Ideas for Program Launch
Policy changes for the Healthy Eating and Active LifeStyles (HEALS) program communicate Job Corps' commitment to lifelong health throughout students' time on center. The following are tips for HEALS program launch activities.
Assembly/All Staff and Student Meeting
Host an assembly to give staff members and students the necessary information. A PowerPoint presentation that introduces HEALS can be found in the Marketing Section of this website. You may customize it to fit your center's needs. The assembly should be fun an upbeat. You may wish to include:
- Nutrition Jeopardy
- Guess the Calories. Prepare several dishes and have students guess the combined number of calories. Guesses can be written on slips of paper and dropped into a box. The student with the closest guess wins.
Incorporate physical activity and healthy food into your day.
- Sponsor a one- to five-mile walk/run around center.
- Have a dance-a-thon. Put on music (students' choice) in the gym or other large meeting area and have students compete to see who can dance the longest.
- Host a retro field day. After the assembly, organize three-legged races, tug of war, an obstacle course, and a water balloon toss.
- Center your fun event around healthy eating. (See the meal options below.)
Plan a day full of healthy meals.
- Have a cookout or special meal in the cafeteria. Make sure to include healthy food choices including:
- Fish, lean meat, and a vegetarian option. Get creative! Have a make-your-own taco bar. Offer fish, lean meat, 2% cheese, vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc), and healthy whole wheat tortillas.
- Plenty of vegetable choices. Students are more likely to choose a vegetable side if they have to decide between two options. Grill fresh vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and season for maximum flavor.
- A healthy dessert. A yogurt parfait with fruit salad, sorbet, or angel food cake with fresh strawberries on top is a healthier alternative for dessert.
- Check the HEALS Spring 2011 Newsletter for recipe ideas!
- Hang signs or make table tents that contain fun facts about nutrition and food.
- Pick a theme. Give students a fine dining experience or a fun summer cookout fiesta. Inexpensive decorations are available online or at local party planning stores.
- If your center has a culinary arts program, let the students shine. (If you do not have a program, perhaps the food service staff would like to take on one of these challenges.)
- Invite the culinary arts students to come up with and prepare healthy recipes. The students can then taste test the results and vote on their favorite.
- Have a culinary arts healthy recipe makeover contest. Pick a dish that is traditionally high in fat and calories and let the culinary arts students try to improve it. Again, the students can taste test and vote on the winner.