It’s Time to Change It Up!

We’re constantly bombarded with images of fast food, junk food, and processed food. Marketers know what they’re doing by getting these pictures into our subconscious minds. Well, let’s fight back! It’s time to Change It Up!

Our Change It Up theme features a gorgeous butterfly made up of real photos of fruit. Now, this is an image we want in our clients’ minds! The message is simple but impactful – transform your life with healthy food and regular physical activity. Go from a fast-food caterpillar to a healthy butterfly.

Our poster and banners come with the free Change It Up printable handout. One side provides general tips on changing up your diet (MyPlate, portion sizes, and fruits and vegetables) and every day activity. The other side offers more detailed suggestions for transforming your meals, snacks, and exercise routine.

How can you use the Change It Up materials in different settings? Glad you asked!

  • Display the banner or poster in the cafeteria, a hallway, or waiting room. (We also have a salad bar sign!) When people see the beautiful, colorful, fruit-filled butterfly every day, they’re bound to think more about healthy food.
  • Give out the stickers and bookmarks so people can take the picture and the message with them.
  • Set up a Change It Up table in the cafeteria or at a health fair. Engage visitors with questions: Are you more like the butterfly or the caterpillar? What changes can you make to transform yourself into the butterfly? Give away the Change It Up handout, stickers, and bookmarks.
  • Teach a Change It Up class. Depending on your audience, here are two lessons:
    • Focus on how small shifts in eating and activity will make everyone feel transformed.
    • Go with the caterpillar to butterfly theme. How does the image of the butterfly make you feel? How about the caterpillar? When you eat healthy food and are active, which one do you feel like? How can a healthy diet and regular exercise make you feel transformed?

Here is a handout called, 9 ways to make easy and healthy switches for a better diet and exercise plan: 9 Easy Healthy Switches Handout

Are You Drinking Candy?

Sugar is always a popular topic and beverages are a major source of added sugar in the American diet. So why not put together a sugary drink display for your next health fair or class? Our materials make it easy!

You’re sure to catch everyone’s attention with our Are You Drinking Candy? Sugar Awareness poster, banners, and tearpad handout. Using a lollipop as a reference point for a teaspoon of sugar, people can see just how much ‘candy’ they drink when sipping on soda, sports drinks, sweet tea, and more. The back side of the tearpad handout and the free printables that come with our posters and banners provide even more information on sugar and better beverage choices.

Our colorful materials are bound to attract a crowd around your display. Get them thinking about what they’re drinking with these five conversation starters:

  • Do you see your drink of choice on the poster? How many teaspoons of sugar are in it? If you have this drink every day, how many teaspoons of sugar is that each week? Month? Year?!
  • Water and unsweetened tea are great choices to replace sugary beverages. How can you spruce them up a bit? How about adding fruit or fresh mint? Have you tried green tea, chai tea, or herbal tea?
  • When is tea as unhealthy as soda? When it’s sweet tea! Did you know a large sweet tea has more sugar than a large soda? Do you drink canned or bottled tea? Check the label – you might be surprised by the amount of sugar per serving, and the number of servings per container.
  • Do you drink smoothies because you think they’re healthy? What’s in your favorite smoothie? How big is it? Watch out for smoothies made from a mix or with juice or added sugar. And check how many servings are in that big smoothie-shop smoothie!
  • How many teaspoons of added sugar per day do you think most Americans eat? The answer is 28-32 teaspoons. How many do experts recommend? The American Heart Association says we should have no more than six (for women) to nine (for men) teaspoons of added sugar daily. Based on the examples on the poster/banner/tearpad, how many teaspoons of added sugar do you drink every day?

That’s just the beginning! Check out our entire collection of handouts, banners, posters, PowerPoint shows, wristbands, and stickers. Whatever you need for your display, we have you covered!

 

Take (10,000) Steps to Better Health

How many times have you heard someone say, ‘I know I should exercise, but I’m too busy’? Or too tired or too out of shape or too old. Fill in the blank – you’ve probably heard it all. Use our 10,000 Steps materials to teach that regular physical activity is not only good for our health, but it’s attainable for everyone!

Our 10,000 Steps poster and banners are educational, fun, and eye-catching. They come with a free Take Steps to Good Health printable handout. Add some fun to your classes and health fairs by offering prizes (like our stickers, wristbands, buttons, and bookmarks) for answering questions and sharing experiences.

Here are seven ideas for lessons and conversations to use with our 10,000 Steps materials in just about any setting:

  1. How many steps do you think most people take every day? Help the class along by asking people to raise their hand if they think it’s 1,000-2,000; 3,000-4,000; etc. Whoever answers correctly (3,000-4,000) gets a prize (sticker, bookmark, button, or wristband).
  2. Do you use a pedometer or cell phone to count your steps? (Give these people a prize.) If so, how many steps do you usually take in a day? Do you keep track of the daily number? Tip: write down your daily steps (or use an app). You can’t change what you don’t track!
  3. Getting to 10,000 steps a day isn’t as hard as you think. Think about times when could walk instead of sitting (waiting rooms, waiting for a friend, waiting for a movie to start…). Can you think of other times when walking just a little bit more would be easy to do? How about taking an extra lap around the grocery store or mall? Walk around your office or house when talking on the phone. Every step counts!
  4. Walking is the perfect way to be active. It’s economical – no gym membership or special equipment required. It doesn’t depend on the weather – when it’s rainy, cold, or hot and humid, walk inside at the mall or around a mega-store. It can be done anytime – while talking on the phone, listening to music or podcasts, or chatting with a friend in person.
  5. Brainstorm how to take extra steps at home and as a family. How about walking after dinner, marching in place during commercial breaks, or walking up and down the stairs a few extra times a day?
  6. Brainstorm ways to take extra steps at work. Turn work breaks into walk breaks. Go by yourself or with a co-worker. Inside or outside. Hold “walking” meetings.
  7. Taking 10,000 steps daily provides the health benefits of regular physical activity, like better sleep, mood, and strength; helping you maintain or get to a healthy weight; and reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Check out all the items in our 10,000 Steps theme!

