THRIVE - Fighting Childhood Obesity | Fort Dodge, Iowa
THRIVE at UnityPoint Health - Trinity

Helping Educate Children to Make Wise Food Choices

In 2007, UnityPoint Health - Trinity Regional Medical Center identified youth obesity as a key focus area for improving the health status of our community. Based on state and local data, and the high incidence of childhood obesity and related health problems, Trinity recognized the need for programs available to Fort Dodge youth to help them learn the fundamental skills needed to live a healthy lifestyle.

In partnership with the Fort Dodge Community School District and St. Edmond Catholic School System, THRIVE was created as a way to reach youth at school - a familiar learning environment. THRIVE was developed based on information and research from the following organizations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Institute for Health (NIH), as well as other highly respected organizations and associations focused on youth obesity, wellness and chronic disease prevention. Trinity's THRIVE program utilizes the research-based model for a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) developed and advanced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mission

To educate, support and empower students to enhance their health and well-being through responsible lifestyle choices.

Goal

To influence students' eating and physical activity behavior.

This is done by increasing students' knowledge about how lifestyle choices impact their current and future health. Building knowledge and skills helps students make healthy eating and physical activity choices which in turn decreases students' chances of obtaining a chronic disease.  

Reaching Kids in the Classroom

Elementary (K-4)

Kindergarten 5-A-Day Power Play

All Kindergarten classes in the Fort Dodge Community School District and St. Edmond's are visited by a Thrive educator four times a semester. Each visit consists of a fun, educational activity that exposes students to knowledge of how to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Lessons and activities for the Kindergarten visits were created using the Healthy Hops program, research-based curriculum. Healthy Hops is an adapted version of the evidence-based comprehensive Healthy Start curriculum.

3rd Grade 5-A-Day Power Play

All third grade classes in the Fort Dodge Community School District and St. Edmond's are visited by a THRIVE educator four times each semester. The 3rd grade curriculum was developed to introduce students to the USDA's MyPlate and to teach students how to use MyPlate to help them make better nutrition choices. Students at this stage of life are exposed to a variety of subjects in school so this curriculum's lessons were designed to integrate nutrition with science, math, language arts, music, and art. Physical activity is also emphasized. 

The lessons communicate nutrition concepts through age-appropriate, fun activities. Other objectives include identifying the food groups and learning how much from each food group to eat, discussing the importance of eating all the food groups and learning nutritional qualities of different food groups.

Middle School (5-8)

5th Grade 5-A-Day Power Play

The 5th grade health class is visited by a THRIVE educator three times each semester. Each visit consists of a fun, educational activity on healthy snacks, beverages and dining out. The activities expose students to knowledge of how to live a healthy, active lifestyle. The visits supplement units already covered in 5th grade health class and mainly focus on nutritional choices.

Lunch Room Challenge (K-8)

Throughout the school year the students get to participate in a lunch room nutrition challenge. Several challenges are provided each year. Students are encouraged in a variety of ways to participate in the challenge.

Bulletin Boards

There are Thrive bulletin boards at each school K-8. The boards have rotating themes throughout the year that promote health and activity.