Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Wednesday WOWs

Wednesday WOWs
Welcome to Wednesday WOWS! February 25, 2009
W-wonderful O-opportunities W-with S-schools

....Easy HEAR-SEE-DO action tips each week

HEAR .... Provide a message to increase awareness of knowledge/skills
SEE   .... Show people HOW to make healthy changes
DO    .... Help people practice and make healthy changes

The WOWS Message: New Physical Activity Guidelines


October 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services issued the government's first ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help everyone understand the importance, the amount, and types of activity needed to help people reduce health risks including weight. In order to put the new guidelines into action, team up KidLinks™ with kids and try the fun suggestions below to get everyone moving and adding more minutes of physical activity!


U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" ( - Check out the detailed guidelines to see what you can do to improve your fitness and those you lead
National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Teacher Toolbox - "Physical Activity Calendars" ( - simple ideas and challenges to increase physical activity

Healthy Kids Challenge Resources

  • Acting Up booklet -  easy class activities that link active play with math, social studies, health and language skills
  • Downloadable Activity Tips  - check the November and May links for Active Play EVERY Day activities


Create fun "KidLink™ Physical Activity Challenges" with the kids you lead!

  1. Feature a teacher or staff member who will lead a "challenge" with kids at a designated lunch recess time for a special day or week. Schedule times so each grade level gets the opportunity to challenge a teacher/staff member to a physical activity feat. Challenges might include the fastest race walker, best cartwheel performer, best balancer on one leg, or best skipper, for example. Get as many kids involved in the challenge as possible. Be creative and have fun! 
  2. Develop "Active Play Buddies" and link a teacher/staff person with a classroom. Once a month the kids write their "buddy" an encouraging note or suggestion about exercise and the "buddy" writes a simple physical activity challenge for the class such as, "Make sure to walk fast or run for part of recess each day this month." Get challenge ideas at the NASPE Web site above.
  3. Create a "Principal's Parade"! After morning announcements the principal leads a class, or all the kids, teachers and staff on a walk around the school to get a little activity and emphasize that exercise is important at your school. This can be done once a week, daily for a focused month or whatever works!
  4. Monthly have kids write a family physical activity challenge to take home. In class, brain storm simple ideas and let kids pick one idea they want to work on with their family that month. Follow-up at the end of the month and ask kids what they did, while encouraging those that may have had barriers from completing their challenge. Problem solve barriers to exercise as a class and praise the successes.

Take Note: The Recipe Contest Deadline is Getting Closer! Get involved in the fun and prizes now!
"Stirring Up Health™" Recipe Contest
- Entry deadline: March 21, 2009. This is the Healthy Kids Challenge middle school contest (for 7th and 8th graders). Check out the classroom learning ideas.

Fun HKC Prizes
Consider providing incentives and prizes for physical activity "challenges", such as HKC bookmarks and T-shirts. Check them out at our Online Store .

HEAR - SEE - DO Tips for Newsletters

Cut and paste a HEAR-SEE-DO tip each week into your own parent newsletters!

More Minutes of Active Play
Make family physical activity simple and fun! Try some of the ideas below:

  • Blow up a balloon and see how long your family can keep it in the air
  • Play "Hot Potato" with a soft ball or bean bag
  • Play musical chairs

Thought for the Day

"Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground... it makes it feel needed." -- Charles M. Schultz

For questions about Healthy Kids Challenge, please contact:
Vickie L. James, RD, LD, Director