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Healthy Beginnings

“Empowering kids to be healthy and smart from the inside out!”

Healthy Beginnings takes a whole child approach to the prevention of childhood obesity. With support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Healthy Beginnings program will reach over 3,500 people in Waterloo Region by 2020!

Healthy Beginnings is offered in elementary classrooms to provide school-based nutrition, physical activity and physical literacy education that meet the Ontario curriculum standards. You will also find Healthy Beginnings in community centres, neighbourhoods and community organizations, providing nutrition education and physical activity programming.

School Based Programming: Facilitation & Components Overview
  • Teacher facilitation or scheduled co-facilitation with Healthy Beginnings Youth Workers.
  • Healthy Beginnings lessons align with Early Learning to Grade 3 nutrition curriculum and physical literacy activities and assessments.
  • Nutrition units are comprised of 6-10 lessons with ‘The OrganWise Guys’, fun manipulative stuffed animal organs, along with DVD’s, videos, and individual and group learning activities.
What does my classroom and school need to commit to?
  • Classrooms and schools commit to the 6-10 week unit (usually scheduled on a weekly basis).
  • Teachers determine their role in the program; they can lead independently, or co-lead with a trained Healthy Beginnings Youth Worker.
  • Classrooms would schedule a visit or two in advance of the program so the Youth Worker can shadow the classroom teacher and meet the students.
  • Classrooms would provide a list of student allergies in advance of program start.
  • Classrooms commit to the evaluation of the project, which will be administered by the Healthy Beginnings Youth Workers. This includes a brief survey for students, as well as a teacher survey at the beginning and end of the unit.
What does Langs provide to schools?
  • The program, which is classroom and implementation ready. This includes all materials, lesson plans and activities.
  • Trained Healthy Beginnings Youth Workers to facilitate, or co-facilitate in your classroom.
  • Healthy snacks at least once per month, to align with the ‘Foods of the Month’ curriculum, encouraging students to try new healthy foods.
What has the response from schools involved been so far?

Since April 2017, the program has operated in 45+ schools and over 208 classrooms in Waterloo Region and has been well-received by teachers and students. The impact of the curriculum is best described by one of our early adopter teachers:

“I have been using the OrganWise Guys [Healthy Beginnings] program for the past three years in all of my Kindergarten classes. I cannot believe the connections my earliest learners make between healthy choices and how they affect their bodies. You can hear students saying, "I ate a healthy breakfast this morning so my Sir Rebrum can think!" Or "the kidney brothers love water, it's our healthiest drink!" I strongly recommend this program as a way to promote healthy daily living.” –Jennifer Mascarenhas, Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Community Centres, Neighbourhood and Community Organizations

Get involved in Healthy Beginnings! There are many ways to bring the program to your organization:

  • Host a monthly Family Fitness Night – your organization recruits families and we work with you to plan the event. Healthy Beginnings staff will organize activities and supplies.
  • Consider hosting an 8 week physical activity program – from Kids Zumba to DrumFit to recreation activities, Healthy Beginnings staff will lead a structured weekly program in your community.
  • Schedule a weekly visit in your Summer Playground program. Healthy Beginnings staff organize all activities, supplies and materials focused on nutrition and/or physical activity in your program.
  • Request assistance with Physical Literacy Assessments in your youth programs – yes our staff are trained to assist you!
How do I learn more or request the Healthy Beginnings program for my school or my organization?

To request the Healthy Begininngs program at your school or community organization, please contact:

Elizabeth Lougheed, Healthy Beginnings Team Lead

519-653-1470 x 397

elizabethlougheed@langs.org

What is the Healthy Beginnings program up to now? How do I follow your progress?

Please click here for the latest updates and fact sheet on the Healthy Beginnings program. Please also follow us on social media #healthybeginnings