Early Back to School Ideas
July 28, 2003
Health experts say it is never too early to get your children prepared for the next school year, especially when it comes to eating healthy and being physically active.
The On the Move With FoodWise (OMF) project of Contra Costa Health Services is including a flyer about "Healthy Back to School Ideas" in the August mailing to 8,000 Contra Costa food stamp households. The flyer contains information in English and Spanish about how parents can make sure their children eat healthy at school and get regular physical activity. (For a copy of the flyer or more information about healthy eating and regular physical activity, call Blanca Campos at 925-313-6843 or go online to www.cchealth.org/topics/nutrition/.)
"Most food stamp families have school-age children who would surely benefit from simple and easy steps that their parents can take to help keep them healthy," says Blanca Campos, OMF administrative coordinator.
Campos says the flyer sends the message that it's easy to be healthy at home and school. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday and getting 60 minutes (for children) of daily physical activity are key to being healthy.
Campos notes that childhood obesity has become nearly epidemic among school-age children. "Early obesity is a major risk factor in developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke later in life," explains Campos.
She points out, however, that children who are given an early start in healthy eating and regular physical activity tend to keep these habits in the long term. "Getting children started early on healthy eating and regular physical activity is an essential step in preventing obesity," she says, adding that the flyer stresses the importance of parents and schools working together to make sure children have access to both.
"Of course, parents who themselves engage in healthy eating and physical activity are the best reinforcers of this kind of behavior," says Campos.
Campos says the flyer includes a recipe for homemade fruit cocktail, an excellent and healthy snack for the summer as well as for after-school.
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