including the school nurse, cafeteria staff, P.E. teachers and classroom approaches in their plans.
“Excellent. Full of great ideas. Helpful with problem solving issues.” – P.E. teacher
“More classroom teachers need to attend. Very useful workshop.” – P.E. teacher
“Excellent workshop. Interesting and fun.” – School foodservice staff
September 18, 2015
Hear – See – Do Activity
Adapted from the Static Electricity with Cereal experiment, Explore MyPlate with School Nutrition booklet
“Puffed rice jump and float from a table top to a plexiglass plate.”
What you need:
- hand full of puffed rice cereal
- a square plate of plexiglass, approximately 12 in. by 12 in.
wooden blocks to balance the plate 1-3 inches above the table (table should be non-metallic)
- wool sweater
- Place the puffed rice on the table surface.
- Place the wooden blocks on the table and balance the plexiglass plate over the table and the pile of puffed rice.
- Vigorously rub the top of the plexiglass with the wool sweater.
- The puffed rice should start to stand on end, then “jump” from the table surface to the plexiglass and back again.
Explanation: The effect is caused by the buildup of static charge. Rubbing the wool sweater on the plexiglass generates a net negative charge on the plate surface. This net negative charge has the effect of polarizing the puffed rice on the table below, so positive charges accumulate on points closest to the negatively charged plate. Unlike charges attract and when the difference in charge has become great enough, the puffed rice is drawn to the bottom of the plate. When the rice contacts the plate the charges dissipate and it falls back to the table.
September 4, 2015
We have an educational event that showcases quick and easy meal preparation called Ready, Set, Cook and Eat!™(RSCE).
Help kids hear the message that food preparation and cooking can be fun and tasty. Let them see examples of healthy, yummy food choices. Let them do by offering a RSCE event.
Use RSCE in family & consumer science classes, afterschool programs, at parents’ night or community events!
- Three teams are formed with 3-4 participants and a team leader.
- The teams are given 30-45 minutes to prepare a main dish and/or side dishes using items provided for them in a grocery bag.
- Each team has different grocery bag ingredients that vary according to the program showcased, such as breakfast or snack ideas.
- While the teams are busy, 2 emcees move through the audience sharing fun food trivia and healthy eating and physical activity tips. It’s a fun experience for all who attend!
Need more info?
- For further details and step-by-step planning, check out the RSCE event guide.
- Also, see examples of RSCE events HKC provided in partnership with Cigna.
August 21, 2015
Get back on track and take a look at our wellness team resources! Plan ahead for your nutrition and physical education activities this year with our helpful, step-by-step materials.
Here are eight great HKC tools for truly interactive health fairs and year-round learning fun as your planning kicks into high gear! Schools have found these to be so versatile and easy to use that we can’t resist sharing their favorites.
Health Works Toolkit – An ultimate toolkit for health fairs, this kit includes all 7 booklets in the Health Works! Wellness in Academics basic kit.
Setting Up for Success – Interactive, simple and fun healthy eating & physical activity displays, nutrition games, and shoestring budget activities. Great classroom, learning center, cafeteria, parent event, & health fair ideas.
Ready, Set, Cook & Eat – Plan a fun, interactive event promoting simple kitchen skills and healthy food choices. Three teams compete in a healthy cook-off while an emcee keeps the audience involved. Use for family & consumer science classrooms, afterschool programs, community events, parents’ night, or almost anywhere!
Explore MyPlate – An event planning guide for an actual walk through MyPlate. Engage all ages with a walk to understand how to eat, move and enjoy a healthy balance. Set up in the cafeteria, gym, parking lot, football field, shopping mall, city park, or anywhere space permits.
Food Cards – Looking for food pictures to use for health fairs, bulletin boards, nutrition education activities; or for younger kids, food identification? Download a file of 156 common foods from MyPlate. Foods are listed in an index by food group. Each page contains six easy to identify food pictures and their name. Download, laminate, cut and you’re ready.
Bookmarks – Sometimes all you need is a bright, fun incentive for a health fair or fundraiser and these are perfect. For kids: front–Colorful Kids Star Graphics; back– 7 “Healthy Me” goals for kids to choose. For adults: front–Challenge Star Graphics; back–”Healthy Me” goals.
MyPlate Teaching Cards – A handy set of color coded MyPlate teaching cards. Each card provides a simple Challenge message, tip, and healthy choice example for the MyPlate food groups (and physical activity). A great tool for educators and a smart health fair give away for families! Seven cards are secured by a corner grommet, allowing them to fan-out. English and Spanish versions are available.
Explore MyPlate Wristbands – Another educational incentive for health fairs, these silicone wristbands have debossed wording which reads: Explore MyPlate – Fruits Veggies Grains Protein Dairy. They come in 5 colors – Orange, Purple, Green, Red, Blue.
August 14, 2015
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
- Place a variety of food pictures representing MyPlate food groups around the classroom.
- 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.
- 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.
- Explain they will be able to repeat this picture selection at least 2 more times and to include at least 3 different food groups.
- After selecting their breakfast foods, have kids identify the foods and food groups. Glue or tape the food pictures on their plates or draw.