Nominees

 

Hy-Vee KidsFit

Company: Hy-Vee, Inc.
Program category: Neighborhood Health Improvement Programs

Origins:

One in three kids in the United States are either overweight or obese, putting them at risk for a variety of health issues and chronic conditions. The disparities in health care access and the growing obesity rate among children in the United States illustrate the need for quality wellness programs geared toward kids.

To combat these issues, Hy-Vee, Inc. designed a free, online program to help kids and families make health, exercise and nutrition not only priorities in their everyday lives but also fun! Hy-Vee KidsFit is an interactive health and wellness website for children, teens and families that offers a free, online personal trainer. The workouts and activities featured on KidsFit require no equipment or gym memberships, making it accessible to kids at all skill levels. The website, www.hy-veekidsfit.com, provides online video tutorials, fitness workbooks, dietitian blogs and the ability to issue “fitness challenges” to other participants via social media. Youth and their families can sign up for the 5-Week Challenge, which provides kids with a structure to take control of their personal health and fitness. Participants can earn virtual trophies and badges to help monitor their progress during the 5-Week Challenge.

As the program has continued to expand, Hy-Vee’s personal trainer and more than 228 dietitians have continued their activities in Hy-Vee stores but also taken their health and wellness message and activities directly to students through visits to schools and classrooms, community events, health expos and fairs and government outreach programs through state departments of education.

Contribution:

KidsFit events take place at Hy-Vee stores, but communities across Hy-Vee’s eight states have relied on Hy-Vee KidsFit as a resource to help provide healthier outcomes, which has quickly expanded the program throughout communities. The Hy-Vee KidsFit personal trainer and dietitians have been invited to participate in a variety of community events such as: school assemblies; kids’ marathon, 5k and fun runs; collegiate football tailgates; the Iowa Department of Education’s All Iowa Conference; the Iowa State Fair; Light the Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Worldwide Day of Play and six Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons. Schools have embraced the fun, interactive approach KidsFit brings as a way to jumpstart their schools’ wellness efforts. Numerous assemblies for students have been held where members of the KidsFit team spend 40–60 minutes teaching fun nutrition facts, providing a physical workout and physical education.

Objectives:

The primary purpose of Hy-Vee KidsFit is to help kids and families make health, exercise and nutrition priorities in their everyday lives. The KidsFit website provides free structure and education through online video tutorials, fitness workbooks, Hy-Vee dietitian blogs and fitness challenges. The workouts and activities require no equipment or gym memberships, making it accessible year-round to people of all ages and skill levels. Hy-Vee KidsFit’s personal trainer leads children through fun exercises while Hy-Vee’s certified dietitians teach them about health, wellness and nutrition in a way that makes it interactive and engaging.

Impact:

Hy-Vee KidsFit was unveiled to the public on April 29, 2015, at Exercising Your Character (EYC) in Des Moines, Iowa. This event, which is a partnership between Hy-Vee, Character Counts in Iowa and the Iowa Sports Foundation, is an electric program for school children. It’s filled with music, dancing, aerobic exercise and informational speeches from athletes, coaches and other role models. At EYC, 7,300 kids participated in the inaugural Hy-Vee KidsFit event. KidsFit has been an integral part of EYC ever since. As the program has continued to grow and evolve, KidsFit has stepped up its online presence and in the hundreds of communities where Hy-Vee operates. On average, the program is reaching 1,000 to 2,000 kids each week and adding numerous people to its Facebook fan page, website hits and weekly challenge sign-ups. Through their work with schools and assemblies, the Hy-Vee KidsFit team visited more than 50 schools and reached nearly 21,000 students last school year. KidsFit participation in community events have steadily increased as well. In September 2016, more than 1,000 students from Manhattan-Ogden USD 383’s school district participated in a Hy-Vee KidsFit event at Bill Snyder Family Football stadium in conjunction with the Manhattan Hy-Vee.

Quote:

“At Hy-Vee, we want to make it convenient for kids and families to make healthier choices. With its easy, fun format, Hy-Vee KidsFit inspires families to establish good fitness and nutritional habits in their daily lives.” – Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president

"The Hy-Vee KidsFit program made a very positive impact on the Morris students and staff. Students were educated about health and fitness and inspired to make better choices in their daily lives.” – J.R. Fernandes, Morris Elementary, Des Moines, Iowa