Professionals gather to take on weighty issue among kids
Approximately 200 people dedicated to improving children’s health converged on Des Moines for the Healthy Choices Count Summit.
The summit, held in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, brought together people from schools, child care, health care and community stakeholders to collaborate using the 5-2-1-0 framework, which is designed to provide consistent messages and create environments that make healthy choices count.
View images from the summit at our Flickr gallery.
The 5-2-1-0 framework includes daily goals of five servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less or recreational screen time, one hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks.
“For too long, the health of children has been looked at as a separate entity from their education,” said Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education, during his welcome speech. “Research shows that a healthy child is a child ready to learn.”
Keynote speaker retired U.S. Senator Tom Harkin delivered the keynote address.
“Ensuring that Iowans not only have the knowledge to form healthy habits, but also have access to healthy choices, in their everyday lives is so important,” Harkin said. “5-2-1-0 provides a great framework for Iowa’s kids to follow.”
The summit included a panel discussing school wellness policy requirements, strategies to implement a healthy school environment and resources to incorporate the 5-2-1-0 messages in the school setting. Best practices were also discussed.
The school wellness policy is a key component to providing healthier school environments that promote positive behaviors and helps students reach their full academic potential. The policy provides guidance for school staff and students while offering information to families and the community.
The health behaviors of Iowa children and adolescents are influenced by a variety of environmental factors including families, child care, schools, communities, and the media. Schools and child care play an important role by providing nutritious meals, non-food rewards, nutrition education, physical activity opportunities, and staff wellness.