Librarians Plan Ahead: January Weight

Here are January health program ideas to incorporate into your library’s overall programming strategy – brought to you by The Pulse, part of the Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center.  Keep looking for us on the first of each month to find resources for three months out. Still working on fall and winter? Check out October: National Breast Cancer Awareness MonthNovember: American Diabetes Month, and December: Holiday and Cold Weather Safety Month

With the optimism that the New Year brings, January is the perfect time to work on creating new, healthy habits. Helping your library users set and keep New Year’s resolutions regarding their weight will be easy with these free resources and with information from Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center:

  • Quick and Easy: printable coloring pages and other activities for children and handy printables for adults.
  • Featured Resources: books for children and adults and links to reliable online information
  • Book Club: ideas for your book discussion group
  • Tie In: healthy eating and staying active story time ideas and also ideas for programs that will get kids and teens moving
  • Community Resources: local agencies to contact
  • Publicity Resources: free items to help you publicize Maintain a Healthy Weight Month at your library through social networking sites or traditional printed materials
  • Fun Stuff: links to interactive information

Quick and Easy

Coloring Pages and Activities for Children:

  • Find the Hidden Fruits and Vegetables
  • Food Groups Activities
  • I Can Eat a Rainbow
  • Eat Well and Stay Fit family activity and information sheet in EnglishSpanishChineseTagalogVietnamesePortuguese and Haitian Creole from PBS
  • Lesson and Activity Plans:

    • Operation FitKids  – free youth fitness curriculum from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) for grades 3-5 and grades 6-8
    • Empower Me 4 Life– a fun and practical 8-session healthy living course equipping kids ages 8-12 with new attitudes, skills and knowledge about eating better and moving more — for life.
    • Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action from We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition!) a national public education program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help prevent overweight and obesity among youth ages 8-13.
    • Fast Food Fact Finding from TeacherVision “Using the Internet, children compare and contrast the nutritional value of menu items from different fast-food restaurant chains.”

    Printables for Teens and Adults:

    Featured Resources


    Reliable Online Information:

    Book Club

    Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food by Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006). Non-Fiction, Grades 7 to 12.

    Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel (St. Martin’s Press, 2008). Biography, Adult.

    From the publisher: Valerie Frankel, like most women, has spent most of her conscious life on a diet, thinking about a diet, ignoring a diet, or failing on a diet. At age eleven, her mother put Val on her first weight-loss program. As a teen, she was enrolled in Weight Watchers (for which she invented creative ditching methods). As a young woman, her world felt right only when she was able to zip a certain pair of jeans. Not wanting to pass this legacy on to her own daughters, Valerie set out to cleanse herself of her obsession. ”Thin Is the New Happy is the true story of one woman’s quest to exorcise her bad body-image demons, to uncover the truths behind what put them there, and to learn how to truly love herself. It’s a poignant, hilarious, and all-out honest account of one woman’s struggle with body image–the filter through which she’s always seen the world–and the way she ultimately overcame it.”

    Born to Run: a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

    From the publisher: “McDougall reveals the secrets of the world’s greatest distance runners–the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon, Mexico–and how he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of super-athletic Americans.”

    Tie In

    Get Active at the Library with Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)

    Healthy Eating Story Time Fun

    Community Resources

    Find a local agency to partner with, a speaker, or other local resources here:

    Publicity Resources

    Use these free resources alongside your library’s January programming information – newsletter, blog, posters, or fliers – to promote both your library’s programs and New Year’s healthy weight resolutions.
    • We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition!) a national public education program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help prevent overweight and obesity among youth ages 8-13.
  • Choose My Plate graphics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
  • Fun Stuff

    Add some interesting and helpful interactive links to a library program, your library website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed:

    Free Apps:

    Interactive Web Sites for Children and Teens


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