Healthy Kids Challenge® (HKC) does not administer grants. We do, however, post grant opportunities offered by other organizations and agencies that may help you support kids in making healthy eating and physical activity choices.
HKC's staff of registered dietitians provides assistance and resources to make a healthy difference for kids and families! Contact HKC for ideas and resources.
Please Note: HKC does not administer the following funding opportunities.
Youth Foundation Grants
Grants providing opportunities for kids to participate in community-based youth athletic programs and camps that emphasize active lifestyles.
Why and How Healthy Kids Challenge® Can Help
HKC is a nationally recognized program, directed and led by registered licensed dietitians with years of school, program and community wellness experience.
HKC is the exclusive nutrition education partner for SPARK, one of the best physical education programs in the world.
The Top 5 Reasons to Contact HKC Today!
In partnership with SPARK, HKC helps guide best practice solutions to the growing problem of inactive and poorly nourished kids.
HKC continuously strives to align the Balance My Day Nutrition Education Curriculum with the most recent nationally recognized standards such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT), the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Out-of School Time Framework (HOST) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Guide for Effective Nutrition Interventions and Education (GENIE).
HKC's low cost, evidence-based resources are developed for flexible implementation. Healthy eating activities incorporate active movement that add minutes of motion to the day.
HKC provides customized training for classroom and PE educators, after school staff, school wellness councils, and community partners.
From New York City, the Big Apple, to sunny California, HKC is helping to create healthier school environments that last far beyond a single grant!
A HKC consultant will ask you a few questions, learn about your current program, and listen to your vision for tailoring a grant program. In partnership, we'll create a program that will WORK and LAST.
HKC-SPARK Specific Planning Helps
You want (or must include) nutrition education and want to connect it with physical activity in your grant application, but how are you going to do it? Here are some tips from HKC and SPARK, the most field tested and research based PE program ever. To date, more than 150 PEP grants have been awarded to organizations that chose to implement SPARK curriculum and training!
Plan an IGNITE workshop into the proposal. SPARK-HKC sample text for grant writers. Take steps to create a culture of health, where the total environment supports healthy eating and physical activity opportunities every day.
- Develop or enhance nutrition education. The HKC curriculum is comprehensive, yet it is formatted for great flexibility. That makes it easy for us to help you customize it to meet your needs. Curriculum samples:
- Use HKC resources, training, and distance assistance to integrate nutrition education into your classrooms, afterschool program or physical education classes.
- Create and/or enhance physical activity and nutrition-related policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout students’ everyday lives.
- Make school nutrition services a key player in developing a healthier environment.
- Identify tools to assess progress in elementary and middle schools.
- Balance My Day™, available for grades K-2 and 3-5, is a comprehensive curriculum, aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HECAT (Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool) standards. The curriculum has clearly defined nutrition education objectives, outcomes, and measures.
- Take Healthy Action booklet guides wellness team actions.
- Health Works! Wellness in Academics 6-booklet toolkit. Each booklet focuses on one of HKC Healthy6 behaviors + MyPlate for Grades K-8. The content is designed to help school and community program wellness teams promote and link healthy behavior messages throughout the school and home.
- Healthy6 Parent Tips, a set of 18 one page tips is a resource schools and community youth organizations can use to connect with parents. These reproducible resources are a healthy asset at health fairs or family nights, or as part of a newsletter.
HKC’s workshops are customized to meet your identified target audience and grant needs. HKC will provide instruction in healthy eating habits and good nutrition for a range of audiences.
Hands-on workshops not only instruct, they also incorporate effective resources and guide the completion of action plans for the most effective implementation and sustainability of grant-identified outcomes. Examples of workshops:
- Wellness policies
- Wellness team development
- Integrating nutrition and physical movement into core curriculum
- School nutrition services - HealthierUs School Challenge
With HKC’s strong emphasis on sustainability, consulting always incorporates train-the-trainer guidance. HKC helps guide:
- Need assessment
- Feasible action plan development and implementation
- Outcome measures
- A foundation for sustainability
Over the years, HKC has learned that schools, organizations, and agencies benefit greatly from ongoing consultation with a licensed, registered dietitian. Whether the questions pertain to nutrition education, nutrition services, or the nutrition environment, an R.D.’s opinions and recommendations are invaluable. The HKC Distance Assistance program provides your school/agency with an R.D. “Resource Coach” who listens, provides solutions, and helps students and staff navigate the path to wellness.
