At Jump IN for Healthy Kids, we talk a lot about what employers, schools, child care centers, places of worship, community centers and youth service providers can do to facilitate healthy eating and physical activity within their organizations. There is no doubt that what happens in these places has substantial impact on the lives of children and their caregivers.
But ultimately, we want the healthy habits established in these places to spill over into family homes as well. You can make that happen by sharing what you’re doing—as well as other tips—with the families you serve. Whether you, your workplace, school, or child care center is already a role model for healthy living or just beginning the journey to improve, there are simple steps you can take to share tips and influence the lives of children and families you know.
Tell families and caregivers what you’re doing
If your organization has taken the Jump IN Pledge, written a recreational screen time policy, overhauled its vending machines, started a walking club, changed the way you order food for meeting and events, placed signs encouraging the use of stairs over elevators, or any combination of other similar activities, make sure your constituents know it. Have the CEO, principal, director or board president send a formal letter or email to those affected, explicitly naming the changes and explaining why they are important. Lead by example, regularly assessing the health of your environment, making improvements and sharing the rationale for your chosen strategies.
Share bite-sized tips in regular communications
Tuck healthy living tips and strategies into communications that already exist. If you have an intranet page, printed or electronic newsletter, all-staff email list, community bulletin board, or paycheck stuffers, make it a habit to include a brief healthy eating or physical activity tip. Depending on the frequency of your communications, you might launch a creative feature like a “Fitness Friday” or “Wellness Wednesday” tip, or a once-a-month challenge (to exclusively take the stairs or eliminate lunchtime sugary drinks, for example). You might even print healthy recipes submitted by employees. You can likely obtain content like this from your health insurance provider, and you can reprint material from Jump IN’s blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts.
Use social media in innovative ways
Speaking of social media, consider the opportunities you have to communicate using these modern tools with employees, families you serve, or other community influencers. Does your school have a private Facebook group for families? That’s a great place to post bite-sized tips like the ones mentioned above. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, like and share strategies you see that appeal to you, and tell stories about healthy changes you’ve seen and made within your organization. By doing so, you position yourself as a leader and innovator in your industry and an effective marketing tool for your team—qualities valued by existing and potential employers.
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