Concurrent Sessions 1
Farm to Pharmacy
To effectively address childhood obesity, educating caregivers on healthy eating is crucial. The Prescription Produce Plan empowers low-income families to connect increasing consumption of fresh produce with improved health and well-being. Through weekly health check-ups, prescriptions filled with fresh produce, and opportunities for food and nutrition education, participants develop and build on healthy habits and experience a positive change in their overall health.
Explore Virginia Outdoors – Successfully Increasing Outdoor Recreation
Kids need at least 60 minutes of active and vigorous play each day to stay healthy, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside. Outdoor recreation opportunities can greatly increase physical activity in communities and connect families to nearby parks, trails, and waters. During this session, participants will learn strategies for improving access to outdoor recreational opportunities and enhancing infrastructure to support walking.
Fuel Up with School Breakfast
When a child misses breakfast, their chances to succeed in the classroom and later in life are drastically reduced. Children who eat a good breakfast perform better in school, have better attendance, and exhibit fewer behavior problems. Data from a recent survey of Virginia students indicate that time is the number one barrier to students eating school breakfast. In this session, panelists will highlight findings from the survey and share successful implementation of alternative breakfast strategies including: breakfast in the classroom, grab’n’go breakfast and breakfast after 1st period in various Virginia schools.
Eat Smart, Move More Virginia!
Social marketing is a popular and effective behavior change strategy that offers an innovative approach to promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and tackling obesity. To facilitate these behavior changes in Virginia, the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program (FNP) is implementing Eat Smart, Move More to create a culture of health through social marketing to impact cultural norms. This session will share strategies for effectively using social media in social marketing campaigns.
Creating Healthy Eating, Active Living Communities
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Healthy Eating and Active Living program works to prevent and control obesity and chronic diseases by: promoting healthy eating and active living, fostering evidence-based strategies, systems and environmental changes which support health; compiling and disseminating evidence-based and/or evidence-informed interventions which support health; and developing partnerships and community led initiatives throughout Virginia. The VDH works with local health districts, community organizations, stakeholders, and local coalitions to assist Virginians in making healthy choices where they live, learn, work and play through evidence-based interventions.
Smart Starts with HEPA in Early Childhood
The risk of obesity starts early in life. The early childhood education setting — including child care centers, home day care, Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs — is a critical place for obesity prevention efforts. When healthy eating and physical activity habits are acquired during the preschool years, they can last a lifetime. This session introduces two national initiatives implemented in early childhood centers across Virginia. Panelists will discuss implementation strategies of the Y’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards, and the engagement of center directors through VECF’s learning collaboratives.
Concurrent Sessions 2
Overweight but Underfed
Hunger and obesity can coexist in the same individual, family, or community. People with low-incomes are especially vulnerable to experiencing both. This session will explore the seeming paradox of hunger and obesity, and highlight creative approaches to addressing it.
The Classroom Evolved: Creating an Active Learning Environment
Healthy and active kids are better learners! Research has linked moderate to vigorous physical activity with increased brain function and improving student’s readiness to learn. One of the most important things a classroom teacher can do is to integrate physical movement into their classroom. In this session, participants will learn and share sample curriculum content, activities and strategies for incorporating physical activity in the classroom.
Nutrition + Schools = Healthy Kids
With the goal of creating healthier school food environments, new National School Lunch program standards were implemented in 2012 and Smart Snacks in School standards were implemented July 1, 2014. As part of this session, attendees will learn about the nutritional guidelines influencing school offerings and the nutritional quality of packed lunches. This session strives to emphasize the need for efforts to foster healthy eating habits and how these new standards may help minimize the childhood obesity rates.
Community Fitness – Raising the Bar
Research demonstrates that increasing community access to safe, affordable spaces for physical activity promotes active living and reduces childhood obesity. Presenters will share successes, challenges and lessons learned from using messaging strategies and programs to promote physical activity. The session will provide a roadmap for participants to successfully replicate the program within their communities.
Partnerships for Promoting Change
Community involvement is vital to childhood obesity prevention efforts. Local organizations, coalitions, and teams are ideally positioned to promote behavioral, policy, system, and environmental changes that will help create healthy communities. Since 2010, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) has funded Healthy Community Action Teams (HCATs) to bring together local partners to address childhood obesity. This session will focus on strategies to create and sustain partnerships and successes increasing access to healthy foods and improving opportunities for physical activity at the local level.
School’s Out! Active After the School Day
After-school programs (ASP) across the nation serve millions of children per year, and are essential to many working low and middle class families. The National Afterschool Association (NAA) adopted the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Quality Standards (HEPAQS) to provide guidance for programs related to snack quality and physical activity. During this session, findings from a Virginia-based evaluation on the impact of adopting the quality standards on youth behavior will be shared, as well as strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity among youth in afterschool programs.
Concurrent Sessions 3
What’s Behind the Glass? Strategies for Healthy Vending
While vending machines may be convenient, they often offer foods and drinks high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. Healthy vending initiatives help address the obesity epidemic by providing healthier food options and choices for consumers. This session will discuss barriers to increasing the availability of healthy food options in vending machines, policies to support healthy vending, and the development of an educational campaign to promote healthy options.
Fire UP Your Feet (Session begins with participating in Fire Up Your Feet event at local elementary school)
Walking and biking to school are fun and effective way for kids to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Programs like Safe Routes to School and Fire Up Your Feet catalyze students and their families to walk and bike to school and in their communities. Experience firsthand how programs like these increase physical activity at a local school and learn ways to create partnerships to support walking and biking to school programs.
Dig Into Farm to School
Farm to school activities provide local, healthy food options and education to influence eating behaviors in children. Through the use of school and community gardens, farm to school can contribute to healthy neighborhoods where communities have a better understanding of how food is grown and how food affects their health and wellness. This session will share farm to school best practices, resources, programs, and model programs that are occurring in Virginia
Would you eat 91 sugar cubes? Rev Your Bev challenges SSBs statewide
Since 2013, approximately 100,000 Virginians have explored the amount of sugar in many popular beverages and how much physical activity is needed to burn off those calories through Rev Your Bev. Rev Your Bev is the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s statewide initiative to increase awareness on the health impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages. Participants will gain strategies for engaging youth in obesity prevention, enhancing collective impact for statewide initiatives, specific tactics to increase awareness, and change behavior around sugary beverages.
Maximizing Community Change with Collective Impact
Through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s (VFHY) Healthy Communities Action Teams (HCATs), local groups have successfully leveraged partnerships and identified creative solutions to increase access to healthy foods and increase opportunities for children and their families to be physically active. In this session, presenters from Live Healthy Lynchburg and PATH Coalition in the Roanoke Valley will share experiences using collective impact strategies to gain the commitment of diverse partners to address obesity in their locality.
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy: Nutrition Best Practices in Early Childhood
The childcare environment plays a big role in promoting healthy eating for young children. Research has shown that there are crucial relationships between nutrition and health and nutrition and learning. By serving nutritious meals and snacks, children get the nourishment and energy they need to learn and grow – and be healthy. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and childcare centers play a big role in supporting mothers. This session will share strategies that will help children develop healthy nutrition and eating habits.