Almost 42 percent of children in the neediest areas of San Juan Capistrano are overweight or obese, according to Mission Hospital
Mission Hospital has assembled a 70-plus-person task force to tackle childhood obesity in specific schools, according to a report the Capistrano Unified school board will hear tonight. The work is already underway at Kinoshita and San Juan elementary schools in San Juan Capistrano and is beginning this year in Del Obispo.
Ambuhel was dropped from the program when the task force learned that students who live in Village San Juan go to Viejo Elementary in Mission Viejo.
Among the strategies in use are so-called lunch ‘n learn, when kids learn about nutrition and physical activity on their lunch hours; an “instant recess” DVD of activities; teacher training; obesity awareness assemblies for the morning flag ceremony; and using stickers to identify healthier food choice alternatives.
Here are the strategies employed at the various schools.
- Three mothers/teachers requested to join the SOC Childhood Obesity Task Force.
- Two teachers participated in the OCDE-Healthy for Life Pilot Project; attended the Summer Institute, received and used Classroom Fit Kits all school year. They also received OCDE’s monthly Physical Activity and Nutrition Tips e-newsletter.
- Twice per week at lunch time, parents played soccer, basketball and handball with 35-40 students.
- Mission Hospital funded a personal trainer to come on campus and provide lunch time activities once per week for six weeks.
- Posters were displayed at the lunch line with pictures of fresh fruits and vegetables. Children have responded by selecting fresh fruit with kiwi being the favorite.
- Unhealthy snacks are now reduced/limited at the lunch line.
- Mission Hospital staff attended Open House in June to promote nutrition classes and free or low-cost physical activity opportunities.
- OCDE provided Classroom Fit Kit implementation training with teachers and educated them about using food as a reward and healthy fundraisers. Classroom Fit Kits are being used in first-, second-, fourth-, fifth-grade classes. These boxes contain nutrition education materials, games, DVDs and equipment for physical activity breaks during class time. An estimated eight teachers and 240 students are using them weekly
- The Shaun T. DVD is popular for “sweat breaks” and rainy days. Shaun T. DVD and “Get Sweaty” are being used by five classrooms in this way. Approximately 3 teachers and 120 students use them about once a week.
- More stretch and movement breaks in class are used as needed and when transitioning instruction, and are increasing in frequency although they have not been quantified according to the principal.
- Received six nutrition poster sets from OCDE.
- Champion Mom (the kitchen cashier) is doing Power Play lessons for fourth-grade students.
- School garden: Eagle Scouts are busy adding new planters to the school garden. One OC also sends volunteers one-two times a week to clean up the garden beds. Twenty-four preschool students planted and ate carrots. Dana Hills High School club is going to help Kinoshita’s existing garden program expand to Ambuehl and Dana Hills.