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Children, 5-18 years of age spend a great deal of time in school. Therefore, the school setting is a great place to encourage healthy eating and physical activity habits. Research has shown that children that are properly nourished and physically active have higher academic achievements, “they have to learn to be successful, but they have to be healthy to learn” (Action for Healthy Kids, 2008 Annual Report).

Use the lesson plans and programs below to help start a healthy habits approach in your classroom, school, or community. Visit the website’s resources page for more activities.

Contact us to see which organizations in St. Joseph County are providing the CATCH and We CAN! programs and materials to local schools.


Team Nutrition- USDA Use this website to find lessons plans and activities utilizing MyPyramid; the official USDA food pyramid.
http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/educators.html - For activities
http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/resources/mypyramidclassroom.html - For lesson plans

Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge- Indiana Action for Healthy Kids Game On! is a year long approach bridging children, families, and schools in the challenge to adopt healthy eating habits and increasing physical activity.
http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/gotuwc/index.php
http://www.indianaactionforhealthykids.org

Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health (CATCH) CATCH is an evidence-based, coordinated school health program designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices from preschool to 8th grade. Currently, over 7,500 schools implement the CATCH program throughout the U.S. and Canada.
http://www.catchinfo.org/
http://www.sph.uth.tmc.edu/CATCH/

We CAN! – National Heart Lung and Blood Institute-National Institutes of Health We CAN or "Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition" is a national program designed for families and communities to help children maintain a healthy weight. This program focuses on 3 important behaviors: improving food choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing TV screen time.
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/

ReCharge! Energizing After-School – Indiana Action for Healthy Kids The first nationally distributed after-school program that fully integrates nutrition and physical activity through teamwork-based strategies for children in grades 3-6. This program is in partnership with the National Football League. ReCharge focuses on energy in equals energy out concept, teamwork and goal setting.
http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/Recharge/index.php
http://www.indianaactionforhealthykids.org

Don’t have time within the school day to focus on healthy eating and physical activity habits? Try any of the programs after-school or look into a coordinated school health approach and teach the food pyramid during math class!

What is a coordinated school health approach?

"Coordinated school health programs (CSHPs) are integrated, planned, school-based programs that are designed to promote physical, emotional, and educational development of students. They include health education and promotion, disease prevention, and access to health-related services" (National Center for Health Education)

For more information on coordinated school health approaches, please visit http://www.nche.org/growinghealthy_coordinatedschoolhealth.htm