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Extension Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health


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Objective: To promote active and healthy lifestyles in a fun and challenging way for children in grades 1 through 6.

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Walk Kansas for Kids is designed to improve the health of Kansas children by encouraging them to eat a variety of healthy foods and increase the amount of physical activity they participate in each week.

  1. Children Hear - They are exposed to wellness topics encouraging them to make healthy lifestyle choices.
  2. Children See - Teachers, leaders, and parents reinforce the messages the children are learning
  3. Children Do - They participate in healthy behaviors to earn Walk Kansas miles.

How It Works

  1. Teachers/leaders register their school/club by contacting their local extension office.
  2. A weekly newsletter called the Weekly Workout is given to the children. (The leader is encouraged to guide the children through the Walkin Wally stories, fun activities, recipes and parent page.) The newsletter is then sent home for the child to share with the parent.
  3. Each child starts with an activity log. This log helps track of their healthy behaviors.
  4. Children earn miles for checking off healthy behaviors on their activity log they have achieved.
  5. Parents sign the activity log at the end of each week and it is then turned in to the youth's teacher/leader.
  6. Miles are entered on the website for you to view.

Tracking

Walk Kansas for Kids is NOT A COMPETITION between individuals. It is designed for children to set goals for their own personal achievement. Miles will be logged on the website for you to view your group’s progress.

  1. Some groups like to see if they can walk across Kansas in eight weeks.
  2. Some schools like to put paper footprints up around the gym to show the school's progress

Children receive Walk Kansas miles for:

  1. Being physically active 30 to 60 minutes a day (Sixty minutes is recommended for good health.)
  2. Eat meals or snacks the MyPlate way. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fate-free or 1% low-fat dairy products. Cut back on fats, sugars and salt
  3. Reduce screen time.  Spend less than 2 hours on technology
  4. Drinking water, juice or milk.  Avoid soda, energy drinks, sports drinks or fruit-flavored drinks.

Incentives

  • Toe tokens are popular. These small plastic feet fit on a shoelace or key chain. Purchase at fitnessfinders.net
  • Involve community park and recreation departments. They offer pool passes, for example, as an incentive item for turning in a designated number of activity logs.
  • A group activity with healthy food and games is a great reward!

Teachers

  • Teachers! Use the Weekly Workouts to help kids meet Kansas academic standards and wellness policy guidelines.
  • Plan lessons around locations in Kansas that the students could “walk” to. For example, walking to the State Capital, the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, or historic sites across Kansas.
  • Check out the Family Day Out website for other ideas.