Physical Activity & Nutrition

The Idaho Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) program works statewide to improve healthy eating and active living opportunities.  A focus on policy and environmental changes makes the healthy choice the easy choice for Idahoans.  We work with community partners to maximize resources and impact as everyone (schools, work sites, cities, businesses and more) are needed to prevent obesity and improve health in our communities.  Current projects focus on working with parents and child care providers to improve the health environment for children, worksite and school wellness.

IPAN Coordinator: Daniel Adams

Children with working parents spend a large portion of their day in child care settings.  Don’t forget to consider the health environment when choosing child care for your child.  Healthy habits learned early translate to a long, happy, and healthy life!

Healthy environments to consider include: healthy eating, healthy beverages, physical activity, limits on screen time, and supporting breastfeeding moms.

Resources below include parenting helps as well as guidance when selecting child care.

For Parents

Live Better Idaho helps connects families to services including child care.

Text4baby sends FREE text messages to help new moms through pregnancy up to baby’s first birthday.

For Child Care Providers

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future continues the work of Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC), part of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to prevent childhood obesity. Healthy Kids, Healthy Future encourages and supports child care and early education providers to make positive changes in their programs in order to work toward a healthier future for children.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future offers childhood obesity prevention resources and tools to assist child care and preschool providers. Best practices are outlined in five healthy goal areas:

  1. Nurturing Healthy Eaters:  Offer children healthy food choices; options that will nurture their bodies and fuel brain development.
  2. Provide Healthy Beverages:  Water helps keep a child growing appropriately and all parts of the body working properly.
  3. Get Kids Moving:  Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day. Children of all ages can benefit from regular physical activity – it improves children’s physical and mental health, learning of social skills, and cognitive development.
  4. Reduce Screen Time: No screen time for children less than 2 years. For children age 2 and older, strive to limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per week during child care.
  5. Support Breast Feeding Child care settings are crucial supports for mothers who wish to continue to breastfeed while working outside the home.

 For more information and to sign up for the Healthy Kids, Healthy Future Child Care program, go to:

Worksite Wellness

Wellness at work is good for business.  Southwest District Health is working with worksites interested in wellness to complete the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Worksite Health Scorecard.  This is an organizational benchmark assessment which will help worksites identify new opportunities in their current promotion/wellness programs.  Southwest District Health will provide feedback based on the results of the Worksite Health Scorecard.  These results will guide the worksite in identifying some action items.  Southwest District Health will provide resources and technical assistance as able to assist the worksite in completing their action items.

The CDC Worksite Health Scorecard:

School Wellness

Research shows that healthy students perform better and behave better.  Schools have a great responsibility to influence student’s eating and physical activity behaviors for the better.  Schools that make efforts to promote good health, will see a return on their investment that will benefit the entire community.

For more information on the connection between healthy living, improved student performance, and school wellness, visit the following links.

Additional Resources

National Resources

Local Resources