Are your kids getting 60 minutes of exercise every day? Nearly half of the 1,145 mothers of kids ages 5 to 18, surveyed recently by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, say their kids aren’t active seven hours a week, a standard for healthy kids.

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Survey results indicate families are sedentary, spending their together time sitting, including eating meals, watching TV and doing homework. The study finds barriers to activity include homework, the child’s attitude and screen time.

That’s why the Alliance started their #Commit2Ten campaign, encouraging parents and kids to do an extra 10 minutes of physical activity a day, anything from walking around the neighborhood to dancing to taking the stairs.

“It’s fun to get up and move together as a family,” says Megan McIntyre, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Alliance, whose main goal is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. “Building it into your daily life can make such a tremendous difference.”

Next up? The Alliance’s #WearSneakers campaign promoting wearing sneakers so kids and adults will be ready to move at any time.

“'It’s about a balanced diet, meeting the energy and the other needs of the child.'”

Healthy schools

Studies show healthy kids perform better in the classroom, too. Schools are helping kids eat right and get moving. The Canton City School District, in Canton, Ohio, has been working with the Alliance for the past few years, winning nine National Healthy Schools Awards from the nonprofit.

“We’re really able to spread our message about the importance of health and wellness and not just within the school, but with families and community,” says Krista Allison, Director of Student, Family and Community Support for the district and National Ambassador to the Alliance.

The district, which has about 9,000 students, has a variety of healthy initiatives, including first Friday events in elementary schools where parents can get active with kids, parent academy, educating parents about health and wellness and a healthy habits TV show produced on campus by students and broadcast to kids, families and the local community.

Fuel for education

Fuel Up to Play 60, created by the National Dairy Council in collaboration with the NFL and the USDA, works with schools across the country and student ambassadors promoting health and wellness.

“Let’s start our day by getting active before school, during school and after school so we can achieve up to 60 minutes a day, every day,” says Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth, and a Fuel Up to Play 60 partner.

At one middle school, kids started a walking trail every day before school. They’re eating nutritiously too.

“It’s about a balanced diet, meeting the energy and the other needs of the child,” notes Jerry Messer, Chair of the National Dairy Council, encouraging kids to eat a variety of healthy foods including low fat cheese and yogurt.

“Win, win, win,” says Glick. “It’s nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement.”