Healthy Eating and Activity at Maitland Middle School

Maitland Middle School had a busy week last week…

On Thursday, the OCPS food truck paid Maitland Middle School a visit. Students were treated to new menu items like Walking Tacos. Students were also entered into drawings for cool prizes and could leave feedback on the menu items, which can help the county adopt now student choices.

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Last weekend, Maitland Middle School students and staff participated in the annual Eatonville 5K Fun Run and Walk this past weekend. It was a great turnout and great fun.

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Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

Volunteers Needed to Make a Difference in the Life of a Child in Winter Park and Eatonville through CATCH Healthy Habits!

Do you like working with children? Like working in a team? Then join the Rollins CATCH Healthy Habits, a program where adults age 50 + and children grades K-5 learn together the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. The children and adults have a lot of fun as they learn together how to stay healthy and fit. Volunteers work in teams of six to eight with children in school settings and other youth organizations.

The Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning is the local sponsor of this program. All training and class materials are provided free of charge. CATCH Healthy Habits is funded through a grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation to Rollins College.

The Rollins CATCH Healthy Habits is a wonderful way to improve your health and celebrate healthy living while making a difference in your community with just one hour a week for 8 weeks. This summer classes are at the Winter Park Community Center, Eatonville Boys & Girls Club, and Brookshire Elementary School.

Contact Holly Tanyhill at 407-646-2459 or email

Next training is May 17 & 18 from 1 – 5 pm on the Rollins College campus.

Join the 2015 Sole Challenge

sole challengeThe 2015 Sole Challenge is just days away, but you still have time to sign up to walk and help your child’s school win funds for healthy activities and programs.

Created by Healthy Central Florida (HCF), the event is a free and friendly competition to see which community organization in Winter Park, Maitland or Eatonville can generate the most participants for the walking event.

The event is on Saturday, October 24, at Quinn Strong Park, 345 South Maitland Ave., Maitland, 32751. Sign-in and activities begin at 7:30 a.m. and the official Sole Challenge walk will begin at 8:30 a.m.

For more information and to register, click here.

CASH PRIZES for the MOST participants – $1,000, $500 & $250 in EACH category
Faith-Based Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations

Individuals and businesses can win prizes too – Fitbit Flexes, a one-year membership to RDV Sportsplex and more!

Once again, this year’s Sole Challenge will feature Bo Outlaw, of the Orlando Magic, music, as well as free t-shirts and pedometers for the first 600 walkers. There also will be kid’s activities, face-painting, giant climbing wall, inflatables, blender bike, and a healthy breakfast for all.

It’s all totally free! So now is the time to round up PTA/PTO members, sports teams and any other school group you can think of to participate in the Mayors’ Sole Challenge. See you there!

Versatile Black Bean Spread

[gmc_recipe 2676]

Summer Fun For Brains And Bodies

Kids PlayingThose lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer—which officially begin June 5, the last day of school—can be costly to the brain. Educators say students can lose up to two months of reading and math skills during summer months, forcing teachers to spend multiple weeks when school resumes bringing student brains up to speed.

But there is much parents can do to help avoid a summer slide. Here are some suggestions to keep brains and bodies fired up this summer—what is good
 for one is good for the other. The list includes ideas supplied by Winter Park Consortium Healthy School Team Leaders.

  • Check out Find Active Fun at, your source for hundreds of ideas for free and low-cost active fun for the family.
It is supported by Healthy Central Florida, a community initiative aimed at making local residents the healthiest in the nation.
  • Start summer with a family bucket list of activities members want to do and places to visit.
  • Have kids sign up for swim lessons or a summer swim team. Both exercise the mind and body. Or encourage them to learn to play tennis—or any sport they haven’t tried before. The brain loves new challenges.
  • Sign kids up for music lessons—great for building the brain and attention span.
  • Use sidewalk chalk to write letters on the ground and have children hop from letter to letter spelling words. (Movement helps retention of knowledge)
  • Check out the many fun activities at the YMCA of Central Florida.
  • Protect precious brains by making sure kids always remember to use a bicycle helmet and making sure it fits properly. (That includes parents too.) Also, teach them to never dive into water unless they know how deep it might be.
  • Read, have your children read, read along with them and read to them, or even better, help them create a summer book club with friends. To learn how to get started, go to the PBS Parents website:, then click on “education” and then “reading and language”
  • Visit local and state parks as a family and keep a log of where you go. Wear a pedometer and keep track of steps as well.
  • Get some exercise— and some healthy fruits and vegetables—by visiting one of the many farmers markets in Central Florida. To find out where they are located click here.
  • Go canoeing or kayaking together and see who can spot the most Florida critters.
  • Encourage kids to try out a new hobby. One idea—the Winter
Park Public Library has a “Knotty Knitters” club for all ages and skill levels.
  • And lastly, but just as important as all of the other tips, have fun together!

Chilled Lemon Asparagus with Pecans

[gmc_recipe 2458]

Family Mealtime Tips


Family dinners are a time to strengthen family ties and keep track of what is happening in your child’s life.  They can also lead to better physical and mental health for children.  According to a Harvard study, families that eat dinner together most days were associated with healthier eating.  Additionally, children who often eat with their family tend to do better in school.  Cooking and serving meals at home allows more control over the quality and quantity of your family’s food choices.  Kids tend to mimic their parents attitudes about food; therefore, when you show your children that healthy eating is important they will follow your lead.

Your CHILL counselors, the mental health professionals based in each Winter Park Consortium School (Winter Park High and the elementary and middle feeder schools) have given a few tips for making the most of family meal times.

  1. Encourage your kids to help make the food.  Keep it easy and simple, yet nutritious.
  2. Have your children set the table and help clean the dishes.
  3. Family meals should be a time for conversations, swapping ideas, feelings and learning about your children’s day.
  4. Have each person in the family share one experience about his or her day or one thing that they liked about his or her day.
  5. Turn off the TV, radio or other electronics and enjoy family time.
  6. Encourage everyone to eat slowly.  You will enjoy each other longer and you will be able to easily tell if you are full so you don’t over eat.
  7. Meal time provides a great opportunity to reinforce family ties and pass on family traditions.
  8. Make dinner time about enjoying each other and learning about each other, not about discipline or discussing problems with school or work.  Keep the tone of the conversation light and save the big stuff for family meetings or individual talks.