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Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts

Health lesson plans to prevent juvenile obesity without mentioning weight loss


Increasing juvenile obesity is the elephant in the living room that everyone sees and no one want to address. More and more children are overweight and headed toward obesity. But discussing it or even be concerned is often regarded as fat-shaming or bullying. Here are lesson plans to prevent and treat childhood obesity without ever mentioning weight loss. 

Childhood obesity is tricky to deal with for two reasons. First, many tweens get heavier and may even be called overweight by a doctor. But after puberty they slim down. This was my experience. Weight loss diets and calorie restricting may actually be dangerous. Calorie restricting such as the 1000 calorie diet I was put on at age 8, deprived me of nutrients needed for a growing body. It also caused eating disorder issues. Also, the extra weight is necessary for health after they lose weight in puberty. 

What is chronic obesity and what is overweight that will right itself after puberty? There are several factors. Is the entire family overweight? Is the child active or sedentary? How old is the child? A three-year old with obesity is more at risk than, say, a normal weight child who becomes overweight as a tween, as I did. This overweight period is usually temporary. And some kids are just bigger than others. 

Another issue is that overemphasis on weight loss can be a form of fat-shaming and bullying. It can also lead to eating disorders, low self esteem, anxiety and depression.  But yet, children with chronic obesity that will not disappear in puberty, are at risk of many other health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and other issues. Movement and exercise are more difficult. 

So how to prevent or treat juvenile obesity without discussing weight loss? 

1) Food lesson plans aimed at healthy eating. Teach the food pyramid and food groups, using these free printable lesson plans.  Nutriton.gov has many free nutrition printables including recipes, My Plate activities, coloring pages, food diaries and lesson planners. Here are free printable food journals and nutrition trackers. 

2) Engage students in physical activities and active learning as much as possible. Use these free printable DEAM (Drop Everything and Move) activities. DEAM is like DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), which intersperses the school day with unplanned exercise or reading activities. I especially like DEAM because they are random surprise fun activities that get kids out of desks and moving. These might include dancing, calisthenics or active games.

3) Go off screen and hands-on. Most children spend more time watching than doing: TV, online on phones, computers and video game systems. I'm a Shipt shopper and its a sad commentary that when I drive thru neighborhoods in the summer, I see very few children out playing but TVs on or kids playing on phones. Utilize these free printable lesson plans on screen time dangers. Kids Health offers printables and resources to help kids understand why too much inactivity is harmful and how to monitor their screen time. 

4) Provide active activities in lieu of sedentary seat work and workbooks. Montessori type learning centers get kids off the seat and actively learning. Check out this blog for a gajillion learning center activities for science, math, reading, writing, social studies and more. Here are fitness activities to keep kids actively engaged. 

Will these activities end childhood obesity? Not alone. But with support, guidance, education and care, kids can learn to be their  healthiest selves. 


Free Printable Olympics Lesson Plans, Activities


The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics opens August 5 and the closing ceremonies are August 21. Teachers and homeschool parents, here are free printable lesson plans on Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics for the XXXI Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Use these free printable Olympics lesson plans to help students learn more about this historic international event. Incorporate Summer Olympics into sports math, history, social studies and science to give kids a deeper understanding the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Teacher Planet has an Olympic-sized database of free printable worksheets on the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympic Games. Worksheets cover reading, creative writing, research, health, history, geography, social studies, science and math activities. Of particular interest to physical education teachers are the Olympic Games simulation activities. Instead of being mere spectators, kids can recreate the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics at home or at school.
The Lesson Lady on Teachers Pay Teachers offers a 10-page set of free printable Olympic Games worksheets, including coloring pages, a reading game, sports word scramble puzzle, a Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics word search, Sudoku puzzle, word bank trivia and several Olympics creative drawing pages. Teacher Vision has an entire collection of free printable Summer Olympics worksheets and activities as well as lesson plans on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the XXXI Olympic Games will be held. Users may print up to five activities for free and then must pay for a subscription. ABC Teach has loads more free printable Olympics lesson plans across the curricula in math, science, writing, reading, phonics, science, social studies, history, geography and more.

Then visit Activity Village for a host of free printable Olympic Games for kids activities. There's also an page on Brazil for Kids with free printable coloring pages, worksheets, world flags, country flags, maps and Brazilian landmarks and crafts. Kids will love the free printable post cards from Brazil. There's a page for many countries of the world represented in the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics. There maps. flags, landmarks and more. Use these lesson plans as anticipatory sets to prepare kids for the Olympic Games experience. They might also be used as extensions after viewing events.

Free Printable Food Journals, Online Calorie Counters for Health, Science


To address growing children's health concerns--diabetes, nutrition, obesity, fitness and general wellness--several groups have developed health programs written at kid level. They offer free printable food journals, online fitness trackers and nutrition planning tools. Geared for elementary to high school age kids, these programs teach self-sufficiency and basic life skills related to health.

  Choose My Plate , a service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offers kids meal planners, free online food journals, free printable nutrition trackers and other helpful resources. The site is designed for adults but has materials adapted to children, too.


  Chartwells (a school nutrition program) has an initiative called "Eat Learn Live" which provides free printable food journals and diet trackers and other health tools for kids, parents and teachers. Many schools across the U.S. partner with Chartwells and use the program in their food service program. This link explains how Eat Learn Live works in schools and how it can be adapted for home use.


  Chartwells offers nutrition data personalized to specific school breakfast and lunch menus. Kids can track food intake using menus they actually eat from. Using this tailored data, kids can plan their eating and measure their nutrient intake. You can also access this information from your school's food service link on the school website. Chartwells Eat Learn Live resources page has information on carbohydrates, calories, vitamins and minerals, fat, sodium, protein and other food data.


  Of particular interest is the Kidnetic webpage. This site gives kids free printable activities, online health games, online food journals and fitness trackers and healthy recipes. Kids often eat less healthy foods because it's easier and quicker. They come home hungry and want to eat immediately. The food tips and recipes on Chartwells give kids healthier eating options. Snacks can be made quick and easy with little parent supervision. This is especially good for kids who are home alone after school.


  Another useful student health website is BAM! Body and Mind (a service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This site cover all areas of child health: nutrition, fitness, dental care, illness, immunity, drugs and medications, substance abuse, weight problems, depression, emotional health, bullying, peer pressure, relationships, family health and social skills. Written in cartoon graphic novel style, kids can play games and interact online. BAM! offers kids free printable exercise calendars and food journals.