Whether you’re ready or not, back to school is nearly here so why not embrace it with open arms!? Kids will certainly need to get back on track with healthy eating and behaviors, so try some of these new ways to use The OrganWise Guys in your school. Over the years, we have collected some really creative, unique and effective ways to use “the guys” in the school setting and wanted to share some of them with you.

Here are 5 new ways to use The OrganWise Guys in your school:

  1. Construct a recipe board – If you’re using the Foods of the Month (FoM) in your school, print the back page of recipes from the FoM newsletters and create a recipe bulletin board. You can also print out and share the FoM recipes posted every Monday on our blog.BTS Recipe Wall
  2. Create ideas for a healthier world – There’s nothing like kids using their imaginations, so why not have them come up with ideas for creating a healthier world? Have each child come up with an idea using an OrganWise Guy to promote a healthier world. Reward each participant with a Great Idea Award Certificate and an OrganWise Guy. Ideas for a Healthier World
  3. Design your own OrganWise Guy/Gal – Using this blank body template, color, cut and paste these OrganWise Guys onto the body. Go ahead and let the kids design the body to look like themselves. My OrganWise Guy
  4. Follow the Kid’s Blog Adventures – Every Monday and Thursday on our kid’s blog, features new OWG adventures along with an activity and/or coloring sheet. Make it a habit on these two days of the week to read the short story and let the kids do the worksheets. It’s a quick way to get in a great health and character ed lesson! Color Me OrganWise
  5. Host a taste test – Try introducing new foods to kids with a simple taste test, where they will be more likely to have a taste! If you are using the FoM program, ideally you can coincide the taste tests with the foods of the month. Check our blog each month for taste test worksheets. Try out this berry taste test worksheet or this tropical fruit taste test worksheet to get started. Carrot-Taste-Test-with-Jewel-Jones-EC-City-of-Jackson-MS-1024x768

Hopefully these are some fresh ideas for using The OrganWise Guys materials! If you have your own creative ideas, please share with us on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you! Until then, best of luck as you start the new school year!

 

Peri Stolic high-fiber foodsTeaching kids to eat fruits and vegetables is a challenge frequently faced by most parents. With so many unhealthy options made available to kids on a daily basis, it makes it difficult for them to always make the best decisions. One way that may be helpful to encourage kids to eat these all-important foods, is to teach them WHY they need to eat them. Teach kids to eat high-fiber foods because it can keep them stay healthy and aid in digestion (using Peri Stolic as a source, of course!) This may help them view the whole fruit and veggie issue from an entirely different perspective! We can certainly hope that it does!

Make sure and download the coloring sheet below to help teach kids to eat high-fiber foods:

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You can also download a behavior tracking sheet, which we shared on the blog earlier this week. We encourage you to print out the sheet and track the high-fiber foods that you eat daily to create a help create a habit of eating them!

There’s nothing better than a quick and nutritious weeknight meal. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the same recipes week after week. We loved trying this new recipe, which includes lots of ingredients (chicken, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese) that we already use every week. This recipe is a whole new meal though when you add sliced zucchini (an August Foods of the Month) and cook the ingredients a little differently. Try it out for yourself; you won’t be disappointed!

Skillet Zucchini and Chicken

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 24 oz. jar tomato sauce

2 medium sized zucchini, sliced thin

1 8 oz. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced thin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Use a large skillet on medium heat to cook the chicken breast in olive oil.
  2. When chicken is done cooking (about 5 minutes on each side), pour tomato sauce into the skillet with the chicken and cook on low for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
  3. Arrange zucchini and mozzarella over the chicken and tomato sauce. Cover and cook on low for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat when the zucchini is tender and the mozzarella is fully melted.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with whole wheat pasta or enjoy by itself!

skillet zucchini and chicken

You may also like these healthy zucchini ideas, including zucchini tacos, baked zucchini chips, zucchini tartine, and mini zucchinni pizzas.

Exercise with your child week

Last year, while on summer vacation at the beach, I went for a run. This was no different than my typical exercise routine, I just happened to be running outside instead of on a treadmill and my children were at a beach house instead of in school. When I returned from my run, dripping in sweat and absolutely exhausted (and let’s face it, looking forward to an adult beverage while relaxing on the beach), my then six-year-old son approached me to ask if he could run with me. I was exhausted and had zero energy left but I couldn’t resist those blue eyes and eager heart. This was the perfect opportunity to share my love of running with him.

Howie and I ran one very slow mile but it is by far the best mille I have ever completed. During our run, we talked about life, his likes and dislikes, his friends, his family, and more. He asked me a lot of questions about running and exercise and how it affects the body. His eyes had more energy than his legs so when we were finishing out the last quarter of a mille, he was also exhausted but it gave us an opportunity to learn about what its like to dig deep inside you, finish something you never thought possible and then celebrate after. Going on that run with my son is one of the best gifts he has ever given me. I have that run permanently saved in my memory, it’s clear as day and something I love to relive whenever I can.

While that experience was amazing, not every opportunity to exercise with your child has to be this monumental. It’s the simple things that leave lasting impacts on your children. During Exercise With Your Child Week, when we’re encouraged as parents to exercise with our children, I challenge you to take time away from your normal routine and carve out a few minutes (it doesn’t have to be long) to move with your child. Here are some activities my family loves to do together:

  • Put on your favorite song and dance a wild and crazy dance
  • Chalk drawn hopscotch on the driveway
  • Family bike ride (or if you have smaller ones, walk while your child rides their tricycle)
  • Family walk (play games as you go like finding items that start with a letter or making up stories about the houses on your street)
  • Family game (this can be anything your family enjoys, our summer favorites are kickball, baseball, and throwing a ball)
  • Competitions (jump rope, hula hoop, pogo stick, anything!)
  • Swimming
  • Leap frog
  • Tag
  • Hide and Seek
  • Walk the dogs
  • Run through the sprinkler

The common theme through all of these is making it simple, easy, and doing it together. You can call it exercise or you can call it something else but whatever you do, be sure to talk about how much fun movement can be. With this, you’ll help your children develop a life-long love of exercise.

small MGriffin headshot copyToday we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.

