We Can! for the Holidays
A science-based national education program to help children ages 8-13 stay at a healthy weight, is now being implemented in more than 450 community sites in 44 states, just in time for the holidays.
Balintfy: A science-based national education program to help children ages 8-13 stay at a healthy weight, is now being implemented in more than 450 community sites in 44 states, just in time for the holidays.
Donato: "We Can!" has a series of tips as part of these products that really talks to parents about healthful eating around the holidays.
Balintfy: Karen Donato, Coordinator of the Obesity Education Initiative at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute explains that "We Can" stands for "Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition."
Donato: The national education program provides communities, hospitals, park and recreation settings, worksites with materials and information to help them encourage families to maintain a healthy weight, and provide them with programmatic materials that help them to do programming for parents and for youth in their individual settings. So we have an array of resources and products that are flexible, are science-based, and can be used in a variety of different settings.
Balintfy: Dr. Donato says the focus of those materials can be used by parents to help with health holiday eating tips.
Donato: For example, if you have a soup and a salad prior to your main meal, you're more apt to be full. If you have vegetables instead of a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, you're going to have fewer calories. And so within the "We Can!" parent handbook, we provide parents with some of these tips for what they can use at the holidays.
Balintfy: Dr. Donato also reminds everyone to be mindful of portion sizes — a small piece or taste rather than a large portion — and that kids get exercise, even during this busy season.
Donato: Another tip I think that we want to make sure that parents are aware of is that they really need to make sure that their children and families are active over the holidays. Activity is the other side of energy balance, and rather than sitting and watching TV after a meal, one might go out for a walk, one might engage in a little bit of touch football or basketball, or something that gets people moving.
Balintfy: "We Can!" information can be found at the NHLBI Web site, at wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov, or by calling toll-free 1-866-35-WE-CAN. This is Joe Balintfy at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Karen Donato, Coordinator, Obesity Education Initiative, NHLBI
Topic: We Can! Eating Healthy for the Holidays