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Texas Programs Help Fight Childhood Obesity

Stephanie KellamToday we feature Guest Blogger Stephanie Kellam, who is the Coordinator of Health and PE at Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) in Texas. She promotes fitness and nutrition-related wellness initiatives throughout FBISD by partnering with community organizations and school nurses, teachers, and administration to help educate children and their parents about the importance of developing lifelong healthy habits. 

This school year Armstrong Elementary in Fort Bend ISD, Texas, is building up excitement around the Texas Grow! Eat! Go! Program.  This fantastic health and nutrition program is being brought to the school district by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Fort Bend County. Students will be exposed to gardening, nutrition, and physical activity as it is built into the school day through academic classes as well as Physical Education classes using the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program and the Junior Master Gardener classroom curriculum. The CATCH program promotes physical activity while teaching both children and families how to be healthy for a lifetime. The Junior Master Gardener classroom curriculum focuses on teaching classroom subjects like math, science, reading and writing through gardening lessons, hands on gardening activities, vegetable tastings and cooking demonstrations all at school.

Families will have the opportunity to engage with their children through the different vegetable tastings and recipes will be shared with everyone to encourage healthy meals at home. The Walk Across Texas program will also be incorporated into the Texas Grow! Eat! Go! Program. Walk Across Texas encourages people of all ages to develop the habit of walking to increase physical activity. Students will be tracking their physical activity as they try to walk across the entire state of Texas! Parents and other family members can provide bonus miles for their children by walking at home! In fact, Walk Across Texas is a free program that anyone can participate in.

The Texas Grow! Eat! Go! Program will be kicking off this month in honor of National Childhood Obesity Month. With 1 in 3 children overweight or obese in Texas, this program could not come at a better time. Childhood obesity is nothing to ignore especially since overweight and obese children have a greater than two-thirds chance of remaining obese at age 35. By instilling healthy habits at a young age, Armstrong Elementary and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Fort Bend County are helping to reverse those statistics.

It’s great seeing so many organizations and programs working together with the all important cause of fighting childhood obesity! The OrganWise Guys have been very fortunate to collaborate with some of these programs and commend the work being done in Texas!

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