The American Heart Association and the National Hypertension Association are working together to combat childhood obesity and other critical health problems with the VITAL program. VITAL stands for Values Initiative Teaching About Lifestyle and is designed for young children in pre-school, kindergarten and elementary grades. The program focuses on instilling healthy habits about nutrition and physical activity in children before unhealthy habits set in, which is important for future health, self-esteem and quality of life. VITAL emphasizes child participation, educational entertainment and parent involvement.
The program guide includes an overview of VITAL, a teacher and parent letter, the eight-lesson curriculum, and an evaluation form for teachers and parents. Additionally, each student receives a copy of The Berenstain Bears storybook from Lesson 1 and a pedometer.
The curriculum allows teachers the flexibility to modify each lesson to meet their needs and to incorporate their own creative teaching style. Each lesson includes a nutrition and physical activity component along with discussion questions and a song to help reinforce what the children learned.
Sample Lesson Plans
For more information about the program, email us at VITALprogram@heart.org.