Let's Move! Programs
Everyone has a role to play in helping raise a healthier generation of kids, including parents, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, private sector companies, and elected officials from all levels of government. Your involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.
The Let’s Move! initiative has instituted various programs across the country in collaboration with federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits to mobilize every sector to work in alignment with the overall goals of Let’s Move! and offer solutions, objectives, and technical assistance to help kids and families lead healthier lives. Learn more about each of the programs below.
Let’s Move! Active Schools is a national initiative that works to ensure that 60 minutes of physical activity day is the norm in K-12 schools across the country.
Powered by an innovative collaborative of leading health, education and private sector organizations, Let’s Move! Active Schools equips schools with resources and tools to increase physical education and physical activity opportunities for students.
Learn more about Let's Move! Active Schools at: www.letsmoveschools.org
- Resources and Grants for Active Schools Champions
- Success Story: Active Role Models Inspire All Students
- Video: Adult Recess
Let’s Move! Active Schools was established as a public-private partnership between the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators).
Incorporating salad bars into school lunches gives children daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables, offering them not only variety, but also choice. Eating a salad a day is one simple, effective, easy step towards a healthier nation, and providing the opportunity in schools helps kids to establish healthy eating habits for life. As part of her efforts to help kids lead healthier lives, the First Lady has challenged America to put 6,000 salad bars into schools. In response to Mrs. Obama’s challenge, leaders across sectors have stepped up to help support salad bars in schools through Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools.
As a nation, we need to continue to support moving salad bars to schools. Salad bars have been shown to increase intake and acceptance of fruits and vegetables for kids, and they’re an effective way to implement the new school meal requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. For more information about offering a salad bar as part of school lunch programs, visit Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools.
- Remarks by the First Lady at Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Event
- A New Salad Bar for Falk Elementary Schools
- Success Story: Kiana School in Alaska Gets a Salad Bar
Learn more about Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools at: www.saladbars2schools.org
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative of the Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Start Foundation, and Whole Foods Market.
No city, town or county is the same, and each one needs its own, unique approach to building healthy communities. Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, calls upon local elected officials to adopt long-term, sustainable and holistic approaches to address childhood obesity. Local elected officials who sign up as a Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties site are willing to commit to five goals. Developed with the role of local elected officials in mind, the five goals are designed to promote sustainable strategies that will improve the health of local constituents.
Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart
To provide children with a healthier start, local elected officials commit to helping early care and education providers incorporate best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time into their programs.
Goal II: MyPlate, Your Place
To empower parents and caregivers, local elected officials commit to prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages.
Goal III: Smart Servings for Students
To provide healthy food to children and youth, local elected officials commit to expanding access to meal programs before, during and after the school day, and/or over the summer months.
Goal IV: Model Food Service
To improve access to healthy, affordable foods, local elected officials commit to implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in all municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages.
Goal V: Active Kids at Play
To increase physical activity, local elected officials commit to mapping local play spaces, completing a needs assessment, developing an action plan, and launching a minimum of three proven policies, programs or initiatives aimed at increasing access to play.
These goals were identified because they are achievable and measurable and because they leverage existing federal initiatives. In addition, widespread adoption of these goals will highlight local action, enable city, town and county leaders to track their progress and that of their peers in communities across the nation, and accelerate momentum around the development of concrete, sustainable strategies to promote healthy eating and active living. Local elected officials have the opportunity to earn gold, silver, and bronze medals, as they proceed in accomplishing the five goals. Those medals are highlighted here.
Learn more about Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties at: www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org
The National League of Cities (NLC) is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations to assist local elected officials who join LMCTC as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity
Let’s Move! Child Care is a voluntary initiative to empower child care and early education providers. Helping children get off to a healthy start in child care and early education programs is critical to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. One in five children is overweight or obese by age 6. With about 12 million babies and young children in child care nationwide, child care providers have the powerful opportunity to instill healthy choices that could help prevent childhood obesity from the start. We invite child care and early education providers to meet 5 goals:
Increase Physical Activity
Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
Reduce Screen Time
No screen time for children under 2 years. For children age 2 and older, strive to limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per week during child care and work with parents and caregivers to ensure children have no more than 1-2 hours of quality screen time per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Improve Food Choices
Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style whenever possible, and don't serve fried foods.
