Healthy Hosting Toolkit

Healthy Food Choices in Schools October 07, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Incorporating wellness resources and activities into your school’s community event is a cost-effective way of providing valuable health information and screening services to the community at a single event.  It is also a way to motivate individuals to make positive health behavior changes.  We call this healthy hosting.  Schools can become healthy hosts at any event that invites families or other community members into the school setting.  These might include, but are not limited to: wellness fairs, PTO fundraisers, open houses, sporting events, etc. Contact your school nurse of PE instructor for resources or other ideas.

Healthy hosting includes the following components: 

  1. Opportunities to promote physical activity
  2. Healthy snacks and/or non-food incentives/reinforcements in lieu of candy or other non-nutritious treats
  3. Information on local wellness resources
  4. Promotion of local foods

Ways to incorporate wellness into your event:

Physical Activities

  • 5K run/walk
  • Fitness classes (Zumba, yoga, Pilates, cross fit)
  • Activity-based community tables

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Fruit skewers
  • Fresh veggies and low-fat dip
  • Smoothies
  • Whole grain wraps or finger sandwiches

Examples of Non-Food Incentives

  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Books
  • Bags
  • Water bottles
  • Frisbees, balls, or other sporting goods

Health Screenings

  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Cholesterol screenings
  • Body fat analysis screenings
  • Glucose screenings
  • Osteoporosis screenings
  • Glaucoma screenings
  • Lung function screenings
  • Fitness screenings

Community Resource Tables

  • Local health-oriented agencies (Public Health, WIC, CCE, NCPPC, Pivot)
  • Information on CPR and First Aid Classes
  • Health professionals (doctors, dentists, chiropractors)
  • Alternative Medicine (massage therapists, acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation)
  • Mental health services
  • Health insurance companies
  • Substance abuse/addiction services

How to Promote Local Foods

  • Invite a representative from your local farmers market
  • Invite local farmers to showcase their wares
  • Provide information about local CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture)
  • Ask a local garden club to promote home gardening and provide resources for getting started


There are great resources for hosting a healthy community event here:
Tips for a Successful Wellness Event for Families/Communities (PDF)
Make Celebrations Fun, Healthy & Active
Nutrition and Physical Activity Fair Planning Guide (PDF) 
Health Fairs: Ideas, Planning and Activities
UC Berkeley Guide to Healthy Meetings and Events (PDF) 

For more information on healthy snack guidelines:
Healthy Snack Policy (PDF)


Contributor

April Neujean, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.