What you can expect:
- One complete school year of distance assistance to help guide and help your wellness team create a sustainable culture of health in your school.
- Your own personal wellness resource coach, a HKC registered licensed dietitian, with expertise and years of working with schools and community groups in the area of school food service, child nutrition, school wellness policies, health and wellness in schools, and creating sustainable healthy change.
- An average of two hours per month of phone and email support. How and when the time is designated is agreed upon based on needs.
- An initial phone assessment by your coach to help guide assistance and healthy school change action plans.
- Assistance includes resources to help guide team meetings and wellness action plans for EFFECTIVE results.
The HKC mission is to “develop leaders who help kids and families eat healthy and move more."
The HKC model background research
The HKC program is based on the social cognitive theory. The application of social cognitive theory to health promotion and behavioral change is the model for HKC evaluation. Social cognitive theory seeks to affect health knowledge, self-regulatory skills (motivation and decision-making), and self-efficacy (confidence level) by offering programs that work through these components. The HKC “Hear-See-Do” focus emphasizes commitment to promote both passive and active learning within every aspect of the program. HKC recognizes the impact of social support on children’s attainment of the desired immediate outcomes (health knowledge, self-regulatory skills, and self-efficacy) and eventually better health outcomes.
Social cognitive theory holds that social-environmental contingencies, personal cognitive capabilities, and behavioral skills are linked and interact (Bandura 1977,1986). Interventions based on this theory target each of these components to influence the adoption of a new health-enhancing behavior (Perry, Story, & Lytle, 1997). Specifically, Bandura (1997) has recommended four components for programs to promote health behaviors: an informational component to increase knowledge, a component to teach self-regulatory skills, a component to increase self-efficacy (confidence level) in self-regulatory skills, and a component to increase social support for behavior change. HKC actively pursued this model when designing the program model and all four components are enacted through the HKC “Hear, See, Do” methodology.
For the most effective assessment, HKC curriculum measures, aligned with HECAT identified outcomes (knowledge, skills, and behavior), are directly linked to the learning activities. Policy, environmental and other measures are based on gold standards include the Centers for Disease Control School Health Index and National Association of State Boards of Education School Health Policy Guide, and HealthierUS School Challenge Guidelines.
Studies present evidence of success with the following variables, which are components of HKC programs:
- Nutrition information. The type of information provided to participants in order to increase knowledge and facilitate motivation is critical. Information that is understandable, personally and culturally relevant, and that increases one's knowledge about the particular behaviors associated with poor health outcome is more helpful than general health information (e.g., prevalence or etiology of a particular disease) (Fisher & Fisher, 2000).
- Self-regulatory. Teaching self-regulatory skills is an important component. Teaching self-regulatory skills can be accomplished by providing social models who themselves are successful at engaging in healthy behaviors. Increasing self-efficacy about the ability to apply these skills in everyday life can solidify these skills.
- Self-efficacy (confidence in being able to achieve wellness goals). Teaching self-efficacy involve having children understand realistic goal setting and rehearse or practice the behaviors that lead to the ability to practice health promoting behaviors.
- Social support. Components of the social cognitive theory have been widely applied and tested among community and school-based interventions designed to promote health behaviors in children and adolescents (Botvin, Eng, & Williams, 1980; Perry, Kelder, & Klepp, 1994; Perry, Killen, Telch, Slinkar, & Danaher, 1980). An extensive body of research has documented that self-efficacy is an important mediator of health behavior (e.g., Colleti, Supnick, & Payne, 1985; Condiotte & Lichtestein, 1981; Holman & Lorig, 1992; Strecher, DeVellis, Becker, & Rosenstock, 1986). Thus, although the model itself is difficult to test (Fisher & Fisher, 2000), empirical support for components of the model and the usefulness of the model in designing health promotion programs is well documented.
