Is your school recess active enough?

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 12:04 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Recess is a great way to get kids active during the school day, and it has many benefits. School recess has been proven to:

  • Increase the amount of physical activity students get each day
  • Improve memory, attention, and concentration
  • Help students stay on-task in the classroom
  • Reduce disruptive behavior in the classroom
  • Improve social and emotional development (e.g., learning how to share and negotiate)

But simply putting recess on the schedule doesn't guarantee that students are active during this time each day. School administrators, teachers, support staff, parent volunteers, and others can take simple steps to encourage physical activity during recess:

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Employee wellness program idea: stock a healthy break room

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 11:22 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Local success story: American Structurepoint helps employees eat healthy with free fruit, nutrition workshops

Pop into the break room at American Structurepoint, Inc., on a Monday afternoon, and you’ll likely find employees snacking on fresh apples, pears, bananas—even kiwi—courtesy of the company.

The architecture and engineering firm on Indianapolis’ northeast side gets produce from local company Green BEAN Delivery each week and makes it available to staff at no charge as one component of its employee wellness program.

“I get notified when the delivery arrives and head to the break rooms to set everything out in baskets and crates,” says Jessica Anderson, co-chair of American Structurepoint’s Employee Wellness Committee. “Then I check on it once a day—condense containers, pull out anything that has over ripened—until it’s all gone. It’s usually gone by Wednesday or Thursday.”

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How to encourage healthy eating in toddlers and preschoolers, even the "picky eaters"

Posted on March 8, 2017 at 10:59 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Many young children are picky eaters who prefer to eat simple, familiar foods—perhaps at home and in child care. They may refuse foods based on color or texture, or play at the table and not want to eat.

While picky eating is common in ages 2-5, this is also an important time that shapes lifelong eating habits. Try responding to picky eating behavior in a positive way to help children move through this temporary phase with healthy attitudes and a hunger for variety. These tips can help:

Serve wisely

  • Introduce only one new food at a time. Serve a well-loved food along with the new food. 
  • Put a small portion of the new food on children's plates so it doesn't feel overwhelming. 
  • Transition to new foods or ingredients slowly. Instead of going directly from whole milk to fat-free, serve 2% for a few weeks, then 1% before finally arriving at fat-free milk. Mix plain yogurt with fruit-sweetened varieties, then add fresh fruit, until kids become accustomed to a full serving of plain yogurt and fresh fruit. 
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5 Tips for a successful employee wellness program

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 6:00 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Full-time employees may consume half or more of their daily calories while at work and spend 25% or more of their waking hours at the office each week. There's no doubt that employers can play a vital role in promoting healthy habits for their employees and their families. 

If you already have an employee wellness program—or are ready to start one—you'll want to keep these 5 tips for success in mind as you plan and implement the program.

  1. Get your company's leadership on board. If the CEO and other leaders are not already aware, show them that the potential return on investment for employee health programs includes reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, improved retention and recruiting, and reduced healthcare costs. Ask the top executives to participate in the effort and be role models for other employees. 

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New healthy workplace guides support your employee wellness program

Posted on March 1, 2017 at 9:30 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Do you have a healthy workplace? Are you working to make your workplace—and your employees—healthier? We can help.

New Guides Available

We are excited to release a robust series of guides to help central Indiana employers create healthy workplaces that encourage smart nutrition and physical activity choices.

Visit the new Healthy Workplaces section of our website for an array of tools including: 

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Move more: physical activity tips for work and home

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 12:50 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

The causes of the obesity epidemic are numerous and complex, but no doubt our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is a key contributor.

Experts recommend a minimum of one hour of physical activity per day—for children and adults alike—but it doesn't have to happen all at once. In fact, peppering the day with short bursts of low-intensity physical activity has substantial health benefits that rival longer single sessions of vigorous activity.

Why do we need physical activity breaks?

