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Children, Schools and Families Initiatives, Promising Practices, Tools and Resources

A fit and healthy fighting force is the foundation of a strong national defense. In the United States, poor nutrition, obesity, lack of physical fitness and tobacco use pose a growing threat to the military’s four “Rs”: recruitment, retention, readiness and resilience. To address these threats, the Department of Defense launched a Healthy Base Initiative to make healthy living the easy choice for service members and their families. The military supports programs that protect the well-being of our military families, including:

Initiatives

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation - This program targets the prevalence of childhood obesity and empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.
  • Share our Strength - Shopping and cooking classes empower families to purchase and prepare healthy food on a budget.
  • Operation Kid Fit - This is a military-adapted, evidence-based child obesity program.
  • 5210 Healthy Military Children campaign - This educational campaign is aimed at increasing activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables, while reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and recreational screen time. See the Club 2150 curriculum adopted at an after-school wellness program at Yokota Air Force Base.

Promising Practices

  • Baby Hot Wheels - This free circuit-training program is also a social outlet for mothers and babies alike. Sessions are rain or shine in the gym or on the track.
  • Club 2150 - This after-school program setting targets childhood obesity through the concepts of 5210.
  • Recess Before Lunch - The initiative improves child nutrition and reduces waste by implementing a school schedule change for recess prior to lunch.
  • Youth sports program - This comprehensive, year-round youth sports program for kids ages 3-15 at 29 Palms teaches participants skills in a variety of sports and overall functional movement while instilling lessons of leadership and responsibility.

Tools

  • Initiative Program Fidelity Tool template - Program Fidelity Tools are short, checklist-style surveys tailored to each program implemented under the Healthy Base Initiative. The surveys assess fidelity on a semi-annual basis, as appropriate to the specific program, based on the intervention's HBI start date.

Resources

  • The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition- The president's council engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles, including regular physical activity and good nutrition. The council is made up of athletes, chefs, physicians, fitness professionals and educators who are appointed by the president to serve in an advisory capacity through the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Human Performance Resource Center - The center's human performance optimization website is for U.S. warfighters, their families and those who support them. The goal is total force fitness: warfighters optimized to carry out their mission as safely and effectively as possible.