Our Kids Programs

kids programs and focus areas

Find out more about our children’s health initiatives below.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The American Heart Association supports and provides leadership to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded by the association and the Clinton Foundation. Working together, we’ve have made schools healthier, negotiated provider reimbursement for preventing and treating childhood obesity and raised awareness in children and adults about the importance of getting healthy to prevent childhood obesity. www.HealthierGeneration.org

Childhood Obesity

Childhood Nutrition/Childhood Obesity

About one in three American kids and teens are over weight or obese, which can lead to a broad range of health problems. The American Heart Association works to help families live heart-healthy lives by providing tools and resources to encourage healthier eating and physical activity. Better nutrition focuses on sodium reduction, fruits and vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages and more. www.heart.org/healthierkids

Cardiovascular Conditions of Childhood

Cardiovascular Conditions of Childhood

Most families don’t know the risks of congenital heart defects, what they are and how they’re treated until they are diagnosed around the time their baby is born. In fact, about 32,000 infants are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect each year and 1.3 million Americans are living with a CHD. The American Heart Association works to educate and support parents and their loved ones during pregnancy. If your child has been diagnosed with a heart condition, it can be a scary and emotional time. Find answers to common concerns about many types of heart conditions.

Healthy Way to Grow logo

Healthy Way to Grow

With inaugural funding provided by The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, the American Heart Association and Nemours are launching Healthy Way to Grow, a technical assistance program, for child care centers across the country aimed at decreasing obesity among children ages birth to five years old. The program provides direct, hands-on assistance, customized training, resources and tools to support healthy lifestyles in child care environments. www.healthywaytogrow.org

Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart

Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart

Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart are education and fundraising events sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Society of Health and Physical Educators. These events engage elementary and middle school students with jumping rope or playing basketball while empowering them to improve their health and help other kids with heart-health issues.

KaBOOM! Playgrounds

KaBOOM! Playgrounds In a recent poll, 59% of parents reported that there is no place to play within walking distance of their homes; in poorer neighborhoods the figure increases to 69%. That means almost two out of three children have no place to play. Together with playground expert KaBOOM!, the American Heart Association is working to build playgrounds and lead community health education for kids and their families.

NFL PLAY60 Challenge

NFL PLAY 60 Challenge

NFL Play60 inspires kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day in school and at home and helps schools become places that encourage physical fitness year-round. Kits to track physical activity, learning materials, downloadable online materials for teachers and community outreach events coordinated by NFL Clubs and the American Heart Association are all part of the program.

Simple Cooking with Heart for Kids

Simple Cooking with Heart for Kids

Nationally funded by Walmart, this guide makes the concepts of our award-winning Simple Cooking with Heart program accessible for kids ages 8-12. With simple, fun recipes to spark young people’s interest in food, cooking and health, this resource provides instructions to host an educational and entertaining hands-on cooking demonstration for kids plus information for parents to keep the creativity happening in the kitchen. www.heart.org/simplecookingkids

Teaching Gardens

Teaching Gardens

Less than one percent of children in the United States get the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens give elementary school students hands-on experience in a real-life laboratory so they can learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and understand the value of good eating habits. www.heart.org/teachinggardens

Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids is a national advocacy initiative focused on uniting the movement to prevent childhood obesity. A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association, the initiative seeks to help reverse the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by 2015 by ensuring children have access to healthy foods and beverages, as well as safe opportunities for physical activity. www.voicesforhealthykids.org.

CPR in Schools

CPR in Schools

The American Heart Association believes kids are the answer to saving more lives. That’s why AHA is helping prepare more students, their teachers and their families to save lives with the CPR in Schools Training Kit™. The hands-on, interactive kit is based on the latest science and makes it easy for educators to train the next generation of lifesavers in 30 minutes or less. heart.org/CPRinSchools

Life's Simple 7 for Kids

Life's Simple 7TM for Kids

Life's Simple 7 for Kids helps kids and their parents understand the seven components of heart health and lets them know how to keep them in healthy ranges. All of the recommendations have some important things in common: any person can follow them, the steps are not difficult or expensive to take, and even adding small parts of these recommendations into your life can go a long way toward helping you feel your very best.

NFL PLAY60 app


The American Heart Association and the NFL are proud to come together to create the free NFL PLAY 60 app, empowering kids to get active and healthy. The app encourages players to get their 60 minutes of daily recommended physical movement in a virtual adventure by running, jumping and pivoting with device in hand. Available for iOS and Android. Download it today.

Vital logo


The American Heart Association and the National Hypertension Association are working together to combat childhood obesity and teach healthy habits with the VITAL program. VITAL stands for Values Initiative Teaching About Lifestyle. Instilling healthy habits for nutrition and physical activity in young children (Pre K through early elementary) 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. heart.org/VITAL.

Congenital Heart Defects

Children-Focused Research

Since 2009 over 400 research awards broadly related to children’s heart disease have been funded by the AHA totaling $58.7 million. The American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation have joined forces to fight congenital heart defects (CHD) by jointly funding at least $2.5 million over the next two years to support innovative research. In addition to funding lifesaving research, both organizations will be working together to raise awareness of CHDs. For more information visit heart.org/congenitalheartdefects.

Saving Children’s Lives International Program

Worldwide, 6.6 million children under the age of 5 die each year, with over 4 million of these deaths occurring in limited resource countries. More than half of these deaths are due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions. AHA’s Saving Children’s Lives international program is designed to increase the basic yet critical knowledge and skills of front-line healthcare workers in limited resource settings and was piloted in 2013 in two African countries – Botswana and Tanzania – through a grant from the Laerdal Foundation.

Life's Simple 7 for Kids

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