The eighth-annual Nebraska Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day will bring approximately 700 fourth-graders from area communities to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus Sept. 16, according to Kate Heelan, event cofounder and director of the UNK Human Performance Laboratory.
KEARNEY - The eighth-annual Nebraska Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day will bring approximately 700 fourth-graders from area communities to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus Sept. 16, according to Kate Heelan, event cofounder and director of the UNK Human Performance Laboratory.
Activities will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Foster Field, Cushing Coliseum and the Health and Sports Center. When they arrive, students will be divided into two groups. One group will focus on physical activities while the second group works its way through the nutrition stations. After lunch, the groups will switch activities for the afternoon.
Among the physical activities planned are step aerobics, team-building, participating with members of the UNK baseball team, obstacle courses and the parachute. Nutrition stations will teach youths about energy balance, making healthy snacks, the importance of food safety and washing hands and MyPlate, the new USDA symbol for proper nutrition.
"The primary purpose of the event is to open the eyes of young people to the ways physical activity and nutrition work together to maintain health," Heelan said. "We are dedicated to providing support to help schools achieve their school wellness goals."
Fourth grade students will come to the campus from Alma, Elm Creek, Franklin, Gibbon, Holdrege, Kearney, Overton, Riverdale and Shelton. Working with the students will be more than 130 UNK students, faculty and staff from the College of Education.
Nebraska Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day, which was created and developed by Heelan and Kaiti Roeder, director of nutrition education for the Nebraska Beef Council, is funded by the Nebraska Beef Council. The program has been packaged into a standard curriculum that other communities are using.
In 2011, Hastings, McCook, Scottsbluff, Sidney, Chadron and Alliance also will have the event for fourth-grade students. In all, more than 2,400 students will be involved in the event.