Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

Article excerpt

KIDS participating in the Rec-Plus program offered by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in 2011 not only benefited from the high-quality services provided by the Board; they also had the opportunity to learn about healthy living and how to develop habits that can help them pursue a healthier life. The Sajai Foundation's Wise Kids program was implemented in 16 community centers serving over 300 children, via a grant the Sajai Foundation received from Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

The students really enjoyed the program, and more importantly, according to the program leaders, "they learned the whys and hows of healthy eating and physical activity." Evaluation scores indicate a +6 point "Healthy Behaviors" gain, which highlights a decrease in screen time and junk food consumption, and an increase in breakfast and fruit and vegetable consumption. What's more, according to parents, the children brought home what they learned, telling their parents about the lessons. Forty-two percent of parents said they learned something new, and 53 percent said they're doing something different in their homes because of Wise Kids. Parents reported that their kids were even reading and analyzing food labels on their own in order to judge what foods were better choices. …

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