Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Make a Commitment to Wellness!

With your help, our community can change the alarming national trends towards lower life expectancy and obesity for the next generation that the modern American diet and an inactive lifestyle contributes to. We strive to teach our community how to eat for life: to set our children up to thrive and live their best life. We want to help  you develop a healthy relationship to food and an active lifestyle. And we need you to support HCZ's healthy nutrition environment.

Be A Positive Example
Adult members of the Harlem Children's Zone and Promise Academy communities set an example for our children. Whether you are a teacher, a parent or a member of the staff you help our kids learn to recognize food as fuel for their growing bodies and active minds. You can also help us teach the next generation of Harlem's children healthy ways to celebrate their own food traditions as a unique expression of family and culture while modeling what kinds of foods they should be seeking out and piling on their plates. Click to read more about HCZ's Wellness Policy and our Community Food Pledges.

Eat for Life
The basics of a healthy balanced diet are simple, but not always easy to satisfy. Essentially our bodies need a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to function well. Our bodies also do best when we are active--for kids that means at least 60 minutes of active play a day! We've got lots of opportunities to get active around HCZ for parents, staff and students to take advantage of.

Create Change
Too much of the food that is readily available in Harlem and across the country is heavily processed and full of excessive salt, sugar and chemical additives. Whether you call it fast food or junk food the additives can cause high blood pressure, interfere with mental focus, cause mood swings, interrupt our natural sleep cycles and even contribute to our risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. We encourage you to fill your diet with more "whole foods" that are minimally processed and free of all the junk that's snuck its way into the typical American diet.

Simple, not easy
We recognize that changing your diet (especially as an adult) is not an easy task. That's why we're committed to helping you any way we can. Please let us know if you have specific needs or questions about eating well or feeding your family healthfully and we'll do our best to serve your specific needs. In the meantime, check out some of the excellent resources available around the web to help you eat better, get more activity and get involved with movements for creating positive change in our food systems locally and nationally.

Please visit our Wellness Resources to link to some of our favorite sites, groups and tools about healthy eating, living well, and making positive changes for yourself, your kids and your community.

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