The Healthy Eating Exercise and Living Program
HEELP (Healthy Eating Exercise and Living Program) is a program designed to help children who need it most. Through the school’s participation in the SmartStart program and with the consent from parents prior to the measure session, we are able to identify children who are either “at-risk” or “high-risk” of lifestyle related illnesses through poor body composition (overweight OR underweight) and/or physical fitness competencies. The program invites the students to attend a series of eight “Healthy Living and Activity Sessions” held privately in small groups after school each week, where only these at risk children attend. The sessions focus on delivering intensive, fun games and activities, in a supportive and educational environment away from the children’s fitter and sometimes intimidating peers.
Family activity days are also organised to engage the parents and other siblings.
Each child receives a full SmartStart for Kids! fitness and nutrition folder that contains advice and information for their parents; specially developed diaries to help target daily nutrition and physical activity levels, the use of a pedometer, certificates, stickers and prizes.
Participation in HEELP has been shown to improve childrne’s attitudes and behavious to healthy eating and physical activity, as well as improvig self esteem, confidence and even academic performance.