Since its arrival from the North Pole a few years ago, the Elf on the Shelf® phenomenon has spawned countless blogs and Pinterest posts chronicling scout elf antics and children’s reactions. This year, First 5 Sacramento and Dairy Council of California are teaming up to show parents and caregivers how to “haul out the healthy” with Elf on the Shelf®.
The concept of Elf on the Shelf® is scout elves who fly to the North Pole to report to Santa each night, offering a powerful incentive for children to follow the an elf’s example. Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, Chair of First 5 Sacramento, explains, “From buckling up in a car seat to getting flu shots andHealthy Elf models healthy eating from all five food groups eating balanced meals and snacks, Elf on the Shelf® can be used to encourage healthy habits this holiday season, in addition to good behavior.”
Dairy Council of California started the #HealthyElf campaign with an online gallery and Pinterest board. #HealthyElf helps pack sack lunches, plays indoor hopscotch, builds a snowman and even plays online games at the HealthyEating.org website. First 5 Sacramento joins the campaign this year to help reinforce other healthy habits of early childhood, like outdoor play, vaccinations and more.
The #HealthyElf images show easy ways to take small steps toward healthier lifestyles, like making hot cocoa with milk or offering yogurt dip along with vegetable trays, to help families meet their recommended daily servings of milk and milk products, which is an essential part of a healthy diet. Other images, like #HealthyElf playing hopscotch indoors on a board made with blue painter’s tape or jumping rope, help encourage physical activity.
“Elf on the Shelf® demands a lot of creativity from parents, so #HealthyElf is designed to provide some additional ideas that will keep health top of mind this holiday season,” said Ashley Rosales, registered dietitian nutritionist with Dairy Council of California and First 5 Sacramento advisory committee member. “Since the elf brings an expectation of good behavior prior to Christmas, it’s a perfect way to model healthy behavior.”