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Because childhood should be simple ...

Getting Started with Checkpoint

We kick off the program by introducing the topics that will be emphasized throughout the six weeks. We will explain the importance of activity, nutrition and watching your screen time. Throughout the program, we ask the kids to challenge their parents to get involved and will supply information to mom and dad on how they can participate.

Resources and Printables

Kids Getting Started

Get Healthy!It may seem funny to think about, but your mom and dad used to be a kid just like you. Even your teachers were young once. It may seem even stranger to think that someday you will be a grown-up. And as weird as it is, many of the decisions you make today could impact the person you will be in a few years.

That's why we created Checkup Challenge. We want to help you grow up to be healthy. Checkup Challenge is centered on four things:

  1. Activity. Checkup Challenge gets you moving. Set a goal of getting at least 30 minutes of activity in a day and work up to 60 minutes. Remember that you don't have to do it all at once. You can take the dog for a walk, go ride your bike or just go out in the backyard and run around. Have fun, but get moving. Ask your parents to join you. It will be good for the whole family.
  2. Screen time. You aren't being active enough if you spend too much time on the computer, playing video games or watching TV. That's what we call screen time. Other than the time spent on homework, you don't want more than two hours of total screen time a day. Plus, less screen time means you can work on your other goal of getting active.
  3. Food choices. Be sure to think about what you eat and drink. Eat more fruits and vegetables. How about eating a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a hamburger? Another idea is to drink milk or water instead of soda.

Ten ways to stay active 

  1. Get out and walk. A simple way to get moving. It will get the heart pumping, it's free and can be done, just about anywhere.
  2. Try rollerblading or rollerskating. A fun, fast-paced activity you can do outside with friends on a nice day or inside at the local roller rink when the weather doesn't cooperate. Be sure to wear the right protective gear (helmet, knee, wrist and elbow pads) to stay safe.
  3. Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and give yourself a mini workout by taking the stairs. Take a few extra trips
  4. Walk the dog. Take your furry friend or borrow a neighbors' and get outside for some fresh air.
  5. Have a dance party. Turn up the music and move to the groove. Your heart will thank you for it!
  6. Ride a bike. A kid favorite, but be safe and always wear your helmet and ride in well lit, low traffic area and stay alert for cars.
  7. Chores. Do some chores at home like vacuuming or mopping floors. Or, ask if you can do some work for a neighbor, like mowing their grass, raking leaves or washing windows. Mom will be proud and you might earn a few bucks!
  8. Water workouts. Playing around the pool is a great way to cool off in our hot summer sun, but it's also a great way to stay active. Water can be fun, but also dangerous so make sure you have an adult watching at all times.
  9. Basketball. Shoot some hoops with a friend. Make it a race to 21 points and you're getting a great whole body workout.
  10. Playground games. They are the tried and true favorites on the playground, why not try them at home with your friends or family. Jump rope, tag, hide and seek and dodgeball are just a few to try. Mom and dad might even join in the fun as they remember what it was like to be a kid.

Parents Getting Started

Thank you for participating in Checkup Challenge. We hope you will join your child on this six-week journey. This is just the beginning of your child taking health seriously, and the good habits your child forms now can last a lifetime.

Checkup Challenge will focus on four key areas:

  1. Activity. Every week, we will stress activity, the cornerstone of Checkup Challenge. Let's get moving. Ideally, your child should exercise 60 minutes a day. They can break it up into three, 20-minute sessions during the course of the day. We realize that may not always be possible. If your child is not active at all, start by trying to get 30 minutes of activity daily.

    As a parent, it's always best to lead by example, so find ways to participate with your child. Go for a walk, ride bikes with them. Play basketball or dance around the house together. It's OK to look silly, even though this is serious and important. Talk to your kids about what they want to do for exercise or to be more active. And, if you don't want to, or can't, exercise with your child, take time to supervise their activity.
  2. Food choices. Unless it's an upcoming trip or holiday, your child may not think much about the future, but you can help them establish healthy habits they can use for a lifetime. Learning to make the right food choices now will only benefit your child as he/she gets older. We know it's not realistic to expect kids to completely give up sweets or pizza, but you can still find ways to help them make better choices on a day-to-day basis.

    Encourage them to drink more water and milk, in place of sugary drinks. Instead of eating candy, have plenty of fruit in the house. Even at a fast food restaurant, you and your child can choose a grilled chicken sandwich and fruit over the double burger and fries. Or for that matter, maybe the single patty and small order of fries, instead of the super-sized combo platter.

    Tip: Parents are busier than ever. Over the weekend, grill enough chicken for a couple of dinners. You and your child can warm it up with some vegetables during the week for a healthy, quick meal.
  3. Screen time. Remember the days of playing a simple board game or cards? Usually, it didn't take long to get bored and go back outside. But today, kids have many interesting distractions to keep them from being active with computers, TV and video games (screen time).

    Work with your kids to put down the remote control, step away from the computer or turn off the video game system. It would be difficult for a child to give up TV entirely, but maybe he/she can choose to cut back on screen time. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids have no more than two hours of screen time. Plus, the more time spent on the screen, the less time spent on being active.

Leaders Getting Started

Welcome to week one of Checkup Challenge. This week, we'll focus on the four main areas of the six-program - activity, screen time, food choices and point tracking.

Let's take a closer look at each area:

  1. Activity. Every week there will be a focus on increasing activity. It's important to get your class moving. The goal is for the kids to move at least 60 minutes a day. Let your group know that any activity is better than none at all. If they can't do 60, start at 30 and slowly build to an hour. While it's important for them to do something every day, they don't have to do everything at once. They can break it up into three, 10 to 20 minute increments throughout the day. The more they move, the better! Talk to them about playing basketball, instead of a video game. Or simply go outside and play.
  2. Food choices. It's important to take the next few weeks to get the kids thinking about what they are eating and drinking. We want them to focus on making better food choices. No one expects a child to stop eating all the "bad stuff," but little changes can make a big difference. Teach your kids about options. Instead of eating candy, have fruit. Instead of fried food at the lunch room table, choose something grilled. Instead of drinking something sugary, explain the benefits of water and milk.
  3. Screen time. Screen time includes the amount of time a child spends on the computer (other than for homework), playing video games or watching TV. No child wants to give up TV entirely, but they could choose to cut back on screen time for an hour a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids have no more than two hours of screen time per day.

These points help us to continue the program and measure its success. The tracking will allow us to not only gauge the success of Checkup Challenge, but more importantly, the success of each child. People often don't realize how much they eat or how little they exercise until they actually beginning tracking daily.

Getting started

This week, divide the class into teams and either assign them action-packed names such as the "Tornados," "Ninjas" or "Dominators" or have them work together to come up with their own name.

Parents will need to authorize their children's participation in this pilot program and hopefully become another champion and partner for the success of Checkup Challenge. The more parents are involved in a lifestyle change, the better the child performs. Parents can help their children set goals, track results and encourage their children by following helpful guidelines provided in a weekly newsletter. Parents will get their materials once they sign up for the program

We want to establish good habits and let the kids know why it's important to start now. The decisions children make today could impact them for the rest of their lives.

Checkup Challenge checklist

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

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