Eat Well & Keep Moving is a school-based program that equips children with the knowledge, skills, and supportive environment they need in order to lead healthier lives by choosing nutritious diets and being physically active. The program is designed for fourth and fifth grade students. Its six interlinked components—classroom education, physical education, school-wide promotional campaigns, food service, staff wellness, and parent and community involvement—work together to create a supportive environment that promotes the learning of lifelong good habits.
Eat Well & Keep Moving uses existing school resources, requires no extra staff, builds on existing health curricula, and costs little to implement. School administrators can pick and choose from the comprehensive protocol to enhance their existing programs in nutrition and physical activity. Key components of Eat Well & Keep Moving include:
- Classroom lessons. The program’s 26 interdisciplinary classroom lessons (13 for each grade) are designed so that nutrition and physical activity can be taught by classroom teachers in core subject areas, including math, language arts, and science. In addition, students learn about nutrition and physical activity while actually being physically active in the classroom. This is especially valuable in schools where physical education is limited or not available.
- Physical education (physical education lessons, FitCheck, FitCheck physical education microunits, and physical education microunits). The physical education lessons offer students more traditional physical education activities, many of which also integrate nutrition topics. The FitCheck is a tool for self-assessment of activity and inactivity to help motivate students to change their behavior and reach their physical activity goals. The FitCheck physical education microunits are designed to be used with the FitCheck materials to teach students about a variety of topics in physical activity. Likewise, the additional physical education microunits are five-minute-long lessons that cover a range of physical activity topics.
- Promotions for the classroom. Promotions give students and teachers fun and engaging ways to put the themes of the program into practice. These promotions include walking clubs, the Get 3-at-School and 5-A-Day promotion, the Freeze My TV contest, and the Tour de Health game.
- Food service. Eat Well & Keep Moving uses the cafeteria as a learning lab for nutrition. The cafeteria not only reinforces the messages learned in the classroom, but it also provides students with the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. The Eat Well & Keep Moving CD-ROM contains detailed information for food service managers interested in making healthful changes to their school menus, including recipes, preparation tips, promotional material, classroom tie-ins, and staff training guides.
- Staff wellness. It is important for all faculty and staff involved with the Eat Well & Keep Moving program to feel empowered about their own health. If they are able to learn about and develop the skills necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices, faculty and staff will in turn be excellent role models for students. The Eat Well & Keep Moving CD-ROM contains a tool to assess staff wellness needs and interests. It also presents workshops on stress management and overall health, nutrition, and physical activity, enabling faculty and staff to not only become empowered regarding their own health but also become familiar with the topics of the classroom components.
- Parent and community involvement. The parent and community involvement component of Eat Well & Keep Moving encourages parents and guardians and family members to become involved in activities that complement the program messages students learn in school. The Eat Well & Keep Moving CD-ROM offers suggestions on motivating parents, creating successful parent activities, assessing community resources, and contacting community organizations to give pro bono workshops with parents. It also includes ready-to-use fact sheets and newsletter articles for promoting the Eat Well & Keep Moving messages to parents and guardians.
- School wellness policies. Eat Well & Keep Moving is a tool that will be helpful in implementing your school wellness policy. (See next question for information on school wellness policies.)
How effective is Eat Well & Keep Moving?
In a field trial in Baltimore, Eat Well & Keep Moving was found to:
- Decrease the percent of total calories from fat and saturated fat consumed by students
- Increase fruit and vegetable consumption
- Reduce TV viewing time
- Increase students’ knowledge of nutrition and healthy activities
Eat Well & Keep Moving was successfully implemented in public schools, and was well liked by principals, teachers, food service staff, parents, and students. These materials have been measured for readability by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Principal Investigators:Lilian Cheung, ScD, RD, and Steven Gortmaker, PhD
Funder:Department of Education – PEP Grant; Walton Foundation
For more information, contact Lilian Cheung.
Web training: Teacher Workshop Presentations
Eat Well & Keep Moving includes two teacher training workshops that discuss the latest nutrition education and physical activity topics, as well as provide a comprehensive overview of the Eat Well & Keep Moving program. The teacher training sessions can be uploaded from the CD-ROM that comes with the book.
The first workshop is made up of six sessions and is designed to run for six hours: Session 1 provides an overview of the Eat Well & Keep Moving program. Session 2 introduces wellness and the concept of overall health and teaches that personal wellness is important to promoting student wellness. Session 3, session 4, and session 5 focus on the nutrition and physical activity information that appears throughout the classroom materials, covering topics such as the Eat Well & Keep Moving Principles of Healthy Living, the Balanced Plate for Health, and the safe workout. Session 6 is a detailed review of Eat Well & Keep Moving classroom materials.
Six-Session Teacher Workshop Presentations
The second workshop is a shorter version of the teacher training. This training can be delivered in one 4½-hour session (such as on a Saturday or a professional day, with a half hour break for lunch), or it can spread over two two-hour sessions. Individual teachers can also use this slide presentation to gain background information on Eat Well & Keep Moving and familiarize themselves with the lessons.
Short Version Teacher Workshop Presentation
PowerPoint Presentation PDF of Slides PDF of Talking Points
State Curriculum Frameworks
Eat Well & Keep Moving addresses state curriculum frameworks for the following subject areas:
- English language arts
- Social studies
- Comprehensive health
- Physical education
Massachusetts Curriculum Framework
Eat Well and Keep Moving lessons meet Massachusetts Department of Education learning standards in health, English language arts, math, science and technology, and history and social science. You may download a document outlining these connections and the text of the learning strands to which they refer here.
View a complete, lesson-by-lesson description of how Eat Well & Keep Moving matches up to your state’s curriculum frameworks.
Sample Newsletter Articles
Gortmaker SL, Cheung LW, Peterson KE, Chomitz G, Cradle JH, Dart H, Fox MK, Bullock RB, Sobol AM, Colditz G, Field AE, Laird N. Impact of a school-based interdisciplinary intervention on diet and physical activity among urban primary school children: eat well and keep moving. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Sep; 153(9): 975-83.
Field AE, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL, Cheung LW, Rockett H, Fox MK, Colditz GA. Reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire among fourth to seventh grade inner-city school children: implications of age and day-to-day variation in dietary intake. Public Health Nutr. 1999 Sep; 2(3): 293-300.
Hermann, M. Motivating Children to Change Their Eating and Activity Habits. Community Nutritionary, the Dannon Institute Publication for the Awards for Excellence in Community Nutrition, Spring 2001, Vol. 4 No. 1.
Cheung L, Dart H, Kalin SR, Gortmaker SL. Eat Well & Keep Moving: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Teaching Upper Elementary School Nutrition and Physical Activity (Second Edition). Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois, 2007.
Cheung LW, Jukes, M. Be Healthy! It’s A Girl Thing: Food, Fitness, and Feeling Great. Crown Publishers, NY, 2003.
The mission of Human Kinetics is to produce innovative, informative products in all areas of physical activity that help people worldwide lead healthier, more active lives. Human Kinetics is the publisher of Eat Well & Keep Moving. To learn more about or order Eat Well & Keep Moving, please go to http://www.eatwellandkeepmoving.org/.
The Nutrition Source, a website maintained by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health
Guidelines for school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. March 07, 1997/46 (RR-6); 1–36.
Guidelines for school health programs to promote lifelong healthy eating. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 14, 1996/45 (RR-9); 1–33.