Univera Healthcare’s Fun 2B Fit. - Program Overview
Univera Healthcare’s Fun 2B Fit. program is an award winning, school-based healthy lifestyle initiative focusing on second and third graders and their families. Fun 2B Fit encourages children and their families to make healthier food choices by trying new foods, increase their level of physical activity, shop for healthy foods and prepare meals together. Fun 2B Fit has impacted over 50,000 local children.
The elements of the Fun 2B Fit program were designed in alignment with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the New York State Learning Standards, and from survey feedback from parents, teachers, and children who participated in a 12-week pilot program.
The CDC strategies to increase physical activity include parental involvement, role modeling, and consistent healthy messages. The AAP recommends calculating and plotting body mass index in children, encouraging parents/caregivers to promote healthy eating patterns by offering nutritious snacks and modeling behavior by making healthy food choices for themselves, routinely promoting physical activity, including unstructured play at home and school. It also recommends limitation of TV and video time to a maximum of two hours per day.
Second graders will participate in the program element entitled It’s Fun 2 Try New Foods, which includes taste testing where students sample one healthy Fun 2B Fit recipe each week for 12 weeks at their school. Students are encouraged to try the foods offered. Each week students will receive a laminated recipe card to take home so they can make the recipe with their family. The recipes include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack foods that are popular with kids, including Fruity French Toast, Lean & Lively Lunches, Tangy & Terrific Taco Dip and Tacos, and Banana Oatmeal Cookies. Schools can then offer the Fun 2B Fit items at lunch and promote the recipes to parents in their school, or district newsletter. The parents will already know the children have tried these items and will have the nutritional information about them at home on their recipe cards. In art class, students will create a decorated recipe box from a shoe box to store their healthy recipe cards for future use.
Third grade students will participate in a 45-minute program including a physical activity lesson entitled Why it’s Fun 2B Fit. Students and teachers, along with Fun 2B Fit staff and fitness instructors will engage in a workout developed especially for kids that incorporates easy, fun dance moves and stretches. During the workout, students are taught the various muscles of the body and their function, and discuss the importance of physical activity and how it can be made fun and easy to do at home with family members. We then ask them to go home and teach their parents, grandparents, or siblings the Fun 2B Fit workout.
The parents of all children participating in Fun 2B Fit receive a parent tool kit that contains a portion control plate, magnet with everyday tips on how parents can keep their kids healthy, a healthy family pledge to be signed and displayed in the home, a magnetic grocery pad for the refrigerator with healthy food choices pre-printed on each tear-off page, and other tips and information on how to encourage physical activity and healthy eating. Representatives from Univera will present an overview of the program at participating schools’ PTA meetings.
Fun 2B Fit’s program partner is Body Shaping By Sandy, which offers group fitness classes, personal training, weight-loss programs, and corporate fitness in the Western New York area.