Tuesday, March 29, 2011

6 Tips for 2011 PEP Grant Writers

HKC and SPARK support the 2011 PEP Grant

The 2011 PEP Grant competition is here! Here are some tips from Healthy Kids Challenge and our Physical Education partner, SPARK, the most field tested and research based PE program ever. To date, more than 100 PEP grants have been awarded to organizations that chose to implement SPARK curriculum/training!

1. Commit to creating a culture of health, where the total environment supports healthy eating and physical activity opportunities every day.

2. Plan an IGNITE workshop into the proposal.

3. Integrate nutrition education into physical education classes utilizing HKC resources, training, and distance assistance.

4. Create and/or enhance physical activity and nutrition-related policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout students’ everyday lives.

5. Create or enhance the nutrition education component of your health education curriculum.

6. Measure elementary and middle school student nutrition using appropriate assessment tools. HKC can design these tools for you!

To make it easier we have some sample text for grant writers at this link.

If you have questions about the process or need more assistance, please contact us toll-free: 888-259-6287, or email vickie@healthykidschallenge.com, or contact SPARK toll-free: 800-SPARK-PE, or email spark@sparkpe.org.

2011 PEP Grant Information

Monday, March 28, 2011

Teacher Tips: Healthy Classroom Rewards

Here are some tips for transitioning from candy and food rewards to healthy non-food rewards. A simple key to success is to show your excitement about the rewards, and in turn the kids will get excited too! Add to the culture of health at school by using these nonfood rewards and jumpstart your own creative ideas.

Fun for all ages:
  • Extra music and reading time
  • Homework coupon
  • Time for music and dancing
  • Coupon for prizes and privileges
  • Music while doing school work
  • Certificate/trophy/ribbon/plaque
  • Chat break at the end of class
For specific elementary, middle, or high school tips download our Healthy Classroom Rewards tip sheet for motivational ideas anytime!

What non-food rewards are tried and true in your classroom?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eat Right with Color Challenge: Week 3

Spinach Spinwheels-A 2010 Stirring Up Health Recipe Contest Winner!
Congratulations on making it through week 3 of the Eat Right with Color Challenge. Here is a summary of this week's daily challenges. Remember to keep it up on the weekends! You're halfway there!

Veggie Fresh. At the market, make it a point to purchase some fresh vegetables on sale and eat them for a meal within 24 hours.

Color your snack with calcium. Try low-fat cheese and apple slices, use blended low-fat cottage cheese as a veggie dip, top canned fruits with low-fat yogurt, or drink a glass of low-fat milk.

Canned on hand? Eat a can of veggies from your pantry. Keep a good supply using Del Monte’s handy pantry list.

Be Creative! Combine different fruit and veggie colors and flavors. Strawberries/bananas, tomatoes/peppers, or pineapple salsa.

Nature’s Fast Food. Carry home-made fruit snack packs when traveling or on the go!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Partner Spotlight: Lifeway Foods 25th Anniversary Tour

We'd like to recognize our friends at Lifeway Foods for their amazing support of nutrition education for kids during their coast-to-coast 25th Anniversary Tour. Their blog post We're Gonna Party Like It’s 1986! gives just a glimpse of the fun atmosphere surrounding the 25th Anniversary celebration! Kicking things off is a fabulous cross-country tour, an 11-week, non-stop party from coast to coast, celebrating everything fun and funky about the 1980s.

What's YOUR favorite 80's memory? We've got some staffers who grew up in the 80's and they've shared just a few: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Boomboxes and cassette tapes, and BIG Hair and side ponytails! Add your own favorites on Lifeway's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LifewayKefir!

The tour kicked off last week at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Now the retro road trip is hitting the road, with plans for weeklong stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Boston. The party will culminate in New York City, with Lifeway Foods Executives ringing the NASDAQ stock market closing bell in Times Square on May 16.

Health-conscious families, college students, and fitness enthusiasts alike are invited to the free festivities, which will celebrate the 1980s with an awesome modern twist. Activities include
  • pedaling the customized human-powered blender bike, blending tasty Lifeway Kefir smoothies
  • taking a blast-from-the past 1980s-styled photo using green screen technology
  • participating in digital games
  • enjoying Foursquare check-in prizes and
  • sampling Lifeway's healthy and delicious lowfat flavors, including new Birthday Cake flavor!
In addition to throwing this totally rad party to commemorate 25 years in business, Lifeway Foods will donate a total of $25,000 to Healthy Kids Challenge. The goal is to have guests in each city generate 2,500 minutes of pedal power on the human-powered blender bikes within the week. For every minute a guest pedals, Lifeway will donate $1 to the organization. Lifeway’s donation will enable us to expand the number of schools and youth organizations we can support with our nutrition education programs in the ten cities the anniversary tour visits.

