Every Kid Healthy Week – April 24-28, 2017

April 7th, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

This month, Live Well Omaha Kids spotlights guest blogger Ashley Carroll of Action for Healthy Kids, as she talks to us about Every Kid Healthy Week and how you can get involved in the celebration.

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This April marks the fifth anniversary of Every Kid Healthy Week (April 24-28, 2017) a national health observance to recognize and celebrate school health and wellness accomplishments, as well as the critical role each of us plays in ensuring children are prepared to meet tomorrow’s challenges as healthy, productive adults.  It’s an investment that will pay a hefty return.  In 2016, 1,625 events were held in 46 states attended by 589,456 students, staff and volunteers who shared their time and talents and contributed to successful Every Kid Healthy Week events.

Why Every Kid Healthy Week?

It takes a village to raise healthy children. The sad fact is that one in three American children are overweight or obese, predisposing them to develop adverse chronic health conditions in childhood and throughout their life, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, sleep apnea and depression.  Research also shows that healthy students perform better in the classroom.

The good news is there is an increasing awareness of the influence a child’s environment has on health—things which we have the power to control!  More and more we recognize that individuals do not make choices in a vacuum, and the greatest potential to reverse the alarming trend of obesity in America exists in working together across sectors to promote health and eliminate the barriers to living a healthy lifestyle.

Schools are responding to this charge by adopting breakfast in the classroom, providing students with high-quality physical and nutrition education, initiating farm to school programs and organizing walking school buses, among many other strategies.  At home, parents reinforce healthy lifestyle habits by modeling positive food choices themselves, involving their children in meal prep, planting a garden, limiting screen time, ensuring kids get adequate sleep and taking an after-dinner walk or bike ride as a family. Every Kid Healthy Week exists to celebrate these thoughtful, creative and impactful initiatives that help keep our kids healthy.

Celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week

Every Kid Healthy Week is a celebration of all the amazing work of teachers, parents, administrators, students and the community in supporting healthy children.  Here are some ideas for how your school can get involved:

  • Host a healthy food taste test with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products
  • Invite a local gym or fitness trainer to lead a family Zumba, yoga or other fitness class
  • Plant a school garden or refresh an existing one
  • Invite parents and students to participate in a school walk-a-thon or fun run
  • Host a health fair and invite a local dietitian, dentist, grocer, nurse, farmer and youth recreation leader to share their expertise and connect families to their resources
  • Organize a field day with a variety of physical activities, so that students of all abilities and interests can discover fitness activities they enjoy
  • Paint a healthy mural and revamp outdoor play spaces

At Action for Healthy Kids, we hope to make this Every Kid Healthy Week the biggest and best yet. Join the movement by registering your school event at EveryKidHealthyWeek.org. As the school year starts to wind down, celebrate your collective achievements in creating healthy school environments by getting outdoors, jumping up and down, running, dancing, laughing, planting, playing and working together to make every kid healthy and ready to learn each and every day.

Resources

Use these resources to plan an Every Kid Healthy Week event, communicate about your event and engage volunteers.

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