Vida! March Programming: Read It, Before You Eat It!

Gasol Foundation Vida! program is all about empowering young people to lead healthier lives. We encourage all things sports, nutrition, and healthy living. March programming in South LA, Watts and Boyle Heights was extremely focused on showing our families how important it is to read nutrition labels in order to identify the amount of sugar, fat and cholesterol consumed daily in our diets. Food labels are crucial when it comes to building a heart-healthy diet because they provide vital information about the nutritional values and caloric content in our foods.

This month’s physical activity theme was movement. Movement allows children to connect concepts in action. Research has shown that movement and free play can provide many educational and developmental implications, as well as establish a foundation for healthy social and emotional function! Not only were the kids physically active, but they got to be chefs for the day as well. The in-class lesson plan was all about understanding food labels and learning to prepare a healthy snack. On the menu- Strawberry and Yogurt Crunchy Pots. This recipe was quite simple and delicious, and all the kids enjoyed making it-and eating it! The only ingredients needed were strawberries, nuts, Greek yogurt, cereal and honey.

While preparing this healthy snack, the kids were taught which cereals and which brands of yogurt were the best to utilize nutritionally. During the food label portion of the session, the kids took a look at the labels on some of their favorite sports drinks and snacks. Many were surprised to learn just how much sugar, calories and “bad stuff” some of these items contained. At the end of this lesson, kids were able to comprehend that food labels are necessary because they give us nutrition facts about a specific product, such as serving size, calories per serving, the amount of vitamins and minerals, etc.

In the final hour of Vida! programming, our first annual Healthy Competition was introduced! Here, both the parents and kids joined forces and performed many Olympic-style completions. First and foremost, before any competitions were played, everyone performed numerous stretches in order to get warmed-up for the day’s activities. The Healthy Competition consisted of relay races with batons, volleyball bounce games and so much more! The goal of this was to express the importance of parents being active and working out with their kids. Promoting family fitness is very important to us. After all, parents are the number one source affecting the way children feel about living a healthy lifestyle!