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Take Action and Help Kids Get Healthy

On occasion, I receive phone calls at Illinois NET from teachers, dietitians and other health professionals who want to get involved in the fight against childhood obesity. Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is one organization that anyone with an interest in decreasing the number of children that are overweight can join. AFHK assists schools and school districts improve the quality of school meals, enhance nutrition education, improve physical education and provide opportunities for kids to get active.

Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge and ReCharge! Energizing After School are two innovative resources developed, in part, by Action for Healthy Kids, for schools. Details about each program are provided below.

Game On! integrates nutrition, physical activity and learning through a series of activity stations that will stimulate minds and bodies. Participation by adults and children, not performance, is rewarded. Schools can host a Game On! Challenge at a back-to-school event as a fun way to kick off the year and show the parents they are committed to their children’s health. All components of Game On! are free (with registration) and downloadable from the AFHK website.

ReCharge! was a collaborative project between AFHK and the NFL. It was originally designed for after-school programs, but can also be utilized by classroom teachers for recess or by PE and health teachers for class. Students in grades 2 to 6 learn how to make healthy nutrition choices and get active through fun, team-based lessons. Contact ReCharge@ActionForHealthyKids.org to learn more about the program.

Are you an Illinois resident? Join Action for Healthy Kids-Illinois along with the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois NET for the 5th Annual School Wellness and Recognition Conference on May 3 in Springfield, Illinois. School administrators, nurses, educators, foodservice staff, wellness committee members and anyone else who wants to learn more about encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy food at school will benefit. Click here to register and find out more information.

It is easy to become an Action For Healthy Kids volunteer. There are plenty of ways to be involved and make a difference in the fight against childhood obesity such as sharing newsletters and alerts from AFHK with friends and colleagues. To join, simply complete and submit the online registration form. Volunteering with AFHK is an easy first step you can make to help take action and get kids healthy.

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