Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

HKC On the Road: Milwaukee, WI

When PEP Grant coordinators in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) noticed that students were throwing away untouched baked potatoes served at lunch, they responded by producing lighthearted YouTube videos about a number of different fruits and veggies.

During our 2 days of Balance My Day Training for 6th - 8th grade teachers in the MPS, we got to be entertained by several of these videos which feature MPS students demonstrating preparation tips and giving geography and history facts about a fruit or vegetable. The short videos were designed for teachers to play in order to encourage students to eat healthier; they are a terrific addition to the District's Nutrition and Physical Activity Toolbox.

One teacher commented that if students aren't taught about healthy eating, all they know to do is pick up chips from the local convenience store. We discussed techniques to encourage Smart Snacking in order to help address his concerns. Teachers also learned about ways to work with their building's Coordinated School Health Teams in order to effect policy and procedure changes regarding nutrition education and physical activity promotion.

I was thrilled to hear a number of teachers who planned to go back to their schools ready to help their health and wellness teams reach out to students and families in creative ways such as food tastings at parent nights, Brain Breaks in classrooms - even those with limited space for movement- and literacy activities using books their students are enjoying to help promote more minutes of motion and healthy food choices. Because of the thorough actions the PEP Grant Team at Milwaukee Public Schools continues to take, students there are truly learning how to "Balance My Day."

“Well prepared, great, inexpensive activities to use at our schools. Thank you for letting us discuss schools situations, roadblocks, etc.” -Liz Dimick, Barton/081

“The workshop was really enlightening. It gave me ideas on how to teach my nutrition unit this year.”-Grace Scott, Dr. King Elementary