In North America obesity continues to be a problem, one that extends throughout life as children move into adolescence and adulthood and choose progressively less physical activity and less healthy diets. This public health issue needs to be addressed early in childhood, when kids are adopting the behaviors that they will carry through life. Eat Well & Keep Moving, Third Edition, will help children learn physically active and nutritionally healthy lifestyles that significantly reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases.
This award-winning evidence-based program has been implemented in all 50 states and in more than 20 countries. The program began as a joint research project between the Harvard School of Public Health (currently the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Baltimore Public Schools. In extensive field tests among students and teachers using the program, children ate more fruits and vegetables, reduced their intake of saturated and total fat, watched less TV, and improved their knowledge of nutrition and physical activity. The program is also well liked by teachers and students. This new edition provides fourth- and fifth-grade teachers with the following:
- Nutrition and activity guidelines updated according to the latest and best information available
- 48 multidisciplinary lessons that supply students with the knowledge and skills they need when choosing healthy eating and activity behaviors
- Lessons that address a range of learning outcomes and can be integrated across multiple subject areas, such as math, language arts, social studies, and visual arts
- Two new core messages on water consumption and sleep and screen time along with two new related lessons
- A new Kid's Healthy Eating Plate, created by nutrition experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, that offers children simple guidance in making healthy choices and enhances the USDA's MyPlate
Eat Well & Keep Moving also offers a web resource that contains numerous reproducibles, many of which were included in the book or the CD-ROM in previous editions. The web resource also details various approaches to getting parents and family members involved in Eat Well & Keep Moving.
A Holistic Approach
Eat Well & Keep Moving is popular because it teaches nutrition and physical activity while kids are moving. The program addresses both components of health simultaneously, reinforcing the link between the two. And it encompasses all aspects of a child's learning environment: classroom, gymnasium, cafeteria, hallways, out-of-school programs, home, and community centers. Further, the material is easily incorporated in various classroom subjects or in health education curricula.
Eight Core Principles
Central to its message are the eight core Principles of Healthy Living. Those principles--at least one of which is emphasized in each lesson--have been updated to reflect key targets as defined by the CDC-funded Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration partnership. These are the principles:
- Make the switch from sugary drinks to water.
- Choosse colorful fruits and vegetables instead of junk food.
- Choose whole-grain foods and limit foods with added sugar.
- Choose foods with healthy fat, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast every morning.
- Be physically active every day for at least an hour per day.
- Limit TV and other recreational screen time to two hours or less per day.
- Get enough sleep to give the brain and body the rest it needs.
Flexible, Inexpensive, Easy to Adopt
The entire curriculum of Eat Well & Keep Moving reflects the latest research and incorporates recommendations from the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It fits within school curricula, uses existing school resources, is inexpensive to implement, and is easy to adopt. The content is customizable to school and student population profiles and can help schools meet new criteria for federally mandated wellness policies.
Most important, armed with the knowledge they can gain from this program, elementary students can move toward and maintain healthy behaviors throughout their lives.