Head Start Helps Fight Childhood Obesity

Wegmans employees participated in a “Rainbow Health Day” at two Fairfax County Head Start locations: the Gum Springs Children’s Center in Alexandria, and the Higher Horizons Day Care Center in Falls Church. The event helped 3-5 year-olds learn the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and engaging in physical activity.

Wegmans has a Summer Management Internship program for their employees who are college students. The program encourages the students to do community volunteer work on Wegmans’ “Make a Difference Day.”

Several of the “Rainbow Health Day” activities revolved around Wegmans’ guide to healthy eating called “Eat a Rainbow Every Day.” The children learned about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and the Wegmans volunteers set up a “Rainbow Market” where the children “shopped” for apples, corn, bananas, cucumbers and plums. The children took the produce home, along with nutritional information for their families provided by Wegmans.

“Head Start and Wegmans both have a focus on healthy food choices,” said Head Start Director Jennifer Branch.

Head Start also has a focus on the importance of physical activity. During “Rainbow Health Day,” the Wegmans volunteers played games with the children that involved gross-motor skills, along with activities requiring balance and flexibility. The games were based on the national Head Start office’s “I Am Moving, I Am Learning” initiative, which is designed to combat childhood obesity.

“Regular physical activity not only helps reduce body fat, it’s also key to good brain function,” explained Head Start Nutritionist Everludis Lopez. “In addition, physical activity can be integrated into curricular objectives in order to engage children in learning.”



reaching for fruit


jumping hoops



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