Why I Love Teaching About Whole Grains

I love teaching about whole grains! One reason is the look on people’s faces when they understand the difference between a whole grain and a refined grain. I always use a diagram of a kernel of wheat (like this!). When they see the bran, the germ, and all the nutrients that are removed during processing, it’s like an “ah-ha” moment. I see this when I’m talking to third-graders, grandparents, and everyone in between.

Another reason I love this topic is because switching to whole grains is a small change that anyone can make. Swap whole wheat bread for white bread? Can do! Order brown rice instead of white rice? You bet! Small changes are do-able and can add up to a healthier diet in the long run.

We have everything you need to share the whole grain message in your classes, individual counseling, cafeteria, waiting room, or health fair. The Go for the Whole Grain poster and banner feature:

  • Photographs so people can see what all the different grains look like.
  • Information on three common whole grains: whole wheat, oats, and brown rice.
  • Information on whole grains that may not be as familiar to people: chia, farro, kamut, and quinoa, just to name a few.
  • A wheat kernel illustration showing the parts of a whole grain (for that “ah-ha” moment!).
  • Notations showing which whole grains are gluten-free.

Our posters and banners come with copy-ready handouts. Here are 7 examples of lessons they address that make great activities you can use in your classes:

  1. Only 8% of Americans eat the recommended amount of whole grains daily.
  2. Choose whole grains for nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
  3. Health benefits of whole grains: weight management, blood sugar control, lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
  4. Recipe & cooking tips. Did you know that the package often has the best recipe and cooking tips?
  5. Comparison of whole wheat and white flour. This makes a great touching and interactive demonstration!
  6. MyPlate recommendation: Make at least half of your grains whole grains. And make one quarter of your plate whole grains, too!
  7. Quiz: How Well Do You Know Whole Grains? Make a fun table full of various whole grains without their packages and see who can guess which ones they are accurately!

Our All About Whole Grains Color Handout Tearpad is a scaled down version of the poster – perfect for people to take home. The Go For the Whole Grain Color Handout Tearpad covers serving sizes and whole grain substitutions, including how much fiber they provide.

Use our Whole Grain materials in counseling or classes on:

  • Weight control
  • Diabetes management
  • Cholesterol education
  • Cardiac rehab
  • General wellness
  • Healthy cooking
  • Nutrition for families and children
  • Nutrition for older adults
  • Grocery shopping
  • School breakfast and lunch
  • MyPlate
  • and more!

And don’t forget about our Go For the Whole Grain stickers and bookmarks! How about visiting the school cafeteria one day and giving a sticker to every student who has a whole grain on their tray or in their lunch box?

Breakfast Banners Developed for Dedicated Foodservice Director

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Here are three banners that are custom-designed for Lisa Durand, a foodservice manager who works for Thompson Public Schools. She wanted to make sure all of her students know that breakfast is free by installing very colorful banners in her cafeteria. We gave her three choices because she has 3 grades: elementary, middle, and high school ages. She chose all three so one of each will be going into her schools shortly. The oranges are from a photo we made in our studio using 9 different oranges from a farmer who was selling direct to consumers in a farmer’s market here in California. The dancing people filled plant foods. And the running figure is filled with fruits and veggies.

Students are reminded to “fuel up to play 60” so they eat well and get physical activity for 60 minutes a day!

We love custom projects! Let us know if you need one!

Custom farm to school wall decals brighten and educate school walls


 

Paula Wucklund, Fuel Up to Play 60 Coach, and physical education teacher, wanted to help her fellow PE teachers and school cafeterias in Arkansas. She wanted to illustrate how the farm to school program brings healthier foods into the schools and to create awareness of MyPlate, physical activity, and healthier eating for the students and the staff.

She contacted us and we designed custom wall decal banners for Arkansas schools. The first goal was to feature the stories and photos of many of the wonderful farmers in Arkansas to show how they work hard to grow crops, raise livestock, and produce dairy foods for students. And she wanted to illustrate MyPlate food groups with their goals and benefits. Finally we included photographs of each of the food groups.

The benefits of the end result is easy to see in the photos above. The 5 food groups were featured on wall decals while the MyPlate floor banner greets the students coming into the cafeteria. The items can be adhered to the walls and they are removable.

The schools will have a choice between vertical or horizontal orientations so that they can determine which works best for their walls.

The Arkansas Farm to School program connects Arkansas farmers to preschools and K-12 schools, so that they can provide fresh produce in school meals. The wall decal posters/banners that we created will help students, teachers, and cafeteria workers realize the importance of agriculture and healthful diets for school meals.

Food and Health Communications designed the banners and provided all of the forms so that Paula could contact the farmers and get their high-quality images and stories to share on the banners. They also provided the expertise for recommending MyPlate food groups and for the colorful food images. And their graphic design gave the banners an Arkansas state icon and brand.

We can create a set of farm to school banners for any school program. Contact us to get help now.