What if kids cheered about eating their vegetables? What if kids celebrated at the suggestion of tossing their sugary drinks in favor of water? What if kids squealed with excitement about trying new foods?
That’s exactly what happened at Brumby Elementary School during the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsored Strong4Life Challenge Pep Rally.
The event was intended to fire up the kids about school nutrition and the importance of healthy eating. Mission accomplished.
“Strong4Life is a movement developed by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in order to fight childhood obesity. In no way, no shape, no form, do we talk about childhood obesity. We only focus on four health habits and the excitement built around them,” explained Strong4Life Brand Ambassador Ronnel Blackmon, who was among the spirited group of pep rally volunteers pumping up the students.
The healthy habits include:
- Drink more water, limit sugary beverages
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- Limit your screen time in order to have more time for #4
- Be Active
The pep rally kicked off the Strong4Life program, which will run all year at Brumby. During the school year, school staff will introduce the kids to new healthy foods that they may never have tried, like kale chips. They will also teach students how to make healthy choices at home when packing their lunches.
“They will learn songs and signs about being healthy,” added Principal Dr. Amanda Richie. “Hopefully, it will help them remember to eat their vegetables and fruit, and drink their water.”
If the Strong4Life cheerleaders didn’t get the kids excited about the healthy-eating campaign, their teachers, and even principal, may have caught their attention.
“The teachers decided to dress in 1980s workout attire [at the pep rally] to get the kids excited about doing the right thing for their bodies,” said Dr. Richie, who sported a bright orange headband and shorts, and a yellow sweatshirt to the delight of her students.
Later in the school year, volunteers from Strong4Life will stand in as chefs in the cafeteria to dish up healthy food to the students. Their goal is to help the students understand that there are hundreds of different fruits and vegetables to choose from. They also want the Brumby kids to get moving to stay healthy.
“We are showing them how they can be active in many different ways, not just on a team or a sport,” Blackmon explained. “They can be active by dancing, riding bikes, and swimming.”
After a school year of promoting healthy choices, the Strong4Life team will return to Brumby to celebrate the students’ success in the spring.