According to Edward and Julie Smolyansky, CFO and CEO of Lifeway Foods, respectively,
“We are beyond excited to reach this milestone in our company history and celebrate with a national 80s themed anniversary party! Because kefir is a nutritional beverage loaded with probiotics, calcium and protein, Healthy Kids Challenge is the perfect partner for Lifeway Foods as we are both focused on nutrition and the importance of living a healthy life.”
We are thrilled that Lifeway Foods has chosen Healthy Kids Challenge as the beneficiary of their generous donation. Together we can make a difference in young people’s lives!

Want to see if the tour will be in a city near you? Check out our map here.

To stay updated on Lifeway’s 25th Anniversary mobile tour, “Like” Lifeway Kefir on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifewaykefir or follow Lifeway on Twitter @lifeway_kefir.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Books with Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Messages for Preschool Children

Here is our most recommended resource for preschool reading, nutrition, and activity!

The Michigan Team Nutrition Preschool Book List
Did you know the original list for elementary children is updated? The UPDATED Michigan Team Nutrition Booklist: An annotated list of over 400 books with postive food, nutrition, and physical activity messages for children in grades K-2, is available for download at the same link above!

Reading...Smart Eating...Moving...Balance My Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eat Right with Color Challenge: Week 2

Welcome back to Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge! How did you color your daily diet this week? Was it easier than last week?

Week 2 - March 7-11, 2011

1.Rate Your Plate! Find out how you rate when it comes to making daily meal choices. http://www.eatright.org/NNM/content.aspx?id=5334

2.Color your plate with whole grains & explore the variety! Try barley, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa; in a soup, side dish or salad.

3.Fruit Snacks. Try fruit as part of one snack each day. Choose from your favorite fruit - fresh, frozen, canned or dried!

4.Veggies PLUS. Eat an additional serving of veggies for dinner every day; Del Monte's Recipes for Wellness make it easy!

5.Healthy Dessert Alert. Have applesauce, fruit cocktail, or canned peaches for dessert.

Remember the weekends count too! Here's what to do: Pick one of this week's challenges and repeat it on Saturday. Repeat it again on Sunday, or pick another for Sunday. It's simple!

Coming up...canned veggie ideas and more!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Healthy Breakfast Pita Pockets

"I really like breakfast and I like tacos, so I combined the 2 for my recipe.” – Hannah. Hannah Beh of Ontario Middle School, Ontario, OH, won the 2010 recipe contest with her "Healthy Breakfast Pita Pockets" recipe. It's packed with yummy veggies and protein that will get your day off to a nutritious start!
Hannah's Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Mrs. Klaus, presented the recipe contest as a class assignment and encouraged the students to enter. Hannah learned about MyPyramid, kept a food log, and determined the calories she needed based on her exercise routine.

Healthy Breakfast Pita Pockets

1 pkg. whole grain wheat pita pockets (use 2)

6 eggs (2 whole eggs and 4 whites)

1/8 c. skim milk

1 pkg. (8oz.) low fat shredded mozzarella cheese

1 pkg. (6 oz.) pre-cooked chicken breast strips

Salsa: ½ can (14.5 oz.) Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes

1 can (8.75 oz.) Del Monte Whole Kernel Canned Corn

1 green onion, finely diced


1. Cut 2 whole grain wheat pita pockets in half. Set aside.

2. Make the salsa: Smash the contents of ½ can of Del Monte petite Cut Diced Tomatoes in a bowl. Drain the Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn and place in the bowl with tomatoes. Add the diced green onion and stir. Set aside.

3. Separate 4 eggs putting the whites into a bowl. Add 2 whole eggs and 1/8 c. of skim milk. Whisk the egg mixture until well blended.

4. Scramble/cook the egg mixture in a non-stick frying pan.

5. Lay the chicken breast strips on a microwave-safe plate and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.

6. Place the pita pockets on a microwave-safe plate and warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

7. Assemble the pockets. Place the chicken on the bottom layer of the pita, next add some of the scrambled eggs, top with the salsa mixture and shredded cheese."The project was interesting and fun. I definitely learned that I need to eat more vegetables." –Hannah

For more recipes and info, visit the National Stirring Up Health Middle School Recipe Contest page.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eat Right with Color Challenge: Week 1

My favorite color of fruit is red...juicy, summer strawberries!
 Welcome to the Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge! Come here to see the weekly summary of the Challenge! There were only four days this first week, did you meet the challenge?

Week 1 - March 1-4, 2011
  1. Eat Right with Fruit. The color of my favorite fruit is _____. Challenge yourself to eat fruits of this color today.
  2. Eat Right with Veggies. The color of my favorite veggie is ______. Challenge yourself to eat veggies of this color today.
  3. Mix it up! Make a fruit smoothie every morning for breakfast. Try frozen berries and banana slices mixed with low-fat yogurt, and even a tablespoon of peanut butter.
  4. Pack some power. Toss some baby carrots or celery sticks into a plastic sack and into your bag before leaving the house each morning. Challenge yourself to eat them before lunch!
Remember the weekends count too! Here's what to do:
  • Pick one of this week's challenges and repeat it on Saturday.
  • Repeat it again on Sunday, or pick another for Sunday.
  • It's simple!
Coming next week…meal and dessert challenges.