Why Join?

  Parents' Comments
  Kids Talk
 2005 Results


  About the NutriActive Healthy Experience

The NutriActive Healthy Lifestyle Experience is an experimental school-based program for lower elementary students to promote healthy active living. The program was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Northern Iowa. “NutriActive” stands for “eating Nutritious foods and being physically Active.”

Program Mission
  • Help children understand the meaning and importance of a healthy active lifestyle
  • Empower children to become physically active and nutritionally conscious through age-appropriate, hands-on experiences
The NutriActive is a multi-dimensional program to improve children’s knowledge and skills in four areas:
  • Body Awareness:  learn about body parts and their functions and how they are affected by nutrition and physical activity;
  • Healthy Eating & Dining Etiquette:  learn the basics of good nutrition and proper table manners;
  • Motor Skills & Growth Enhancement:  learn and improve skills, such as jump roping, kicking, and throwing; participate in activities to enhance growth and fitness;
  • Exercise Safety & Disease Prevention:  learn about injury prevention practices, basic principles of first aid, and disease prevention.
Program Design
The NutriActive program was tested in four elementary schools in April of 2005 as before and after school program. Two of the schools volunteered to be the intervention sites and two others were the control sites. Students at the intervention schools participated the program and assessment procedures, whereas students in the control schools took part only in the assessment procedures. By comparing the intervention and control sites, the researchers were able to determine the effectiveness of the program in improving participants' health-related knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Click here to see the results.

  NutriActive at Glance       


  Parents' Comments  

Parents About the NutriActive Program!
  • My daughter "is a Nutriactive apostle, sharing what she’s learned with sisters and friends; more aware of skills like kicking, throwing w/opposition – wants to practice them and more interested in playing kickball and T-ball; doesn’t ask for things like pop as much and accepts the no and rationale better; builds in more active play into her choices and reinforces herself for the choices (“I had a good active day!”)."
  • She "tried new foods – wasn’t wanting to watch T.V. as much; better manners, more active – stopped eating when full listens to his body."
  • "She... learned to love the jump rope, learned about correct meal portion sizes, learned reinforcement of what we taught her about table manners, learned about the body’s physiology."
  • "My son now eats whole wheat bread for breakfast daily. Both of my sons discuss the role certain foods play in the development of the body. Protein = muscle, milk = strong bones. When they eat junk they say – sometimes food."
  • "Less argument if I say no to certain kinds of snacks or foods – says she feels better since she has been eating healthy."
Has your child’s participation in the NutriActive program changed your (parent) health-related knowledge, attitudes, or practices?
  • I eat more vegetables.
  • More knowledge on nutrition
  • Watch food labels when shopping
  • It’s made me think of new exercises alternatives, and about appropriate portion sizes for our child’s meals.
  • I am not afraid to “experiment” with different foods for my children. If they won’t eat a “healthy” food we discuss consequences of not getting proper nutrition. We are more aware of our “sometimes” foods.
  • Parents teach how, this helps reinforce.
  • I am more conscious of building in activity each day.
  Kids Talk :-)                          

  • Can you name one food that has lots of vitamins in it?  “Vitamin pill”
  • What can you do to keep your heart and lungs healthy? – “Don’t smoke, don’t drink like whiskey”
  • Why is it important to have good posture?
    • “So people don’t blame you”
    • “So you don’t be ugly, no hunch on your back”
    • “So food can get to your brain faster”
    • “So you can have bones sitting up”
  • What kinds of activities can make your bones strong? – “Walk fast and then faster”
  • What parts of the digestive system do you know” – “The middle.”
  • What can you do to keep your skin healthy? – “When you cough on yourself – wash it off.”
  • How can you protect yourself from getting injured when exercising? – “Water yourself.”
  • Your body needs energy to do activities like running. Where does your body get the energy from? – “From god”
  • Can you name one food that has lots of fiber in it? – “SlimFast.”
  • What can you do to keep your skin healthy? – “Don’t fall into pointy things.”
  • There are foods that you should eat occasionally. Why is that? – “If you ate too much sugary food you’d have lots of cavities and you’d have to get a gold tooth.”
  • What does it mean to be a couch potato? – “Just lay around and play video games, like I do on Saturdays.”