Independence Day will be here before we know it. As we celebrate freedom in the United States, we have some unique materials that prompt your clients, students, or employees to consider a different kind of freedom.
Our Freedom from Chronic Disease materials inspire folks to think about their health and realize that good health can bring them freedom, now and in the future.
What kind of freedom are we talking about? Here are some examples and ideas you can use to discuss Freedom from Chronic Disease:
Freedom from worry. Someone who has a long family history of heart disease may spend lots of time worrying about it. Would making a diet or lifestyle change now, even if it’s small, help to alleviate this worry? Maybe feeling more in control will lead them to make more healthy changes.
Freedom from medications. Think about the money you can save by not having to take cholesterol-lowering drugs, for example. All meds have side effects, so not having to worry about that is another form of freedom that people may not consider.
Freedom from expensive healthcare. Chronic disease means seeing specialists, undergoing tests and procedures, paying for prescriptions, and more doctor visits in general. These things are costly in dollars as well as your time.
Freedom from high food costs. People think that healthy food costs more, but a little education can go a long way when it comes to healthy eating on a budget. Healthy food doesn’t have to be organic or gourmet!
Freedom to do what you want to do. This is important as you get older. When you’re healthy, it’s easier to travel, play with your grandkids (or great-grandkids!), and stay independent.
Everyone knows they should eat more fruits and vegetables. Some people have even heard the term plant-based diet. But what do they think it means? To eat more kale? Walnuts? Beans? Tree bark?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, our Plant Parts bookmark says all they need to know. It features a gorgeous photo of edible tubers, roots, and bulbs; stems and leaves; fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds/legumes, and nuts. No tree bark here!
Ask students or clients to identify each item in the picture. Chances are, they’ll realize their knowledge of plant foods is limited.
That’s where the other side of the bookmark comes in – it’s a mini-lesson on plant parts and their nutrition benefits.
We pack a lot of information in these 3-inch by 6-inch bookmarks, making them perfect for health fairs, classes, waiting rooms, and bulletin boards.
An added bonus – our Plant Parts materials send the message that all parts of the plant are edible and nutritious. So you can reduce food wasteand get the benefits of a plant-based diet (without eating tree bark!).
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?
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:
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).
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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:
Only 8% of Americans eat the recommended amount of whole grains daily.
Choose whole grains for nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Health benefits of whole grains: weight management, blood sugar control, lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
Recipe & cooking tips. Did you know that the package often has the best recipe and cooking tips?
Comparison of whole wheat and white flour. This makes a great touching and interactive demonstration!
MyPlate recommendation: Make at least half of your grains whole grains. And make one quarter of your plate whole grains, too!
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!
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?