This past school year, 15 North Texas school districts with more than 22,000 participating elementary school students, took part in the annual 21-Day Snacking Challenge. The challenge was developed to help kids form lifelong healthy eating habits by reaching for nutritious snack options, rich in whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables. Students use healthy and fun recipes created by more than 800 high school culinary students and then document the healthy snacks they make for 21 consecutive days. Families are surveyed at the end of the challenge about changes in their children’s snacking habits.

Results published in the 2021-2022 kids teaching kids annual report showed chip and cookie/candy consumption dropped by 18% and participants ate 12% more fruits and veggies at snack time. These positive habit trends can help prevent future health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“We are proud of the efforts students have made to improve their nutrition, starting with snacking habits,” says Jay deVenny, CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital. “The kids teaching kids 21-Day Snacking Challenge empowers children to take control of their health early in life and is another example of our community commitment to healthy lifestyles.”

Additionally, Medical City Children’s Hospital and the United Way Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) have created a new partnership with the kids teaching kids program. UWMD will serve as the fiscal agent of the program, offering other organizations an opportunity to make charitable contributions towards this important initiative. Additionally, the UWMD will collaborate on strategies as the program expands beyond nutrition education into wellness and social/emotional learning initiatives.

“We’ve collaborated with community partners to drive transformative change and advance racial equity in the areas of education, income and health in North Texas,” says Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of UWMD. “We are proud to unite with the Medical City Children’s Hospital kids teaching kids nutrition education program, which supports our ASPIRE United 2030 goals in an important way, helping to ensure all North Texans have the opportunity and access to thrive.”

More than 370 elementary and high schools from 15 school districts across North Texas participated in the kids teaching kids program:

  • Allen ISD
  • Arlington ISD
  • Birdville ISD
  • Coppell ISD
  • Dallas ISD
  • Frisco ISD
  • Keller ISD
  • Lewisville ISD
  • Northwest ISD
  • Prosper ISD
  • Richardson ISD
  • Rockwall ISD
  • Sanger ISD
  • White Settlement ISD
  • Wylie ISD

To access healthy snacking digital recipe books and for more information about the Medical City Children’s Hospital kids teaching kids program, visit