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Seeds in the Middle
Inspiring Social Change through Sustainable Health in Schools
Inspiring Social Change through Sustainable Health in Schools

Seeds in the Middle's posts

Childhood Obesity

Almost 60% of overweight 5-17 year-olds have at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor. 25% have two or more risk factors.

Did You Know?

Only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity

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Going Bananas!

We all know bananas are good for you, but how good? They have tons of natural healing characteristics that you may not even know about!

- Energy Natural sugars (sucrose, fructose, and glucose) combined with fiber give you an instant, sustained boost of energy
- Anemia Bananas are high in iron, which make them great in battling anemia
- Depression Tryptophan in bananas converts into serotonin, helping you relax and improving mood
- Blood Pressure High potassium make it great for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and strokes
- Mosquito Bites Rubbing bananas on the skin help reduce swelling and irritation

Did You Know?

30 years ago, kids ate just one snack a day, whereas now they are trending toward three snacks.

Nutrition in the Classroom
The classroom is a great place to teach children about nutrition and how to make healthy choices. Engaging them in activities will help them get involved and excited about learning. Here are a couple classroom activity ideas to get you started!

- Surveys Have kids conduct a survey about healthy food choices. Have them create choices between healthy and unhealthy foods and survey other kids or family members. They can then create charts, graphs, or pictures (depending on the grade level) depicting their results.
- Recipe Show and Tell Students can find a healthy recipe to prepare and bring to school. They can present the food, telling why it's healthy and any healthy substitutions they made, then share it with the class.
- Lunchbox Lesson Ask each student to bring in a packed lunch one day. Everyone can sit in a circle or in groups and create piles differentiating between healthy and unhealthy lunch items.

How will you teach kids about healthy choices?

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Kids and Exercise

Childhood obesity has increased from 5% to 10.4% in children 2 to 5 years old between 1976 and 2008. For children ages 6 to 11, that number has increased from 6.5% to 19.6%. And for kids 12 to 19 years old, that number has jumped from 5% to 18.1%. This problem is increasing in all age ranges and threaten obese children with a greater risk of developing health problems.

In California, in 2008, about 60% of kids grades 5, 7, and 9 are not meeting the All Fitness Standards, which tests upper body strength, flexibility, aerobic capability, body composition, abdominal strength, and trunk strength.

Researchers have seen that regular exercise and physical activity among children improve their overall health as well as their learning capabilities. Making sure children get the recommended amount of physical activity will improve their comprehension and test-taking skills.

What are you doing to make sure your kids are getting the exercise they need?

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Motivating Kids to Exercise

It can be difficult to pry kids away from the TV or computer. Here are some ways to make it a little bit easier:

- Make it a group activity. Have them invite friends over, or exercise as a family.
- Do activities that don't feel like exercise, like bike riding, walking the dog, or water parks.
- Set up a family sports night once a week to get everyone involved. You can play volleyball, badminton, football, or basketball.

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Basketball Games for Kids

Make basketball fun for kids while they're practicing their skills with some of these games:

- H-O-R-S-E: One player takes the first shot from anywhere. If the player makes the shot, the next player must attempt the same shot. If the second player misses, he gets the letter "H" and the next player becomes the shooter. If the second player makes the shot, the third player must also attempt the shot. When someone gets all letters H-O-R-S-E, they are out, and play continues until there is one player left.
- Around the World: Grab 5-6 cones and place them around the basket in an arc. The player must start at the first cone and continue shooting until they make it, then can move to the next cone. Use a timer to see who can complete all cones the quickest.

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Healthy Food Alternatives
1. Frozen Waffles: These are usually high in sugar and low in fiber. Why not try Oatmeal with berries or raisins.
2. French Fries: Typically high in fat and sodium, these common fast food snacks don't offer much nutrition. Try Sweet Potato Fries instead...and you can bake them to make them even healthier.
3. Soda: We all know soda is high in sugar and kids should try to steer clear of them. If they want something sweet to drink, try Coconut Water
4. Sugary Breakfast Cereal: Filled with empty calories and food coloring, these cereals are appealing to kids. Try Eggs or a Breakfast Egg Burrito instead
5. Hot Dogs: This is a food staple for most kids, but they are high in sodium and fat. Next time, grab a Turkey Dog
6. Potato Chips: Chips are such an easy snack when kids want something salty, but these sodium-heavy treats are bad for everyone. Instead, try Veggie Chips

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How to Get Your Kids To Eat More Vegetables

It can be difficult to get your kids eating the recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables a day. Here are a couple ideas to help:

- Get Scrambled Start the morning off with a healthy omelet using mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes
- Sweet Roasting Some veggies taste sweeter when baked, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets
- Be Prepared Set aside an hour a week to chop all your veggies for the week's meals
- Veggie Pasta Make your pasta from ribbons of squash
- Meatballs Grate carrots, squash, and cucumber into meatballs or hamburger patties
- Stuff It Stuff a piece of chicken breast with some veggies
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