Get kids cooking to encourage healthy eating

Posted on September 28, 2017 at 10:28 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Kids who cook and assist with meal preparation eat healthier foods. Start young. Preschoolers love helping in the kitchen, and even infants and toddlers can get involved.

2-year-olds can:

  • Clean vegetables and fruits
  • Wash and rip lettuce and other greens
  • Tear bread into smaller pieces
  • Deliver shatterproof tableware to the table

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Help reduce screen time with family activity kits

Posted on September 21, 2017 at 3:57 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

What can you—as an employer, a school, a child care provider, or another community-based organization—do to help families unplug at home and limit recreational screen time to a maximum of two hours per day? 

Educating parents, children, and families about what is healthy—and what the consequences of excessive screen time are—is one strategy. But you can also support their efforts to reduce screen time by making alternative activities available. Try offering activity kits. 

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How can corporations support wellness in their community?

Posted on September 8, 2017 at 12:00 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Jump IN for Healthy Kids CEO Julie Burns will present a session on community engagement at the 2017 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit on October 3-4. 

Get a sneak preview of her session, Connecting Wellness to Corporate Responsibility, by reading her guest blog post on the Summit's website.

Find out why community engagement is a strategic investment and how to align internal wellness initiatives with philanthropic activities. Get ideas for activities that corporations can pursue as well as ideas for individuals. 

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50 ways to reduce childhood obesity in central Indiana

Posted on September 7, 2017 at 8:09 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Four in ten kids in central Indiana are at an unhealthy weight. That's nearly a quarter million kids, or enough to fill Lucas Oil Stadium three times. 

Because of their weight, these kids are at significantly higher risk for life threatening conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

How did we get here?

The causes of the obesity epidemic are numerous and complex. Food has become highly processed, calorie dense, and “super-sized.” Many families lack access to affordable, healthy food. Children have fewer opportunities to play and be active, as recess and physical education classes have been reduced or cut entirely in schools. Too many kids spend too much time sitting in front of computer screens, tablets, or smart phones. Many of them live in neighborhoods that lack safe places to play.

As a result, simply promoting public awareness and “personal responsibility” will not solve this crisis. There are no simple or one-size-fits-all solutions. 

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Healthy eating for kids before and after sports practice, games

Posted on August 30, 2017 at 8:13 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

A healthy diet keeps your child’s body and mind functioning at their best. For young athletes, healthy eating is essential to maintaining energy and focus for practice and games as well as replenishing nutrients afterwards.

Before you head to the drive-thru or pack sweet treats and Gatorade for the team, check out these simple, healthy alternatives for healthy eating before and after sports:

Before Practice and Games
Sports practice sometimes conflicts with the usual family meal time, but you’ll want to feed your child before heading over to the field. Healthy carbohydrates are a smart choice to give kids energy. If kids are eating roughly an hour before playing, include some protein to help keep them from getting hungry again too soon. Examples:

  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Popcorn (plain, no butter or additives)
  • Blueberries
  • Raisins
  • Peanut butter sandwich with banana
  • Yogurt cups or tubes with fruit and/or granola
  • Grapes and cheese

Some healthy foods can actually upset stomachs when kids are active. Avoid vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers right before games and practices.

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Child care program introduces health education with ready-to-use kits

Posted on August 22, 2017 at 11:53 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Local spotlight: IU Health West Day Early Learning explores wellness with stories, songs, dolls

Matt Miller, director of IU Health West Day Early Learning, had a few doubts about teaching his pre-K students about biological organ functions.

What sense would young children make of stories and songs about characters like Hardy Heart and the Kidney BrothersWould preschoolers really be able to make connections between a stuffed doll and their own health and wellness?

But Miller was pleasantly surprised by what happened when the class began regularly using the story books, dolls, and music that his center received as part of a grant from Anthem. The tools are part of two curriculum kits from OrganWise Guys, a health and nutrition program with research-proven impact on children’s waist circumferences, BMIs, blood pressure, and test scores.

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4 Assessment tools to identify workplace wellness priorities

Posted on August 10, 2017 at 12:05 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

A wellness program that strives to keep employees healthy is a strategic investment. To curb rising healthcare costs, many employers are advancing workplace health programs to:

  • make improvements in the worksite environment,
  • help employees adopt healthier lifestyles and,
  • ultimately, lower the incidence of costly chronic diseases.

One of the first important steps in creating your employee wellness program is assessment of the work environment. What are your employee needs and preferences? What are your business goals and objectives? Where do nutrition and physical activity fit into the picture? What kind of timeline might be reasonable to accomplish this work?

There are a variety of assessment tools you can use. Here are four for you to consider:

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Physical activity at daycare: help kids move more!

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 11:42 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

What exactly do we mean when we talk about physical activity at daycare and preschool? How do you know if you provide enough of the "right" kind of opportunities to help kids get moving? What can you do to encourage more active play?

In short, aim for a wide variety of activities that get all kids moving at the same time. Sprinkle activities throughout the day in age-appropriate lengths of time.

How much?

There is some variation in recommendations for children five years and under. We often refer to the best practice of 120 minutes per day, recommended by the National Assocation for Sport and Physical Education, knowing that this is more than the "1 hour" recommended for ages 6 to adult.

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Healthy breakfast ideas: 15 ways to eat more fruits and vegetables

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 2:37 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

If you want to lose pounds and maintain a healthy weight, focus on increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat. This strategy is more impactful—and more likely to become a lifelong habit—than trying to completely cut out other foods that you love. 

Fruits and vegetables are key to a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

So let's start with breakfast. How can you eat more fruits and vegetables at breakfast? Here are 15 healthy breakfast ideas to try:

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15 fun and healthy school celebration ideas

Posted on July 20, 2017 at 12:20 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

We're in the habit of celebrating with food—usually sweets and candy with lots of empty calories. But it's easy to rethink how you party in the classroom or at day care when you're equipped with fun alternatives that kids love. We've got 15 fun and healthy school celebration ideas to help!

Why healthier classroom celebrations? 

Why does your school or child care center need a healthy school celebrations policy that extends to birthdays, holidays, and special events? "A birthday is just once a year," we might think—but if you have 25 or more student birthdays, and add in Halloween, winter break, Valentine's Day, the 100th day of school, the last day of school...you can easily accumulate 7 full weeks of sugary treats!

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