5-2-1-0 is an easy-to-understand concept created by Let’s Go! Maine to help parents, children, educators, childcare providers, and others remember four important healthy living recommendations. The idea is to encourage kids and adults to incorporate these simple steps into their lives every day: 5 fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour of physical activity, and zero sugar-sweetened beverages. With the help of a CDC-backed study, Maine proved that consistent exposure to the simple 5-2-1-0 message not only increased awareness of the specific daily recommendations but also improved families’ performance on at least two of the four daily goals. Along with health advocates across the country, Jump IN for Healthy Kids has incorporated the 5-2-1-0 message into our ongoing public awareness efforts and aids in incorporating the message into existing programs such as youth serving organizations and schools.
When Jump IN was stood up as an organization in 2014, it was given the task of reducing childhood overweight and obesity in central Indiana from 43% to 38% over ten years, by 2025. If nothing is done to address this growing public health crisis, research tells us that by 2025, the rate will grow to 53% - that's more than every other kid. How do we do it? By creating healthy places, healthy neighborhoods and healthy communities where kids and families can make healthy choices easily and affordably. We integrate proven best practices into schools, child cares, and workplaces. We address healthy food access, the built environments, clinician engagement, and policies that influence access to healthy choices. We collect data to rigorously document our impact. And we take the 5-2-1-0 concept into youth-serving organizations to include in their programming and share the message with the public. The process of moving that 43% in a sustainable, meaningful way takes a long time. Integrating best practices is our focus and we have a lot to share.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Colts, Jump IN for Healthy kids works with school districts in central Indiana to integrate school wellness policies that create healthier environments for children. The new two-year program, Jump Right UP, has just launched in four districts: MSD Pike, MSD Warren, IPS,, and MSD Lawrence. And we're getting noticed for it already. Read the IndyStar's Season of Sharing piece that just came out yesterday.
Jump IN works closely with many schools to help teach good nutrition skills early in life. Research shows that instilling healthy and appropriate eating habits in children impacts their health as adults, so schools are ideal sites for food education. . In addition, balanced and healthy school meals improve student performance and behavior. Introducing kids to new fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can put them on track to become good eaters. We're excited to tell you about some of the great work coming out of MSD Warren and its commitment to improving its nutrition and physical activity policies.
Halloween may come just once a year, but there are many ways emphasize the fun without overdoing it on candy and sweet treats.
Shift the focus of your Halloween celebration away from candy and have fun with healthy snacks, active games, and non-food prizes instead.
As designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), September is National Childhood Obesity Month. Nationally, roughly one in five children suffers from obesity. In central Indiana, those numbers are worse. Jump IN for Healthy Kids is focused on changing those numbers and helping children and families lead healthier lives.
New Year's Resolutions
This week, many schools around Indianapolis are reopening their doors to students after a summer away. A new school year provides opportunities for school leadership to implement new plans and goals for improvement, and this year the school district of Warren Township is implementing some new year's resolutions of their own. Superintendent Dr. Timothy Hanson and Assistant Superintendent Ryan Russel are hoping to focus on the district's view of health and wellness. Warren Township has a new District Wellness Policy that has a larger focus on physical activity in schools as well as stronger nutrition standards. This new wellness policy is much more comprehensive than the district's original and provides an encouraging stepping stone as the district moves forward to make health and wellness a priority in all of its schools.
As summer starts to wind down and the school year begins to get closer, the realities of school lunches creep closer as well. School lunches are a hot topic, and it's not hard to see why. For many students, school lunch represents a big portion of the food they consume daily. In recent years, many new health initiatives have been put in place to create healthier and tastier options for students eating at school, but many school lunches are still far from perfect.
What is a school wellness policy?
In 2004, Congress passed a law stating that each local educational agency (including school districts) that participates in the National School Lunch Program, or any other federal child nutrition program, is required by federal law to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction.