The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM), through the support of the Michigan Nutrition Network and Michigan Department of Community Health, offers a wide variety of innovative and creative early childhood health education and health behavior change programs. These programs promote healthy lifestyle behaviors that focus on nutrition and physical activity education with the goal of preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, childhood obesity and other chronic health conditions.
Regie’s Rainbow Adventure™ is a nutrition and physical activity classroom-based curriculum for preschool and early elementary-aged children. The seven-week program chronicles the adventures of Regie, a superhero (who looks like a piece of broccoli), who travels to several islands that correspond with the colors of the rainbow. This free curriculum includes a set of books for the classroom, a healthy food sampling component, and supplemental handouts and lessons for teachers and parents.
PE-Nut is a nutrition and physical education program that uses a whole-school approach to motivate students, parents and educators to be physically active and eat healthier within the K-5 grades. Carefully linked to the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, PE-Nut provides a pathway to infuse nutrition and physical education while covering the specific material required by the state. The program incorporates a planned curriculum, food sampling, structured physical activity, books, take home bags, daily healthy messages, and even school-wide events.
In Healthy Families Start with YOU, early childhood professionals are trained to conduct a series of two health chats with participating parents or caregivers. The participants provide information about the nutrition and physical activity practices within their households and are asked to set a health behavior change goal. Parents receive support and health-related incentives and literature. In addition, the NKFM offers educational classes about healthy eating and physical activity to assist parents in achieving their goals.
Nutrition And Physical activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) is an intervention for early childhood educational settings that is aimed at improving nutrition and physical activity environments, policies and practices through self assessment and targeted technical assistance. Site staff complete a self-assessment, and, with the assistance of NKFM staff, complete goal setting and action planning. NKFM also provides workshops on nutrition and physical activity topics to early childcare staff.