Inspiring Action - A Leader’s Guide to helping kids lead the charge for a healthy community

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Shine A Light On Food Marketing — It’s easy for kids to be enticed by packaging with cartoon characters or a “healthy” salad. Help your group become educated consumers by building an understanding of food marketing!
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Want more inspired ideas?
Key *Quick and easy **Bit of work ***Long-term project
Label Literacy
Label Literacy
Develop a fun activity that educates the community about the real nutrition content of foods marketed to kids.
Fun Fitness
Fun Fitness
Children ages 6 and older need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.11 Grown-ups require anywhere from 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity a week, plus muscle-strengthening activities.12 Much of this fitness can be fun and inclusive of both families and the community. For instance, kids and grown-ups can work together to pull weeds and water plants in their community garden. Children might help promote a community fitness walk or an afternoon at a local park where everyone plays sports or dances. They also can be encouraged to come up with creative ways to work fitness into their daily lives, and to inspire those around them to get moving, too!
ACTION IDEAS

Label Literacy**

Develop a fun activity that educates the community about the real nutrition content of foods marketed to kids.

  1. Watch an hour of children’s programming afterschool or on a Saturday morning. Keep a careful list of the advertising that you see in commercials, as well as the foods and drinks that the characters are consuming. Also include any branded food and beverage products that appear in the programs themselves.
  2. Explain what a nutrition label is, then go online (or to your local market) and look at the nutrition content for the foods you saw on TV. Pay special attention to calories, how many servings are in a package, and how much sugar and fat the food contains. The website supertracker.usda.gov has an easy-to-use calorie counter.
  3. Use your new knowledge to create 20 to 25 nutrition-based questions that compare and contrast different food choices.
  4. Challenge other kids or grown-ups in your community to play the game and discuss the surprising findings!

Key *Quick and easy **Bit of work ***Long-term project
ACTION IDEAS

More Inspired Ideas

Here are a few more moving ideas to consider:

  • Calculate or collect basic nutrition information about food served in the school cafeteria, vending machines, or movie theaters. Discover how many are fruits/vegetables, nuts, whole grains, or low-fat dairy vs. sweets, sugared drinks, and salty snacks.**
  • Interview local government officials, school board members, and restaurant owners about their thoughts on food and menu labeling in preventing obesity.***
  • Create a healthy menu for a fast food restaurant. Send the group’s top menu ideas to the CEO of the chain.***

Key *Quick and easy **Bit of work ***Long-term project