Parents –Did You know you can help create healthier lives for your children? One step you can take is to help plan healthy classroom parties? With the end of year parties approaching–why not end on a good note? Special occasion foods are okay in moderation, right? Yes! But moderation has sadly been redefined. Nowadays, sweet treats seem to have infiltrated most everyday events, and “special occasion” foods have become a daily indulgence.
Of the nation’s overweight 5 to 10 year-olds, 61% already exhibit at least one major risk factor for heart disease and 26% have two or more! One study found that 60% of autopsied accident victims aged 15 to 19 years had atherosclerosis, a precursor to heart disease, the nation’s #1 killer overall.
So start changing your kid’s health with the end of year classroom celebrations and get your summer off to a healthy kick-start? These events bring together parents, teachers, and kids—precisely the three groups of people that need to be involved in a healthier America if we hope to prevent kids from the untimely onset of adult diseases. After all, it is clearly established that childhood obesity is an accelerator of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
June Healthy Classroom Celebrations!
Healthy Food Ideas:
- Fireworks coleslaw to celebrate the last day of school (purple cabbage, red peppers, green onions and a healthy low-fat dressing). Give it a good name and make it colorful, and kids will eat it!
- Fruit or veggie kabobs. Skewer fruits of different colors and shapes. Dip in low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese. Alternating a variety of vegetables and low-fat cheese slices on a skewer is also delicious.
- Orange Segments or Apple slices dipped in orange juice to prevent browning.
- Granola bars. Choose low-sugar varieties with healthy fats.
- Low-fat popcorn. This looks great in festive bags.
- Whole-wheat soft pretzels. Great with low-fat yogurt dip.
- Focus on fitness and have field games or round-robin out-door activities. Research shows kids activity level actually decreases in the summer –so remind them to move now by being active in school.
- Talk about building healthy hearts in their bodies and the many activities to get moving for the summer.
- Start to look for grants that promote physical fitness in your school during the summer. Write a grant proposal as part of a school committee for Dance-Dance Revolution or other inside games for rainy days that get kids moving. It may even decrease school tardiness if you have a morning program like this that gets excited about arriving early.
- Give the most important muscle a workout! Make it a dance party, a jumping party, or balance-a-balloon-on-your head party. The possibilities are endless!
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