"Edward building healther kids in community." Learn more and find out how your kids can participate.
From The Naperville Sun:
Edward Hospital building healthier kids in community
First time free course is at school
May 26, 2010
By JANE DONAHUE For Sun-Times Media
It's not always easy to make healthy lifestyle choices, especially when balancing work, kids, and the many activities that come with parenting. But thanks to an innovative partnership between Edward Hospital and Elmwood Elementary School, many families now have the foundation to build on.
"We are trying to educate kids and parents to make healthier choices, decrease the screen time and increase physical activity," said Angie Grossman, registered nurse at Edward Hospital. "This is not a weight loss program -- the goal here is learning to make healthier choices."
Building Blocks for Life is a six-week educational program that encourages families to focus on fitness and healthy eating. The idea is based on "5-2-1" daily principle: eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, limit "screen" time usage to two hours, and engage in one hour of physical activity.
The program is led by pediatrician Dr. Martine Nelson, and includes Grossman, dietitian Nancy Rodriguez, and exercise physiologist Lisa Ernst. Grossman said with the growing number of children at risk for cardiovascular disease, the team is passionate about targeting the elementary school population.
"We are trying to teach them helpful strategies today, so when they get into situations where they have to make their own choices, they make wiser choices," Grossman said. "We want to target kindergarten through fifth grade -- and really try to make a difference there."
And Nelson offers more than her expert opinion to the Building Blocks program.
Four mornings a week, the doctor meets parents and children at the school's outdoor track for a walking program. And each Wednesday after school, an educational seminar is offered, from eating healthy on the run to making smart choices at the grocery store.
According to Julie Losasso, manager of cardiovascular prevention, education and outreach services at Edward, this is the first time the free course has been offered at a local school.
"We wanted the involvement and support of the school in order to reach a greater number of people and to stress the importance of this issue," Losasso said. "Our research showed there was better compliance for parent and child attendance due to the convenience (of the class offered on-site)."
Naperville mom Katharyn Hansche said the program works.
"The program was very insightful and beneficial, not just for my children, but for my family as a whole," Hansche said. "People in general lead very busy lives, as do I, with little time to place importance on a healthy lifestyle. I am very happy with how much more aware and in tune with nutrition my children have become in just a few weeks.
"They are reading food labels, thinking about including foods from all four food groups at meal time, as well as raising their daily activity levels."
Just what the doctor ordered.
Call (630) 527-6363 for more information.
By the numbers
Building Blocks for Life recommends this equation for a healthier lifestyle:
5 Five fruits and vegetables each day
2 Less than two hours each day of "screen time" -- television, computer, phone and video games
1 One hour of physical activity each day
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services