Reading, writing, and wellness

ar126998914948937 Reading, writing, and wellness

Healthy living needs more support in the schools

This year I’ve joined my neighbor as a health and wellness committee chair at my kids’ school. At first I kind of dreaded the job–like everyone, I’m overscheduled and the last thing I need is to be on another committee. But now that we’re discussing potential plans, I’m pretty excited. We all know that childhood obesity numbers are growing, so anything to help keep kids healthy is a worthy cause.

A few of the things we are looking into for this year:

  • Restarting a weekly recess walking program
  • Putting healthy living tips into the school newsletter
  • Suggesting five-minute exercise breaks throughout the day–recess times continue to shrink nationwide and my kids’ school is no exception.
  • Putting together a training plan for families doing the school’s 5k this March.
  • Finding a way to promote healthier lunch habits

I’m fortunate to be in an area that for the most part, does embrace fairly healthy living. I’m close to DC here and thus have a county full of type As, which means that runners and triathletes are a dime a dozen. This in turn carries over to the kids around here. Still, it doesn’t hurt to promote healthy habits in the schools as well, a practice I believe we as a nation fail.

If you’re interested in helping fight childhood obesity, be sure to swing by Cook, Train, Eat, Race, where Jason has a fundraising campaign going to do just that.

Do your local schools help keep kids active and healthy?

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Comments

  1. says

    I think it’s great that you are getting involved with this, of all the people you are the expert! I work with too many college kids who have never even had any classes/lessons related to health and fitness; we need to start kids early! Good for you!
    Jen recently posted..I’m Back!My Profile

  2. says

    My boys are not yet school age, but I am curious to know what they do to promote health and wellness. I was at the high school track this morning and when the lunch lady showed up to start the day’s prep, I actually wondered what they offer for healthy choices. I seem to remember a lot of tater tots and pizza when I went there.
    Carrie @ Maine Mom on the Run recently posted..Track TuesdayMy Profile

  3. says

    I love this! What great ideas! Even though I don’t have kids, I think this is such an important issue. We need healthy kids to become healthy adults. I wish schools would start looking at recess as an opportunity for kids to learn as it’s a great time for them to learn cooperation, team building skills, and problem solving. Good luck with your committee, I hope you’ll continue to update us throughout the year!
    lisa @ early morning run recently posted..Detroit Half-Marathon Training Recap: Week 6My Profile

  4. says

    Great job in being on the committee. Thank you for helping spread the word of obesity and what we can do to fight it as well.

    As you know this is a subject near and dear to my heart so keep doing what you do.

    I met a guy who jumps rope to help fight childhood obesity last week, and he does amazing stuff. One person, One School at a time and this will go away.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Orbana Healthy Energy ReviewMy Profile

  5. says

    Inactivity seems to be an epidemic. My neighborhood is about a mile away from the elementary school. This is a very safe area and still, kids take a school bus every morning, very few walk to school.
    I am homeschooling so one would think that with more flexible schedule homeschooled kids would get more exercise than school kids. Unfortunately, on average, that is not the case. I am trying to organize hikes but that is not enough, I know. You inspired me to try and devise a more regular healthy living program. Thanks.
    Ewa recently posted..Enlighten meMy Profile

  6. says

    Our school lost a lot of teachers and gained 100 new students this year and a lot of the parents are super worried that things are going south. Some of the parents have been talking about starting an afterschool activities group that involves learning AND movement and I’m excited if we do follow through with this.
    julie recently posted..Monday Morning Dance PartyMy Profile

  7. says

    I really like this and wish our schools would do something like it. I’m always looking at all the unhealthy parents at our school and think someone should get a message to them. They are obviously not giving the right message to there kids. I would definitely target the parents as well. All the best with this, I really think it is great!
    Johann recently posted..Reality Struck Me DownMy Profile

  8. says

    That sounds awesome – can’t wait to hear more about it!!

    I wish our local schools did more to keep kids healthy and active with programs like yours!

  9. says

    These are all great.

    SO what happened to recess? I remember when I was a kid, all he did was play football or basketball or tag all recess long. I am not up to date with what kids do now
    BDD recently posted..It’s the LawMy Profile

  10. cheryl says

    I coached x-country for 7 years at my elementary school-there are city wide meets that attract hundreds of kids every year (all run by teachers AFTER school and on weekends). Our middle schools offer before and after school practice for their volleyball, track, cross country, basketball teams . Our lunches are so low fat and offer fruits and salads so most of it gets thrown away. (about 80% of our kids at my middle school are on free breakfast/lunch-it’s such a waste!) I think we just need to do away with food at school all together. Let parents be responsible for their kids’ lunches and then schools can’t be the scapegoat anymore.
    Do the math-
    kids spend less than seven percent of their lives in the school setting from ages 5-19 if they attend school EVERY DAY. (184/190 days a year at 6.5 hours a day). They consume a little more than that percentage in meals if they eat breakfast and lunches at school EVERY DAY!
    Our kids at the middle school level have a great p.e. program (as most schools do) but you can not force a middle school kid to dress out-and they or parents don’t care about an “F” in p.e.
    So….SCHOOL problem? Hardly.
    Fat kids= fat parents. Let schools do what they are supposed to do-teach peoples’ children and not raise the whole child. Or bring back boarding schools-they still have them on reservations.

  11. Emz says

    Holy. Freaking. Cow.
    Unlike some….I do see it as a “school problem” & a home problem.
    To think this could all be solved by doing away with food at school is asinine.

    • cheryl says

      why?
      we get blamed for making kids fat…which is asinine.
      I see kids with high sugar soda/caffeine drinks in the a.m. before school-oh and big bags of hot cheetos. the school district is not buying this for them-
      They bring a dozen cupcakes to celebrate b’days at lunch. We can’t take it away from them. I saw two moms sitting in the cafeteria waiting for their kids-they had purchased four pizzas (large) to eat. Yes they were overweight. How would YOU handle that? We can’t tell the parents “no”.

  12. says

    I love that you’re a part of the school health/wellness initiative. It is SO important to mold kid’s lifestyles and nurture healthy habits.
    Our school is pretty good. I’ve watched bake sales go away and physical activity increase exponentially over the years. Love it!
    Teamarcia recently posted..The Post I Hoped Not to WriteMy Profile

  13. says

    I think this is great. When I was in elementary school one of the moms did jazzercise with us during recess (yeah it was the 80’s). I look back at that now and think it was so great. I know it is one more thing on a busy schedule but those kids will get so much from it!
    Katie recently posted..Epic Fail Parenting MomentMy Profile

  14. says

    Oh LOVE THIS POST! Congrats to you for promoting wellness in the schools! I just did a post on childhood obesity a few days ago, check it out, the stats are scary!

    When I taught p.e/health, a few moms organized a morning running club and the kiddos would get there 30min early and run around the school with plenty of parents alongside them! It was an awesome way to get the kids active to start their day and the parent involvement and support was AMAZING! Good luck on this new responsibility, I’m sure you’ll do GREAT at promoting healthy lifestyles to your parents and students! Yay for YOU!!!
    marissa recently posted..Childhood Obesity AwarenessMy Profile

  15. says

    Love the walking at recess program. At my school kids used to earn toe tokens to put on their shoes for every mile I think and it really inspired them.