Eating Healthy With "The Action Pack"

May 16, 2012

The state department of public health has launched an initiative to promote better food choices and a more physically active lifestyle for pre-schoolers.

In the new campaign children are introduced to a cartoon cow and her son, a rabbit and a super strong chimp with a simple message: "Fruits and veggies give you the energy to play hard. And low-fat dairy helps you grow strong. Eat healthy, play hard."

That's just one of the public service announcements running on CPTV and other cable TV channels state wide as part of the Action Pack campaign.

According to DPH section chief Renee Coleman-Mitchell, the campaign aims to stem the increasing numbers of obese children in Connecticut. "What we've been seeing over the last several years is that our preschoolers have been diagnosed with heart disease, they've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which was once only for adults. We were really trying to be really proactive in how we as a department could address this at an early age with our preschoolers."

The campaign also includes a website component that gives parents practical steps to improve their child's eating habits, like introducing more fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy into their preschoolers diets, and tips to get your child more physically active.

"You would think though that with preschoolers that wouldn't be difficult," said Coleman-Mitchell. But things have changed so much in the last several years that we're actually having to recommend 60 minutes of moderate to physical activity on a daily basis."

The Action Pack campaign is funded through the U.S Department of Agriculture, and the state's DPH Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or SNAP Education Program, which provides guidance on good food choices for residents eligible for SNAP.