Jump IN's Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge

Posted on April 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM by Megan McKinney Cooper

Did you know? Jump IN for Healthy Kids is fortunate and honored to be one of the 50 organizations competing for the $250,000 Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge.  The Challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties. The partnership empowers small to mid-size U.S. cities and counties to create a positive health impact. 50 communities were selected by competitive process to be part of the Challenge, and Jump IN's community demonstration project in Greater Lawrence and the Far Eastside (GLFE) was selected as one of the 50. Jump IN's work and the work of our partners is broad and deep, and we've listed nearly everything below that we're up to in GLFE, so it's a bit of a long read, but we really wanted to tell you about our work.  It's a lot, and there are wonderful partners and grassroots efforts that are helping improve the health of residents every day.  If we are fortunate enough to win the Challenge, the prize money will go directly into the GLFE community to continue and expand our work. 

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Taking Giant Steps to Healthy Success:  Promiseland Child Care

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 2:45 PM by Megan McKinney Cooper

When Vida Benjamin came to Promiseland Child Care center on the far eastside of Indianapolis, she’d been recently laid off and was interested in volunteering and being with the children, never expecting she’d stumble on a new passion.  Clearly gifted with the children, one day she was asked if she might be interested in joining Promiseland on staff, and today she’s been its director for over four years. Promiseland is a Paths to QUALITY level 3 licensed, registered, child care ministry, housed in Calvary Temple "The Caring Place” church. Promiseland serves 65 children, ages 6 weeks through 5 years, and has a special program for older children during school breaks.

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7 More Resources for Physical Activity in Child Care

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 6:50 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

 

Looking to start, expand, or freshen up your physical activity or health education program in the new year? We've rounded up 7 toolkits and curriculum resources for you to explore.

Animal Trackers

Animal Trackers is a complete motor skills and physical activity curriculum developed by the nation’s leading specialists in health and education. A program for preschool children ages 3-6, Animal Trackers features over 60 activities spread out over 10 units filled with colorful characters, games, songs, and stories. Creep and crawl like Lenny the Lizard, or gallop like Harry the Horse. Fee required to access program materials.

Check it out

Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Early Childhood Coordination Kit

CATCH Early Childhood is designed to nurture a love of physical activity, provide an introduction to classroom-based gardening and nutrition, and encourage healthy eating in children ages 3-5. Little ones are motivated to walk, run, jump, dance, and move their whole bodies while playing and having fun.

Check it out

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How to encourage active play in daycare, preschool

Posted on November 9, 2017 at 10:48 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

If you work with children 5 years of age and younger, you probably already know that active play is important. But how much active play time do they need each day? What does "physical activity" for this age group look like? And how can you encourage active play if children are reluctant? 

Let's look at the key recommendations for child care providers at specific ages, as well as tips for reaching those recommendations in your daycare center, preschool, or home.

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Fun and healthy Halloween parties for school or home

Posted on October 27, 2017 at 2:50 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Halloween may come just once a year, but when candy and sweet treats take center stage at our celebrations, the cumulative long-term consequences are scary. 

Shift the focus of your Halloween celebration away from candy and have fun with healthy snacks, active games, and non-food prizes instead. 

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Teach healthy habits in early childhood: easy as ABC...

Posted on October 20, 2017 at 12:36 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Habits established in early childhood last a lifetime. We know that ages 5 years and under are particularly critical in developing healthy behaviors and attitudes towards food and physical activity. What can child care providers do to encourage healthy habits? That's as easy as ABC...

Active Play

We often say, "Everyone needs 1 hour of physical activity every day," but best practices in early childhood care call for even more active play. Young children need 120 minutes, or 2 hours, of active play every day, both indoors and outdoors. The benefits are plentiful. Active play:

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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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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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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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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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