Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Staff Wellness Ideas

Actions taken to build staff wellness and role-modeling.

Millennia Elementary School teachers have been promoting fitness and exercising on and off campus. Role modeling and making good food decisions are seen by the students throughout the school.

  • Teachers are encouraging healthy snacks during snack time
  • Cafeteria is serving healthy ala carte items
  • Staff requests healthier snack options in the vending machines
  • Six staff members participated in half marathon and five other staff participated in a 5K run
  • Staff members made commitments to fitness gyms with a workout buddy/fellow staff member
  • The school store now offers healthy options for classroom rewards and is used by 8 out of 10 classrooms
  • Fitness Fridays are held for students and staff encourages variety of physical activities
  • All participating faculty were given door hangers to show that their support was much appreciated

“Kids get excited about Fitness Fridays. Six of them had to show me their new sneakers!”
Joy Flack, teacher and health team leader

80% of the 50 staff participated in the healthy events and/or in planning the healthy activities and 100% of staff was recognized for their support of healthy changes!

“The change will continue (staff wellness) and as our staff increases and changes over time there will always be a need to be fit. Teamwork can make a difference." - Cigna Making Strides School, Millennia Elementary, Orlando, FL, Joy Flack, Teacher and Health Team Leader

Healthy choices were modeled at staff meetings when only foods that fit the new snack guidelines were served at breaks.

Cigna Showcase School, Mary Munford Elementary, Richmond, VA, Greg Muzik, Principal

Employees at the Kearny County rural hospital created their own wellness program and invitedChildren jumping in the air outside people in the community to join them. A weight loss group met for 30 minutes every Wednesday at noon. Basic nutrition topics such as hydration, sodium, and fat were presented. There were three class goals: 1) educate, 2) empower, and 3) counsel. The focus was on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The participants did not weigh in: they self-report any changes on a chart.

In 4 months time, they had lost 82 lbs. as a group. For nine weeks, 12 employees took a walking challenge. Using pedometers to track their steps, average steps per day ranged from 8,200 to 26,550. They also found the most sedentary days were Sundays and Tuesdays. Based on this evaluation, members stepped up their activity on the more sedentary days.

Kansas Kids C.A.N. Program, Kearny County Hospital, Lakin, KS, Helen Grubbs, Dietary Manager

A teacher in-service helped staff understand the value of role-modeling and taught Boy eating from bowlskills for making positive fruit/veggie and physical activity choices personally and for their students.

The two hour in-service took place after school for 35 teachers, the principal and district assistant superintendent during early release days for students. The HKC HEAR-SEE-DO workshop format provided knowledge, awareness, skill building and goal setting such as:

  • self assessment of personal eating and physical activity habits
  • demonstration of how to incorporate fruit and vegetable messaging into existing classroom activities
  • practice for building skills needed to implement healthy messages into classrooms
  • using active play and brain breaks to improve learning
  • implementing small consistent actions to create lasting effect for self and students

Teacher survey indicated training benefit:

  • 99% felt that they would be able to make some changes in their classroom using the new information they had learned. This included incorporating more movement in the classroom and wellness themes throughout the course of the day.
  • each recorded a personal wellness goal/change they would like to make for themselves
  • each set a wellness goal/change they would like to make for their classroom

Feedback from the in-service has been used to provide additional classroom resources such as the healthy snack list for sharing day, activity ideas for classroom movement, and will bring a wellness component to International Day.

“Our primary obstacle with the in-service was finding a date and time that worked with the schedules of everyone involved. This event would not have taken place had it not been for the support of my administration. From the superintendent down to the principal; all were very supportive.” - Williamsburg Community Health Foundation Grant, Charles City Elementary School, Charles City, VA, Kristin Massey, Physical Education Teacher