A Healthier Pantry:  The Sharing Place

Posted on March 21, 2018 at 2:43 PM by Megan McKinney Cooper

A couple of Mondays ago at the Sharing Place food pantry in Lawrence Township it was 11 degrees outside and a line was already forming for the pantry 30 minutes before it was scheduled to open.  For the people waiting, this would be their one opportunity to access food from the Sharing Place all month.  Until recently, the Sharing Place didn’t give a lot of thought to the nutrition of the food its shoppers were accessing – food is food for someone who is hungry.  But Jump IN for Healthy Kids’ Community Demonstration Project in Lawrence and the Far Eastside had changed that, and changed the pantry’s layout, signage, and offerings for the better.

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What is healthy? 4 steps anyone can take 

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 2:14 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Have the Olympics triggered conversations in your house about sports and having a healthy body?  Now is a great time to talk about the connection between physical activity and staying healthy.  You don't have to be a world-class athlete to have strong bones and muscles. Here is a simple formula that you can use every day (you may already be doing one or more of these activities) to help your body function in good form.    

Our friends at Let's Go! created a simple slogan to help you remember four ways to be healthy every day: 5-2-1-0. These research-proven recommendations come from experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Tips for a Healthier Breakfast 2018

Posted on February 2, 2018 at 1:32 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

You often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it's important to make it count. Forget the doughnuts and the big-as-your-face muffins drowning in sugar sprinkles. A healthy breakfast includes a variety of whole grain, fruit, vegetable, dairy and meat or meat alternative combinations. With a little planning and our tips for a healthier breakfast, you’ll be well on your way to getting the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Child with breakfast smoothie

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How to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving (or at any holiday party)

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 6:37 AM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

It's possible to celebrate Thanksgiving—or any holiday—without going overboard on sweet treats and calorie-laden food and beverages. Here are a few simple strategies to help support you in eating healthy at your Thanksgiving Day celebration. 

Drink water

Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and feel full. Additionally, by choosing water, you'll be avoiding empty liquid calories. Remember, that 12 oz can of Coke contains 140 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar—skip it and you'll save room for dessert!

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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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13 ways to encourage fruits and vegetables in school lunchroom

Posted on October 5, 2017 at 11:59 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids

Did you know that simple marketing and presentation strategies can affect the number of fruits and vegetables that students eat? Here are some Smarter Lunchroom strategies that encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables:

Focus on Fruit

Offer at least two different kinds of fruit

Think beyond apples, bananas, and oranges. Smarter Lunchrooms expose students to a wide variety of fruits, including grapes, watermelon, mandarin oranges, peaches, berries, and kiwi. Fresh, frozen, dried, and canned are all equally nutritious. 

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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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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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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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