Healthy Choices

Healthy and Active: Healthy Choices

How can you be starving and obese at the same time? Turns out, for 1 in 3 kids in America, it’s pretty darn easy. When kids live in poverty—when struggling families have to make the choice between putting cheaper, unhealthy food on the table or no food at all—eating healthy often isn’t a choice at all. As a result, more than half of children living below the poverty line in rural America are overweight or obese. 

Food for Thought:

  • More than 23 million U.S. kids are overweight or obese.
  • The obesity rates for children ages 6-11 has quadrupled over the past four decades.
  • More than 60 percent of 5- to 10-year-olds have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
  • 1 in 3 children born in the U.S. today will grow up to have type 2 diabetes.
  • In Save the Children impact areas, an average of 59 percent of children do not have access to fresh, healthy foods; in some areas, it’s as much as 98 percent.

Making Healthier Choices

Every child deserves a chance at a healthy start. Our Healthy Choices program exposes children to healthier ways of living through activity, nutrition lessons and balanced food choices so they can be healthy and active in both learning and life. Eating well and being physically active at an early age helps children focus, improve attendance, boost academic performance and grow up to be healthy adults.

Food for Thought

How can you be starving and obese at the same time? Turns out, for 1 in 3 kids in America, it's pretty darn easy. When kids live in poverty—when struggling families have to make the choice between putting cheaper, unhealthy food on the table or no food at all—eating healthy often isn’t a choice at all. As a result, more than half of children living below the poverty line in rural America are overweight or obese.


Kids' Corner - From Candy to Cucumbers: Macy's Story

From Candy to Cucumbers: Macy

Macy Tried Cucumbers for the First Time through the Healty Choices Program

Macy, 6, from Kentucky had never eaten a cucumber before enrolling in the Healthy Choices program. She preferred candy or ice cream as a snack. Save the Children encouraged Macy to try new foods. She discovered that cucumbers and other vegetables “taste pretty good” and even urged her mom to stock up on fresh produce at home. Macy exclaimed: 'You'll never know if you like something until you try it!'

Success Story - Witness Whitney’s Transformation Couch Potato to Gym Rat

Whitney Transforms from Couch Potato to Gym Rat

Whitney Gets Active Playing a Beanbag Toss

When Whitney from Mississippi enrolled in the Healthy Choices afterschool program, eating a healthy snack was definitely not on her menu. She preferred chips, candy and sugary soda. Every day, before having her snack, the fourth grader headed to the nurse’s office to get her blood pressure taken. Overweight and out of shape, she was unable to keep up with the rest of her classmates during physical activities. But by the end of the school year, Whitney made great strides toward becoming a healthy kid. She learned to love nutritious snacks and now encourages her mother to buy fresh fruits when they go to the grocery store. Thanks to her new healthy habits, she lost weight and daily blood pressure checkups are no longer necessary. As a result of a few simple lifestyle changes, Britney went from avoiding exercise because it was too challenging to asking if she can do another lap around the gym.

Learn more about Save the Children’s work in the United States