- Comprehensive, coordinated school health education. Advocates (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of State Boards of Education and others) suggest that in addition to developing health curriculum, school-based health services, and health-enhancing environments, comprehensive school programs also need to (Allensworth & Kolbe, 1987):
- Include the development of health policy, community partnerships,
- Provide healthy food services
- Offer counseling
- Provide physical education
- Offer health promotion for staff and faculty
In this light, HKC has positioned itself as a flexible and broad-based nutrition-related intervention that aims to give kids access to health information and healthy role models in all aspects of the community to encourage healthy living as a habit. HKC has worked to incorporate education and encouragement of teacher and staff health choices in order to truly alter the attitudes and behaviors of the community interacting with the children.
- Outcomes and Evaluation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00042446.htm) stress the importance of providing students with knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to make positive health decisions. HKC evaluates knowledge, behavior and skill outcome measures.
HKC is nationally recognized:
- American Dietetic Association’s “Award of Excellence for Community Dietetics”
- National Advertising Council “CAN (Community Action Network) Award”
- Cooking Light named HKC one of the “Top 12 Change Makers in Nutrition” over the past 25 years
- Cooper Clinic study “Silver” ranking for programming
- National Dairy Council honored HKC as “Most Sustainable Grant Project”
Using a Likert-like scale, HKC’s trainings and presentations are consistently rated “Exceptional” and “Better than expected”.
Demonstrated Action: County health educators made follow-up visits to childcare participants in their facilities 1 week after HKC training and found a high confidence level for making changes and actions taken, including healthier food options, policy enhancements, parent connections, and healthy messages. “We are so excited...” Educator, Platte County Health Department
Easy to Use Information
“I loved that activities were easy directions, things you could learn quickly.” Teacher, Concordia Missouri
Year-long Distance Assistance and Support Program
Schools participate at their own level of readiness and needs. For example, some teams start with a well developed team and others have not been developed. Following are some results from Orlando, FL, schools that opted to participate in yearlong distance assistance and support.
Of 20 Orlando Schools participating in HKC’s year-long assistance and support program –
- 64% Started or enhanced (or expanded) a KidLink team
- 71% Started or expanded healthy eating options (classroom, vending, school store, etc.)
- 64% Added minutes of physical activity to the day
- 57% Started or expanded a staff wellness plan
- 86% Started or expanded staff participation in wellness actions
- 64%Started or expanded school food service actions (i.e., marketing to increase participation)
- 86% Started or increased nutrition education
HKC’s ACTION based learning extends to fun educational events sponsored by U.S. companies who are leaders for health promotion, including:
- Explore MyPlate—a HEAR, SEE, and DO event where participants interact within food groups.
“I was here yesterday but brought my co-workers back today to "Walk" together and talk about changing our snack habits at work.” Employee, Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Ready Set, Cook, and Eat—this event blends team building and cooking for healthy interactive learning.
"RSCE is a great way to use food and bring a nutrition message to life"! Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Orange County Public Schools
- Dairy Dazzling—an awesome event within existing school events to rally parents for wellness. The development of the program was funded by a grant and displayed on the National Dairy Council Web site. National Dairy Council honored HKC as "Most Sustainable Grant Project".
“Everyone had a great time. I saw children talking their parents into playing their games… We should do this again next year!” Educator, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Workshop + Distance Assistance
HKC has extensive experience in customizing FEASIBLE plans based on existing resources and needs of school nutrition services. Expect the best outcomes when you combine HKC workshops with our expert follow-up distance assistance! HKC's partnership with Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, FL began years ago with a workshop, continued with HKC distance assistance and now involvement with their Chefs Move to Schools event. Read details of the HKC-School partnership and the event at this link: Chefs Move to Schools - Orange County Public Schools.
Note: Currently, there are 552 schools in America that have been certified HealthierUS Schools. By June of this year, there is a Let's Move! goal of having 1,250 schools certified.
- Allensworth, D. & Kolbe, L. “The comprehensive school health program: Exploring an expanded concept.” Journal of School Health, 1987. 57, 409-412.
- Bandura, A. “Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavior Change,” Psychological Review. 1977. 84, 191-215.
