3 Minutes to Health Literacy

Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, aka Ophea, is a not-for-profit organization stationed in Canada. Their vision is congruent with the goals outlined in Healthy Teens. Ophea promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for all children and youth through the participation of their schools and communities.

Teaching tools are available on Ophea’s site in the form of lesson plans, program and resource supplements, and activities. Each tool targets specified grades (K-12) and topics in health and physical education, but all reside under the umbrella of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Signing up to access these resources is definitely worth the effort. Ophea also offers professional learning services to educators and other professionals in need of health, recreation, and education training. Ophea is doing awesome things for the province of Ontario, and one resource Healthy Teens wants to share with us in the United States, is their “HANDS UP” video series. HANDS UP for Physical and Health Literacy, is a three-part video series that introduces children to the concept of physical and health literacy, relates the concept to their own lives, and encourages the application of literacy skills in order to live a happy life.

The first part is designed for children aged 4-9.

The second is intended for children aged 8-13.

The final part is designed for youth 12-18.

Averaging a mere three minutes per video, these are fantastic tools to use both at home and in the classroom. The speed-drawing artist is clever, engaging, and sure to keep eyes wide open while viewing. Thanks to Ophea for sharing these simple, but remarkable aids to promote physical and health literacies.

Revving the Nutritious Lunch Engine

It takes some serious guts and passion to set up healthy shop on site of a former McDonald’s. Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey, two fearless moms, launched Revolution Foods in Oakland, California. Their motto “Real Food for All” encompasses the vision of kids eating school lunches made with real, natural, healthy ingredients. Anything artificial is not invited to this California revolution that has over one thousand schools on board. Revolution Foods’ philosophy favors growth spurts over growth hormones, and chefs in chef coats versus chefs in lab coats. It’s really that simple. One lunch at a time, Revolution Foods is transforming old-school cafeteria food into affordable, freshly prepared, delicious meals. Our children are the future of our nation. It’s time to start feeding them like we mean it. Goodbye sugary juice and oily potato chips, hello brown rice and vegetables. At Healthy Teens, we prefer our future generation’s leaders to be nourished with the best quality foods so they can make sound decisions and be successful. Would you trust a future president whoScreen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.05.05 AM has been clouded by saturated fat and monosodium glutamate? Check out the sample menus that feature a mouth-watering Buffalo Chicken Sandwich accompanied by baby carrots, honey roasted soy nuts, and fruit. Mmmmm!

The truth is that students were pleasantly rebellious toward the switch from their favorite foods. However, the Revolution’s team flooded the uncertainty with the flip side of the story. They spoke to school administrators, staff, and students about the positive benefits of nutrition, and slowly but surely, the tide shifted- students not only accepted the changes, but celebrated and thrived off them. Not to mention, the recipes are kid-inspired.

This revolution is contagious. Twelve states to date are involved in this movement, and 200,000 nutritious meals are served daily, with 80% going to low-income students. What’s more? They also offers classroom nutrition education and hands-on activities to spark their interest in healthy eating. Now, meal jet packs are available to purchase in your own home, including Whole Foods California and Fresh Direct. Bravo to these two women looking out for their fellow moms and kids! Revolution Foods is inspiring proof that applied knowledge leads to the empowerment of our youth. They are also role models for entrepreneurs out there who are looking to make a real change with their skills.