United Way’s Crunch Out Knox County will start the week of September 24. This year, over six hundred fourth graders across all of Knox County’s eleven elementary schools will participate in the program. Crunch Out was created to help kids and families realize the importance of creating nutrition and exercise habits. The program teaches fourth graders about making healthy food choices and getting physical activity every day. Lessons promotes life-long wellness in order to prevent health problems associated with poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
The program uses the 5-2-1-0 guidelines to support students and families in adopting healthy habits together. Students are encouraged to:
- eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day,
- set a maximum of 2 hours of screen time – including TV, Computer, and phone apps
- exercise at least 1 hour - physical activity can include organized sports or taking a walk and broken up into small segments
- drink zero sugary beverages - encouraging water and milk instead of juices and sodas
The 5-2-1-0 guide helps students crunch out unhealthy habits and replace them with new healthy practices.
Children learn to use an exercise ball during physical education class and receive one to keep and use at home. Program themes are reinforced in the classroom as well. Students are given a booklet with nutritional and exercise information to take home with them and complete weekly journals during class each day to track their new habits. The 5-2-1-0 guidelines serve as goals and the students use the journals to track their progress toward those goals. Everyone is a winner; prizes are awarded for completing the journals, not for complying to the 5-2-1-0 principles – teaching our community that healthy habits are important, but also that lifestyles are flexible. The program ends with an essay contest where students describe “How I Am Living Healthy”. Essay contest winners are celebrated in an awards ceremony when the students return from winter break.
This United Way program is more than an exercise or nutrition program, Crunch Out teaches children about goal setting and holding oneself accountable through tracking progress towards that goal. By donating to United Way of Knox County’s Campaign, you will be supporting Crunch Out and the other local programs that United Way implements or invests in. Give, Advocate, Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.