- Bandura, A. Social Foundations of Thought and Action. A Social Cognitive Theory. 1986, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Bandura, A. Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. 1997. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
- Botvin, G., Eng, A., & Williams, C. “Preventing the onset of cigarette smoking through life skills training.” Preventive Medicine, 1980. 9, 135-143.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coordinated School Health. (http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/CSHP/)
- Colleti, G., Supnick, J. A., & Payne, T. J. “The smoking self-efficacy questionnaire (SSEQ): Preliminary scale development and validation,” Behavior Assessment, 1985. 7, 249-260.
- Condiotte, M. M., & Lichtestein, E. “Self-efficacy and relapse in smoking cessation programs,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1981. 49, 648-658.
- Fisher, J. D., & Fisher, W. A. Theoretical approaches to individual level change in HIV risk behavior. In J. L. Peterson & R. J. DiClemente (Eds.), Handbook of HIV Prevention(pp. 3-55). 2000. New York: Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers.
- Foster GD, et.al. A Policy-Based School Intervention to Prevent Overweight and Obesity. Pediatrics April 2008;121(4):e794-e802.
- Geier AB, et.al. The Relationship Between Relative Weight and School Attendance Among Elementary School Children. Obesity 2007;15:2157–2161.
- Judge S, Jahns L. Association of overweight with academic performance and social and behavioral problems: an update from the early childhood longitudinal study. J Sch Health, 2007;77(10):672–678.
- Holman, H., & Lorig, K. Perceived self-efficacy in self-management of chronic disease. In R. Schwarzer (Ed.), Self-efficacy: Thought control of action (pp. 305 – 323). 1992. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
- Murphy JM, Drake JE, Weineke KM. “Academics & Breakfast Connection Pilot: Final Report on New York’s Classroom Breakfast Project.” Nutrition Consortium of New York State. Albany, New York. July 2005.
- Perry, C. L., Kelder, S. H., & Klepp, K. I. “Community-wide cardiovascular disease prevention with young people: Long term outcomes of the class of 1989 study.” European Journal of Public Health, 1994. 4, 188-194.
- Perry, C., Killen, J., Telch, M., Slinkard, L., & Danaher, B. “Modifying smoking behavior of teenagers: A school-based intervention.” American Journal of Public Health, 1980. 70, 722-725.
- Perry, C.L., Story, M., & Lytle, L.A. Promoting Healthy Dietary Behaviors. In R.P. Weissberg, T.P. Gullotta, R.L. Hampton, B.A. Ryan, and G.R. Adams (Eds.), Enhancing Children’s Wellness Vol. 8: Issues in Children’s and Families’ Lives (pp. 214-249). 1997. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Productions.
- Strecher, V. J., DeVellis, B. M., Becker, M. H., & Rosenstock, I. M. (1986). The role of self-efficacy in achieving health behavior. Health Education Quarterly, 13, 73-91.
Evaluation Specific References
- Byrd-Bredbenner C, O'Connell LH, Shannon B. Junior high home economics curriculum: its effect on students' knowledge, attitude, and behavior. Home Econ Res J 1982;11(2):123-33.
- Byrd-Bredbenner C, O'Connell LH, Shannon B, Eddy JM. A nutrition curriculum for health education: its effect on students' knowledge, attitude, and behavior. J Sch Health 1984;54(10):385-8.
- Byrd-Bredbenner C, Shannon B, Hsu L, Smith DH. A nutrition education curriculum for senior high home economics students: its effect on students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. J Nutr Educ 1988;20(6):341-6.
- Contento I, Balch GI, Bronner YL, et al. Nutrition education for school-aged children. J Nutr Educ 1995;27(6):298-311.)
- German MJ, Pearce J, Wyse BW, Hansen RG. A nutrition component for high school health education curriculums. J Sch Health 1981;51(3):149-53.
- Lewis M, Brun J, Talmage H, Rasher S. Teenagers and food choices: the impact of nutrition education. J Nutr Educ 1988;20(6):336-40.
- Shannon B, Chen AN. A three-year school-based nutrition education study. J Nutr Educ 1988;20(3):114-24.
- USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. Nutrition Education: Principles of Sound Impact Evaluation.