Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

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

Reading - Smart Eating - Moving…Balance My Day

Wichita, Ks. January 29, 2010 -- Once again, Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC), a Kansas-based 501(c)3, is helping to make it possible for healthier eating and physical activity choices everywhere children live, learn work and play!     


Thanks to funding by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and help from Healthy Kids Challenge and libraries across Kansas, preschoolers and their families will hear, see, and practice healthy eating, physical activity and less screen time through literacy!  The initiative, Reading- Smart Eating – Moving…Balance My Day, helps families practice healthy habits in such a fun way, it dispels the notion getting healthy is difficult.

Beginning fall 2010, librarians across Kansas will participate in a day of training to look at opportunities in their community pre-K library programs to help kids eat more fruits and veggies and get more physical activity in the day.  Toolkits and teaching resources along with HKC coaching for one full year to help guide implementing healthy eating and activity messages and practices into library programs is also part of the grant support provided. 

For years, nutrition educators in schools have advocated the link between literacy and healthy eating.  However, in a recent article, Nemours Health and Prevention said that it is too late to reach kids in elementary school.  In every community, libraries and their outreach to pre-school children through various programs are a perfect place to provide earlier support for healthy eating and physical activity.

According to registered dietitian and Healthy Kids Challenge Director, Vickie James, the enthusiasm by libraries and other collaborators has been terrific!  The Lane County librarian, a participant in a previous HKC grant, was actually the spark that developed this project. According to Ruby Martin, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a lot of space or time, even something small to promote healthy eating and activity could make a difference.”  Ruby took that message to the Kansas library services coordinator and encouraged libraries to “Take the Challenge” in any way they can.

According to the U.S. Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, United States, pre-school children are getting heavier. In Kansas, the percentage of obese 2-4 year olds grew from 8.8% in 1998 to 12.6% in 2003 and 13.3% in 2008. 

Thanks to the Health Fund grant, Healthy Kids Challenge, and Kansas librarians, children will have greater support for healthy choices.