CHRISTUS School Clinics ‘Bodies in Motion’ completed another successful year of the month-long summer camp for Houston-Galveston area children on June 28th at Christo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory.
According to Janice Davison, CHRISTUS School Clinics Coordinator, Bodies in Motion Summer Program began in 2009 at Our Lady of Guadalupe. This year 30 children participated and completed the fun-loving mini boot-camp. Traditionally the program includes full body exercise and teaches participating children how to make healthy snack alternatives with registered nurses, medical assistants and volunteers from Christo Rey High School guarding and guiding them.
“The program is designed to educate students and their families about the importance of encouraging and maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy eating for children,” said Davison. “In the beginning, the focus of the program was nutrition and we subsequently opened the program up to all the Catholic schools we had clinics in, around the Houston-Galveston area.”
“Over time, we incorporated exercise and physical activity in addition to the nutritional focus,” said Davison. “We had the kids play kick ball and other activities in alignment with a newly developed, keep moving philosophy.”
Return to Nutritional Focus
In 2014, the nutritional component was removed in favor of an activity model. However, this year, the nutritional component was brought back into the fold.
“The Parks and Recreational program provides our balanced nutritional meals and snacks,” said Davison. “Our Educational Nutritionist, Teresa Rivera, came up with a number of nutritional ideas and the kids enjoyed the fact that they could fix their own healthy snacks this year.”
CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic Educational Nutritionist, Teresa Rivera, took to the front of the class with novel takes on nutritional snacks kids can make themselves.
“I created a meal plan with a variety of healthy snacks for the kids,” said Rivera. “We came up with 14 different snack ideas that made it from thought to plate and while some of the kids loved it, others were hesitant to eat the vegetables.”
“I simply made up other games to motivate and encourage the hesitant kids to eat their vegetables,” Rivera added.
Snack ideas ranged from healthier Rice Crispies treats to the popular fruit kabob.
“We got kabob sticks and helped the kids put strawberries, bananas, pineapples and grapes on them, drizzling them with sugar free dark chocolate before sticking them in the freezer,” said Rivera. “It’s a much healthier alternative to preservative and sugar packed snacks like popsicles.”
This year’s program ended in a celebratory dance with parents in attendance, recording their children’s dance moves on their smartphones, to a medley of pop music.
Creating Better Opportunities
Few things make kids happier than good food and a safe environment where they can learn and have fun. As a supporter of this program, you will further a safe space for children to learn and play every summer while maintaining a healthy diet. Bodies in Motion has meant a lot to us, the parents and children who have participated over the years.
By making a generous gift today, you will have a huge impact on the quality of the program (activities, books and other classroom essentials) and the number of children whose summers will be enriched for the better.