Back to School (or Virtual School) Tips for a Healthy Year Ahead

Education activities in classroom at school, happy children learningThe Obesity Action Coalition shared that whether you are home for virtual school or sending the kids off with a mask and hand sanitizer, back to school looks different this year. While we are not rushing to the stores for back to school shopping like most Augusts, the re-setting of routines remains a priority.

Considering life hasn’t been “normal” since March, we may need a BIG reset. With family time now meaning spending 100% of your time with the kids, try creating a democratic environment and have your kids weigh-in on a new set of parameters for a school year routine.


#parentapproved tip:

Please consider this while reading these tips: give yourself some grace. If you plan to serve healthy meals and snacks and set a schedule for when to eat, the rest is up to your kids. Model by example by building a balanced plate for yourself, but know that the rest is up to the kiddos. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s to realize how little control we really have.

For a more tangible tip, get the kids involved. Have them each pick a dinner once per week, and possibly one they can help with. In my house, my kids have some power over snacks – they pick the snack, but they know it needs to contain a fruit or veggie as a component.

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Childhood Obesity: It’s Up to Us!

The Area Health Education Center posted that as parents, caregivers, teachers, and community members, we are at the forefront of ensuring the health of our children and reducing their risk of chronic health conditions. We can do this by supporting and encouraging children to participate in physical activities that get them moving for at least 60 minutes a day, providing nutritious food and beverage options, and making sure they get adequate sleep. This sounds much easier than it is, and the reality of convincing our kids to step away from the television or computer and make healthy food choices is a daily struggle. Childhood obesity has become a major problem in the United States and it is crucial that we adults step up to the plate (in more ways than one) and show children that making even small changes can make a big difference to their future.

In the United States, approximately 1 in 6 (18%) youth ages 2-19 are obese. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity in children and young people as BMI (Body Mass Index) at or above the 95th percentile for young people. This number puts these children at higher risk for asthma, diabetes, heart disease, bone, and joint problems, and sleep apnea. If we do not make changes now, they are more likely to have obesity as adults and continue to increase their risk of physical and mental health problems. Read more

September is National Childhood Obesity Month

The CDC shared that about 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States have obesity. Certain groups of children are more affected than others. National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month provides a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition. While there is no simple solution, there are many ways communities can support children with their journey to good health.

Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

  • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone, and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal-weight peers.
  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal-weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
  • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

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The Impact of the Pandemic on Pregnancy: A Research Response

This information was presented by Dorothy Fink, M.D, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health, Director, Office on Women’s Health and Diana W. Bianchi, M.D, Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Maternal health and health disparities are key priorities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Our commitment continues through ongoing research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address life-threatening pregnancy complications. The statistics surrounding maternal mortality and morbidity are staggering: On average, every 12 hours, a woman dies from complications from pregnancy or giving birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 60% of these deaths are preventable. Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women are about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause, compared to white women, Hispanic women, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.

In May, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) together with the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health hosted researchers across the country for a two-day virtual NIH workshop exploring the conditions that increase the risk of maternal deaths and pregnancy complications.

Now, with the added concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, there is much more we need to know to help ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Because SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is new, we want to learn about its short- and long-term impact on pregnant women and their infants. NICHD recently launched a study to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during and after pregnancy. Read more

Flat Apple Is In Full Swing

This summer we have over 30 students registered to participate in Flat Apple 2020.  This FREE summer program is designed to incentivize kids to stay active during the summer months outside of school.  The 2020 program runs June 1- August 7.  The program allows participants to earn tickets for eligibility to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer.  Prize winners are typically contacted in September.

Flat Apple provides various opportunities to earn “tickets” for eligibility for raffle prizes at the end of the summer.

Earning tickets is as easy as 1, 2, 3.:

  1. Registered participants can log their physical activity for the summer and complete the activity tracker.  A copy of the activity tracker is on the backside of this note and additional copies can be downloaded at  Every 300 minutes counts for one raffle ticket.  Participants are encouraged to log as many hours as they wish, but please note the max number of tickets earned for completing the activity tracker is ten (3,000minutes).
  2. Registered participants may earn tickets by posting a “Healthy Selfie” on THEIR Facebook with #HealthySelfie.  Or email it to Participants may earn a total of 10 tickets by submitting “Healthy Selfies.”
  3. Kids can make a Healthy Video and send it to  After review, the videos will be posted on our YouTube Channel.  Each video accepted counts for 3 tickets.

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Announcing: Flat Apple 2020!

As a way of encouraging healthy choices, we are going forward with plans for this summer’s Flat Apple 2020 since it can easily be adapted to a virtual format.   So, I am asking for your help to get the word out to every child you know from ages preschool to high school.

They can register online under the Quick Clicks on the main page of this website as well as find the download link for the Activity Tracker Sheet.

In addition, both forms are also available on this website’s Flat Apple Page under Programs.

If it is appropriate for your organization, please download and print both the Application and Tracker Sheets to distribute as paper copies to your clients/customers.

To help kids get started, our website has some at home, on-line, and virtual suggestions for activities that kids can log on their sheets.

They can earn tickets by posting “Healthy Selfie” and sending us their Healthy Videos.

We will again offer a bike as our grand prize and many types of gift cards for the other prizes.

So please help us encourage kids to stay active from June 1 to August 9.

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Healthy Kids Running Series

To combat increasing rates of childhood obesity in America, Healthy Lombard is sponsoring a running program called, Healthy Kids Running Series,  that provides a fun environment for kids that also builds self-esteem.

HKRS is a national, community-based non-profit that provides a fun, inclusive five-week running series for ages 2-14, designed for kids to get active, feel accomplished and lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Because of Cvid29, this year’s series will be conducted as virtual runs. The advantage, in addition to the obvious one of staying safe distances from others, is that YOU can schedule your run at a time that is most convenient for your family! So, we encourage you to take this opportunity to run with your kids and have some good, healthy, family fun.  Read more

HKRS Goes Virtual This Spring

It is springtime and that means Healthy Kids Running Series Virtual!  Even in these unique times and more than ever we need to encourage kids to stay active. I miss the smiles and high fives but Healthy Kids Running Series has been hard at work so we can still deliver our mission of inspiring kids to be active!

So, what does HKRS Virtual mean?  Each participant will still get to race their age-appropriate distance, upload their time, receive the new T-Shirt and earn their new spring-only medal.  The only difference is your child(ren) can race from wherever you choose (safe place, please) and do it with your family.

Our registered families are excited and teachers are now using Healthy Kids as their virtual recess!  As more of our world is forced to go virtual, Healthy Kids’ decision to go virtual keeps kids moving and allows us to continue to serve our communities in the future.  HKRS, like other non-profits, relies on community support.  I am asking you to join me in keeping our Vision, Mission & Values alive. Read more

Obesity Awareness Week Was a Success!


Kelly Murillo, the Marketing Manager for OAW sent a note to Healthy Lombard thanking us for supporting Obesity Care Week 2020. They also expressed their appreciation for sharing their information on our social media posts and overall communication efforts that helped raise awareness about this important week. 

The flyer below summarizes the amazing support they received.



To download a copy of this flyer, click here.