Provide Healthy Beverages
Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don't serve sugar-sweetened drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
Support Breast Feeding
For mothers who want to continue breastfeeding, provide their milk to their infants and welcome them to breastfeed during the child care day. Support all new parents' decisions about infant feeding.
Learn more about Let's Move! Child Care at: www.healthykidshealthyfuture.org
- Let’s Move! Child Care Checklist Quiz and Action Planning Tool
- Let's Move! Child Care Resource Center
- For more information and help, please email us at LMCCHelp@cdc.gov.
This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with Nemours and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.
Did you know that there are more than 35,000 museums of all types across America? They include public gardens, children’s museums, zoos, art, history and science-technology centers and they are visited 850 million times a year. Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens is a national initiative to provide opportunities for millions of museum and garden visitors to learn about healthy food choices and physical activity through interactive exhibits, children’s afterschool and summer programs, and healthy food service.
Participating museums and gardens are asked to offer one or more of the following opportunities:
Host an Eat Healthy, Get Active Exhibit
Commit to offering interactive experiences that promote healthy eating and physical activity.
Teach Healthy Choices through Afterschool, Summer and Other Programs
Start a program afterschool, in-school or during the summer that emphasizes healthy food choices and physical activity.
Healthy Food Service
Change your food service operation to offer food options that reflect healthy choices.
Teach Healthy Choices Using the Food Service Operation
Incorporate nutrition education into your food service operation. For example, create exhibits that help families learn about healthy choices.
Learn more about Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens at: www.imls.gov/issues/national-initiatives/lets-move-museums-gardens
This program is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Through Chefs Move to Schools (CMTS), chefs can teach new culinary techniques and recipes for healthy meals that meet the federal meal pattern requirements. By creating healthy meals that are also delicious, chefs participating in CMTS have a unique ability to make good nutrition fun and appealing in the school environment.
The Chefs Move to Schools website offers a variety of free resources, trainings, and materials for use by chefs in the cafeteria, classroom, and community. These resources can assist them in educating students and communities about healthy food choices and cooking techniques, as well as in conducting culinary demonstrations. Chefs are encouraged to volunteer in schools and partner with teachers, parents, school nutritionists, school nutrition directors, and administrators.
Learn more about Chefs Move to Schools at: www.chefsmovetoschools.org
This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, in cooperation with the Institute of Child Nutrition.
Regular exercise in nature is proven to improve children’s physical and mental health. Outdoor activity helps kids maintain a healthy weight, boost their immunity and bone health, and lower stress. Let’s Move! Outside was created to help kids and their families take advantage of American’s great outdoors-which abound in every city, town and community. Visit the Let’s Move! Outside web page for ideas on what to do, what to bring and where to go in the great outdoors.
Learn more about Let's Move! Outside at: www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside
- Let’s Move! Outside Junior Rangers, a part of the Let’s Move! Outside program, promotes healthy outdoor activities in 50 national parks across the country by highlighting existing junior ranger programs that have a strong physical activity component.
The program is administered by the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Let’s Move! in Indian Country seeks to improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Native children, who are affected by childhood obesity at some of the highest rates in the country. To address the health crisis that young American Indians and Alaska Natives are facing, Tribal governments, Urban Indian Centers, private businesses, youth leaders and the non-profit sector are each asked to play a key role by working together to raise the next generation of healthy Native children.
Create a healthy start on life for children
We aim to certify all federally-run IHS obstetrics facilities as Baby Friendly Hospitals. Support mothers in your community who choose to breastfeed and support Tribally-run obstetrics facilities to work toward becoming Baby Friendly Hospital status.
Create healthy learning communities
Transform school and afterschool environments that serve Native youth through increased access to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services programs, school/community garden initiatives, Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and physical activity programs
Ensure Families Access to Healthy, Affordable and Traditional Foods
Begin a dialogue in your community about access to healthy foods by creating a tribal or inter-tribal food policy council to improve community access to affordable, healthy foods.
