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New Ulm Medical Center

Empowering kids to live healthier lives

We often hear that kids today get too much screen time, eat too much junk food and don’t exercise enough. But teaching kids the importance of being healthy can be tough. To help, Allina Health created a new program called Health Powered Kids.™ This free online program offers parents, teachers and community groups a creative, hands-on way to help kids learn about health and create positive, lasting habits.

“Allina Health is committed to improving the health of our entire community,” said Susan Nygaard, RN, manager of Community Health Improvement for Allina Health. “Health Powered Kids™ provides a resource to help empower children to make positive choices and create an overall healthy lifestyle.”

The content for Health Powered Kids™ was developed by Allina Health professionals. The site offers 50 health lessons, each of which includes a number of kid-friendly activities. The lessons are geared to kids ages 3 to 14 and are divided by age, time and topic. Health topics include eating well, being active, finding balance and cleanliness.

The site also includes “Power Chargers” — short bursts of activity that get kids moving. Power Chargers are grouped into two-, five- and 10-minute activities to fit any schedule. “Whether for a school classroom, the YMCA or a local Girl Scout troop, the content is relevant and customizable for individual needs and situations,” Nygaard said.

While Health Powered Kids™ offers tried-and-true nutrition and fitness lessons, the program also educates kids about other important areas of health, including stress management and hygiene. “We need to look holistically at children’s health. We know all these areas have a direct impact on how children learn and live a balanced life,” Nygaard said.

Since the beginning of the 2012–2013 school year, two area elementary schools have been using the program: Lafayette Charter School and New Ulm Area Catholic Schools.

Nygaard said new topics are always being added to the website. “It’s our hope that the community uses this free resource to help our kids achieve a healthier, happier life,” she said.

To find out more about Health Powered Kids, go to allinahealth.org and select “Community Involvement.”