Inspire AWE-some CHANGE

August 16, 2016

Girl Eating Watermelon

AWE-some CHANGE is a measure which you can use to determine the potential success of your actions. HKC coined these acronyms that refer to actions that are…

(For intended audiences)

Appealing and fun

Welcoming and inviting

(and for those implementing actions)

Easy and simple

Repetition of memorable healthy messages helps to further the effectiveness of actions. For example, Healthy Kids Challenge uses catchy names for healthy habits. One of the Healthy6 Habit is Active Play Every Day. Using the name as part of a fun activity helps make physical activity even more appealing. Active Play Every Day, Makes Me Want to Dance is an example of a Healthy Kids Challenge AWE-some activity idea. Kids practice dance steps in PE and are encouraged to teach them to family members. At different times, such as at field days, as a reward, or at a dance party, kids are encouraged to perform the steps.

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After almost 20 years of being a leading nonprofit dedicated to developing leaders and environments that help kids and families eat healthy and move more, we are passing the baton to our partners, SPARK and School Specialty (Sportime). This change will help ensure and enhance the viability and vitality of the same quality, research-based nutrition education resources and services for years to come.  See the full press release for MORE information

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!  https://schoolnutrition.org/nsbw/

2016 School Breakfast Week

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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

 

 

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Thinking about what we drink during the freezing temperatures of winter and sweltering temperatures of summer is always a clue to healthy balance.  Soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, cocoa and coffee drinks can all add up to lots of sugar in our day. Too often, we don’t think WATER.

Hear – See – Do Activity

  • First have kids list the things they drink each day and think about how much (and how often) water is a choice.
  • Suggest kids set a goal for replacing sugary beverages with water.
  • Talk about the following parent and family tips for drinking water more often:
  1. Sip water often.  Drink water throughout the day in mouthfuls instead of glasses, such as sips from a water bottle, a cup at your work desk or from a drinking fountain. Small amounts more often do the trick!
  2. Change the temperature. Drinking ice water in the winter can chill anyone! Drink lukewarm water or even water warmed in a mug with a lemon slice to increase the appeal.
  3. “Water up” before going outside. Cold, dry air can sap moisture from your nose and mouth when you are outside.  Drink water before going outside for an extended period of time to keep hydrated.
  4. Plan water for the “go to” mealtime beverage. Water at meals is a healthy habit all year, so offer water in addition to or in place of normal mealtime beverages. Water is the ultimate beverage; calorie-free and vital for life!

Syracuse Children's Health Fair
Active Play can be a part of every day…and it’s just that, play – something that is fun and enjoyable. Rainy days encourage me to be creative and think of ways to get moving while we are stuck inside. It certainly doesn’t take fancy equipment or a gym membership to be active. I thought about ordinary items around my house (and yours) that can get you jumping, running, and moving around! Here are 5 tips for active play on a rainy day:

  • Scarves – make a game out of tossing it up and trying to catch it. Try twirling around before catching it.
  • Balloons – blow them up and start batting them around. How high can you toss it? Can you toss it up, do a jumping jack and catch it before it hits the ground? Play a game of toss with a partner. Pretend each balloon is a tasty fruit or veggie in that color and name as you toss!
  • Paper Plates – use as a Frisbee or scatter a few on the ground and pretend to be a frog leaping from one to the other.
  • Paper – crunch up a piece of paper into a ball shape and practice shooting hoops into a small bucket or trash can.
  • Music -put some tunes on and join in with your kids! You will get to spend quality time and have fun with them as well as get your heart pumping.

Here’s to Active Play every day!

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January is always a good time for a “Healthy Balance Check”. Start the year with a clean slate on the path to healthy habits. Have a MyPlate poster handy to discuss and have kids visualize healthy balance with eating choices. Also point out what isn’t found on MyPlate such as high sugar foods and beverages (soft drinks, syrups, candy, cookies, cakes, pastries).

Hear – See – Do Activities

  1. Have kids check current eating habits. Draw MyPlate on a paper plate. For each meal think about whether or not there is good balance with all food groups. One simple reminder for each meal is to fill half our plates with fruits and veggies.
  2. Because an important part of healthy balance is balancing food (energy in) with active play (energy out), on the back of the paper plate have kids write the activities and number of times they do them each week.
  3. Ask kids to set an easy to reach healthy goal. For example, one more fruit or veggie choice or one less soft drink each day.
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