Frequent activity breaks help the heart work more efficiently. They also help trim waistlines, improve blood pressure and lower triglycerides and other blood fat levels. Other facts:

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Healthy school party ideas: Valentine's Day snacks, activities

Posted on February 9, 2017 at 9:34 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about candy and sweets. If you're planning to celebrate Valentine's Day in your home, classroom, or child care, take advantage of the opportunity to promote a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ideas:

Healthy Snacks and Treats to Love

Fruit & Vegetable Bouquet

Use heart and flower-shaped cookie cutters to cut fresh fruits and vegetables such as melon and bell peppers. Place them on green skewers and arrange them into a bouquet. Tie together with red or pink ribbon. Students may enjoy with low-fat yogurt, hummus, salsa, or low-fat ranch dressing. 

Heart Sandwiches

Create healthy sandwiches using whole grain bread and strawberry fruit spread. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out mini heart sandwiches. 

Valentine's Day Taste Test

Host a taste test at your party using red fruits and vegetables. Pomegranate, cranberries, apples, blood oranges, raspberries, red peppers and cherry tomatoes are great options. Have students vote on their favorite red fruit and vegetable. 

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Do you know how much sugar you (and your kids) drink?

Posted on February 2, 2017 at 5:00 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

¿Que Cantidad de Azúcar Consume Usted? Click here for this material en espanol.

We often do not think about how much sugar we get from what we drink. Sugary drinks don't fill us up as quickly as food does, so it's easy to take in more than we need. 

5 Alternatives to Sugary Drinks

1. Water—Add lemon or cucumber for flavor, or experiment with these recipes.
2. Sparkling water with natural flavors
3. Unflavored seltzer water with a slice of lemon and a splash of 100% fruit juice
4. Unsweetened iced tea with lemon slices
5. Coffee— black or with a little milk

Tips for Cutting Back

On some days, sugary drinks are hard to avoid entirely. Here are some tips to help you cut back on how much you drink:

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National recognition for innovation and achievement

Posted on January 25, 2017 at 10:25 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

2016 Year in Review - part four in a series of four

 

Jump IN’s mission is to promote policies and practices that create healthy environments where families and children have real opportunities to make healthy choices and engage in healthy behaviors. Research shows that if healthy nutrition and physical activity policies can be implemented in the places where children and families spend most of their time, their health will likely improve.

 In Part One of this Year in Review series we described what we did in 2016 to increase the number of healthy choices that family members have in their workplaces, schools, child care settings, and personal homes. In Part Two we described the launch of our first community demonstration project in Greater Lawrence/Far Eastside, a nationally recognized effort to employ numerous strategies across multiple sectors to increase health in a concentrated geographic region. In Part Three we looked closely at our efforts in 2016 to affect the broader community impacting central Indiana families.  

This post highlights our growing reputation as a nationally recognized best practice initiative addressing childhood obesity as a complex public health issue.

Recognition and Awards

The National Academy of Sciences (formerly IOM) Roundtable on Obesity Solutions recognized Jump IN as a best practice model, featuring Jump IN CEO Ron Gifford in a panel presentation in Washington, D.C., on the topic “The Role of Business in Multisector Obesity Solutions.” (April 2016)

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Healthy Community: increasing public awareness and engagement to decrease child obesity

Posted on January 18, 2017 at 10:40 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

2016 Year in Review - part three in a series of four

Jump IN’s mission is to promote policies and practices that create healthy environments where families and children have real opportunities to make healthy choices and engage in healthy behaviors. Research shows that if healthy nutrition and physical activity policies can be implemented in the places where children and families spend most of their time, their health will likely improve.

In Part One of this Year in Review series we described what we did in 2016 to increase the number of healthy choices that family members have in their workplaces, schools, child care settings, and personal homes. In Part Two we described the launch of our first community demonstration project in Greater Lawrence/Far Eastside, a nationally recognized effort to employ numerous strategies across multiple sectors to increase health in a concentrated geographic region.

In this post we look at our 2016 efforts to engage and educate the larger community for the benefit of central Indiana families.

Healthy Community

Beyond their schools, child care centers, workplaces, homes, and neighborhoods, children and families are also members of a larger community whose values, norms, and policies shape the broader environment in which these families live. For that reason, Jump IN works to influence that environment by encouraging educational conversations on healthy habits, urging the adoption of targeted public policies that promote healthy living, and fostering an overall culture of good health in the community.

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