This past Friday, Let’s Move! came to Martha’s Table with help from Fit Kids DC. The First Lady started the initiative in 2010 with the objective to end childhood obesity and improve the health of children in the United States. It is concerned about the social discrimination, self-esteem issues, and health risks (including Heart Disease, Asthma, Type 2 diabetes, and Sleep Apnea) that can result from childhood obesity. The campaign focuses around five goals: “creating a healthy start for children, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy, affordable foods, and increasing physical activity.” Read more about the program at http://www.letsmove.gov/.
Over the past couple of years the Martha’s Table Food program has been focused on health and nutrition and fighting obesity, a growing problem that plagues low-income families in the United States. The campaign aligns with our own initiative and we were happy to welcome our educational and motivational guests.
The kids participated in many various activities around the playground including soccer, sports training drills, sac races, three legged races, frisbee tossing, and much more! The playground was full of smiles as they excitedly learned Zumba and danced with their teachers to music played by the Safe in the Streets DJ and MC. There was also a station for education on MyPlate, which is a visual way to remind the kids to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and low fat dairy in their meals. DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners also gave the kids fresh and delicious samples of healthy fruit smoothies and salsa, along with veggies and recipes to take home.
President of Martha’s Table, Lindsey Buss said “Our Let’s Move! event was great because of the attention it brought to the important issue of childhood obesity and the fun and easy solutions it highlighted. The DC childhood obesity rate is double the national average but it is something we can change. To do that, we need to remember that this event is not just about one day, but part of a routine of daily physical activities for kids. We need to encourage kids to make healthy living habits just that – habits. And when the habits we are teaching are this much fun, we can all be quick learners.”
Guest speakers from The President’s Council on Fitness Sports & Nutrition and The office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and Aladdin from WPGC 95.5, talked to the kids as a large group about healthy habits. When the kids were asked who likes to eat healthy a crowd of hands shot in the air. They encouraged the kids to continue to stay active, eat nutritious food, and follow their dreams in life.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make this event possible and for all the work, Let’s Move! has put into the initiative! The kids had a blast!
Photos by Maddie Klett. Maddie is our Food Program intern from the College of Holy Cross.