Recent studies indicate that many risk factors for chronic diseases such as hypertension and heart disease begin to develop in early childhood. A child’s eating habits are formed throughout childhood, making the need to teach young kids how to make healthy food choices at an early age vitally important.
The 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act reinforced this message from nutrition and fitness professionals by mandating that all schools who participate in the federally funded school nutrition programs implement a Wellness Policy by the 2006-2007 school years.
In conjunction with the Wellness Policy parents and teachers are being encouraged to use nutrition and fitness activity lessons that are age appropriate, fun, and interactive. The main goal of using these types of lessons is to promote healthy food choices and a positive attitude towards physical activities. Additionally the American Diabetes Association, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Society for Nutrition Education are also working closely with school authorities by providing updated programs and health-related information.
NuTraFuns Phase I program was developed to provide nutrition and physical activity education tools for toddlers through third grade. All of the activities and information available from NuTraFun centers on Team NuTraFun and Friends, an array of colorful characters and animal friends which promote healthy eating and exercise.
Parents and Teachers are provided monthly lesson plans, coloring page posters, dot to dot games; dot to dot coloring pages, storyboard videos, informational articles, conferencing forum, puzzles, games, and create a recipe page. With Team NuTraFun and Friends as their guides these lessons and activities teach children about healthy eating and exercise through creativity and imagination.
Future Phases II, III, and IV will include grades fourth through twelfth, focusing on sensitive issues such as peer pressure, eating disorders, children with disabilities, and sports nutrition and fitness.
The creators of NuTraFun, David O’ Sullivan and Tina Rideout have set a goal to provide a place where children, care givers, parents and teachers can learn together by emphasizing creative play using tools that will help develop healthy food choices for a lifetime.