Crunch Out Knox County

MOUNT VERNON  — Crunch Out Knox County teaches 4th grade students in Knox County Schools about making healthy food choices and getting physical activity every day.

Education and practice are the best way to create healthy habits. That's what Crunch Out provides for Knox County's students! Crunch Out Knox County provides information and tools to help our children create and maintain healthy habits to support life-long wellness.

Information about the 5-2-1-0 program is shared. Five stands for 5 servings of Fruits & Vegetables – Serve a fruit or vegetable at every meal. Two represents 2 hours of Screen Time – Limit screen ‘play’ time and plan when to watch TV. One signifies 1 hour of Physical Activity – Take a walk or play outside together. Zero instructs students to drink 0 Sugary Beverages – Try water or milk instead.

The six-week county-wide program is held in the Fall during physical education class. Students learn how to use an exercise ball as a fitness tool and practice different ball exercises. Students receive their own exercise ball to take home and keep and are encouraged to share program information with their family.

Research shows that families have the biggest influence on their child's health habits. Not only do we want the kids to move more, but we also want to get families involved and moving.

By having an exercise ball at home, students and family can use it and create new healthy habits together! A training guide - My Everyday Guide to Living Healthy - offers different ball exercises and tips about healthy eating and portion sizes.

Students record their nutrition and physical activity in Journals and earn prizes for completing weekly journals and actively participating in gym class. At the end of the program, students complete an essay - "How I Am Living Healthy!" Winners are selected from each classroom and school.

This year’s Crunch Out Essay winner of Knox County is Nadia Kershner of Fredericktown Elementary School.

Other winners include school winners Owen Undercoffer of East Knox Elementary school, Briley Wagner of Centerburg Elementary School, Nathan Jose of Mount Vernon City School District, Kate Marhefka of St Vincent De Paul School, as well as classroom winners Paizley Barner and Kara Chaffin at East Knox Elementary School, Harrison Kissel and Ashley Whaley at Fredericktown Elementary School, Abby Parks and Marybeth Vines at Centerburg Elementary School, and Jake Hubbard at Mount Vernon City Schools.

The contest was a little different than in past years, with Mount Vernon Elementary Schools choosing to make the essay optional and Danville Elementary Schools offering the program without the essay component.

Thank you to our Crunch Out Partners! United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc partners with Get Healthy Knox County, YMCA of Mount Vernon, Knox Public Health, and the Knox County Foundation to offer the Crunch Out program to county schools.

United Way of Knox County is a cornerstone of community wellness and success. We strategically connect partners and resources to community needs in order to measurably impact the quality of the lives of Knox County residents. To learn more, visit

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