Increase Opportunities for Physical Activity
Participate in fitness activities through the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, a basketball clinic or community fitness event!
Learn more about Let's Move! in Indian Country at: www.lmic.ihs.gov
- Check out the Let’s Move! in Indian Country toolkit and fact sheet for ideas for your community.
- Letter from First Lady Michelle Obama at the launch of Let's Move! in Indian Country
This program is administered by the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Let's Read! Let's Move!
Research shows that reading and health go hand-in-hand throughout life. Let’s Read! Let’s Move! is a series of national, active reading events that provides opportunities for thousands of early learning students—pre-kindergarten through third grade (ages 3-7)—across the country to engage in summer reading, physical activity, and access to healthy snacks, while also increasing awareness about the critical importance of summer learning, nutrition, and physical activity among teachers and parents.
Let’s Read! Let’s Move! is based around five priorities:
Prevent Summer Reading and Learning Loss
Research shows that many of our young people suffer learning set-backs and develop unhealthy eating habits during the summer break. Children can lose more than two months’ progress in reading achievement over the summer. Separate studies of summer learning programs all confirm that high-quality summer programs can disrupt learning loss.
Promote Good Nutrition
Studies point to a direct correlation between poor nutrition and low attention spans and diminished school performance. Improvements in nutrition can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence of children.
Promote Physical Exercise
Physical activity in school-aged children has an impact on health and wellness, as well as academic growth. Research also shows that physical activity before academic instruction has a positive impact on student achievement.
Provide Professional Development for Teachers and Para-Educators
Let’s Read! Let’s Move! models reading techniques, such as interactive reading, for teachers, para-educators and parents that engages the students while reading to them. Research shows that children who are read to in this fashion are substantially ahead of their peers and can help increase vocabulary development.
Put Books in the Hands of Children to Build Their Own Libraries
There is evidence that having access to books can improve the summer learning slide. Each student who attends a Let’s Read! Let’s Move! event receives a free book to add to their personal library.
We can all help by making sure children have opportunities to read, access books, and to be physically active in safe spaces. Consider organizing an active reading event, like Let’s Read! Let’s Move!, focused on strengthening our children’s minds and bodies in your community.
This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, Target Corporation, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington PHD (Physical, Healthy & Driven) program.
Let’s Move! Faith and Communities helps faith-based and neighborhood organizations promote healthy living for children and communities. As trusted leaders, faith-based and community organizations are essential partners in solving the problems that lead to childhood obesity. Children learn many lessons about healthy living and well-being in faith- and community-based settings that set the foundation for their lifestyles as adults. We encourage you to Lead, Organize, and Take Action to make your congregation or community a place of wellness. Organize a wellness council or ministry for your community or congregation, and commit to working toward these action steps together:
Use MyPlate/MiPlato as a Reminder for Community & Congregational Meals
MyPlate is the food icon that helps us all build a healthy plate at meal times emphasizing fruit, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy food groups. Improve meals to make MyPlate your community’s plate.
Host Nutrition Education Classes
Open up your organization’s kitchen and host kids and their parents for healthy cooking lessons. Use the Eat Healthy Be Active Community Workshops curriculum as a foundation. Each workshop includes a lesson plan, learning objectives, talking points, hands-on activities and handouts to teach nutrition in a community setting.
Grow Healthy Food for Your Community by Starting a Garden
A community vegetable garden is a great way to provide healthy, fresh food for those in need and teach children that healthy eating can be fun! Congregations and community organizations often have land available for gardening. Visit the Let’s Move! Community Garden page to learn more.
Feed Kids Over the Summer
Help ensure that kids in your community have access to nutritious meals when school is out by hosting the Summer Food Service Program. Your organization can participate as a site and receive free meals to help kids in low-income areas get the food they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months.
Host a Weekly Exercise Activity
Children need at least 60 minutes of active play every day to stay healthy. You can help by hosting regular and fun physical activities at your site.
The program is administered by the Department Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.