High-fiber foods

We continue our series promoting healthy behaviors to be implemented and tracked for an entire month (and hopefully beyond). In August, the behavior to implement is to choose foods high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods are all high in fiber and should be eaten daily. It’s important to make fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible for kids to grab when they are looking for snacks. Remind children (and it may be a good reminder for you) how important fiber is to healthy digestion. To assist with this reminder you can download and print your free August Behavior Tracking Sheet and use in your home, summer camp setting, or childcare center to encourage and track behavior change.

Watch as the Pirates of the Carrot and Bean search for high-fiber foods in the produce aisle:

 

Here’s to high-fiber foods resulting in easy elimination!

Kids with Veggies

Thanks to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for instituting Kid’s Eat Right Month and promoting the following helpful tips with the hopes of creating healthier kids!

With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure kids eat right and get plenty of exercise is vital. Parents and caregivers can play a big role in children’s nutrition and health, teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day.

August, which is Kids Eat Right Month, is a great time for families to focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families to take the following steps:

Shop Smart – To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Cook Healthy – Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.

Eat Right – Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.

Healthy Habits – You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.

Get Moving – Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.

Getting kids to eat right can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. But experts say that a conversation can help.

“Talk to your children. Learn the foods they like. Teach them about the foods they need for their growing bodies. Find ways together to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and tasty foods at every meal,” says Angela Lemond, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

It may help to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area to ensure your family is getting the nutrients it needs with a meal plan tailored to your lifestyle and busy schedule.

For more healthful eating tips, recipes, videos and to learn more about Kids Eat Right Month, visit www.KidsEatRight.org.

We love this idea of Kid’s Eat Right Month! Certainly there needs to be an ongoing conversation among families and children about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. It’s essential for kids to learn healthy habits at an early age so they can grow up with less chance of developing the chronic diseases associated with obesity.

Here’s to kids eating healthy this month and every month after that!

Kids-Eat-Right-Month

Hardy Heart Outdoor FunWhile summer time is a great break from the school routine for a couple months, it can also create boredom for the kids! It is important to come up with fun and unique ideas to do during the summer to try and prevent the boredom from happening. One of the things that you can do is to create outdoor fun either in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures are cooler outside

Hardy Heart has a really fun idea that kids everywhere will be eager to try!

Download the activity sheet and coloring sheet for today to see what outdoor fun activity he is enjoying this summer!

 

 

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Click Activity Sheet

back to school activity book ipad

It’s that time of year again. Back to school is here. How can it possibly be true? Parents and teachers alike are wondering how the summer has come and nearly gone so quickly! Nonetheless, the inevitable start of the school year is around the corner and we want to help get kids back into a healthy mindset now with an exciting offer. So, do your kids a favor – put all of the summer technology aside and get a free back to school activity book featuring The OrganWise Guys! Your kiddos will enjoy tackling the fun coloring and activity pages. This is a great opportunity to ease the kids back into the habit of doing “work” (but fun work of course!) again, all while giving them a refresher on making healthy choices. While the kids are “working” put out a spread of healthy fruits and veggies for them to snack on!

Click below to download your free back to school activity book:

free back to school activity book

Also check out our Kid’s Club for additional healthy and fun activities for kids. Be sure and share these free offerings with all of your friends, too! They will for sure be grateful!

 

 

 

 

Piloxing 6

Watch out, Zumba – Piloxing is the hot new way to stay healthy while having fun!

Founded by a former dancer, Piloxing combines standing Pilates, boxing, and dance to tone the body and burn fat. To intensify the workout, weighted gloves are usually worn and exercises are done to 145 beat-per-minute music. Piloxing gained popularity quickly, and there are now more than ten thousand certified instructors in over fifty countries.

To test the trend, campers at the 2015 BOUNCE (Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition, Counseling, and Exercise) summer camp, in Houston, Texas, tried Piloxing for the first time.

“It was hard but cool,” said Kyla Carrier, 12. “You get to have fun while working out.”

The BOUNCE camp was founded in 2005 by Dr. Norma Olvera and her research team at the University of Houston and is held annually to empower Hispanic and African American girls, aged 9 to 14, to live healthy lifestyles. Campers and their parents are exposed to physical activities as well as nutrition and self-esteem counseling during the multi-week-long camp.

After exercising vigorously all week at BOUNCE camp, Melissa Chible, 11, especially appreciated how “Piloxing helped with soreness.”

“I do Zumba a lot,” said the volunteer Piloxing instructor Olga Hernandez, “but Piloxing is able to provide that extra challenge I need.”

To find out more about BOUNCE, visit http://bounce.uh.edu.

Today’s post was written by a new guest blogger, Joyce Chen, who is President of the Teen Board of The Oliver Foundation, a Houston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit operating foundation dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity.

learning is fun for kidsIt sure is hard to believe that we are even talking about going back to school yet, as the summer seems to have just started. That’s usually how it goes though! Sir Rebrum brings up a great point, that sometimes it’s good to be challenged with academics and to also ensure recess and time with friends that is available on a daily basis at school. So if the kids start whining about back to school, make sure and remind them that learning is fun for kids and they will get to see all of their friends again soon.

Until that first day of school actually is here though, and you need a little something to entertain the kids, make sure and download the coloring sheet below because remember, learning is fun for kids!

 

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