Virginia’s first lady helps kick off Eat Smart, Move More campaign in Richmond

Eat Smart, More More launchBy Amy Loeffler

Virginia’s first lady, Dorothy McAuliffe, helped launch a statewide campaign known as Eat Smart, Move More at Richmond’s Chimborazo Elementary School on Friday, Aug. 15. The campaign is part of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program, whose mission is to help low-income families make healthy food choices on a limited budget by fostering healthy, active lifestyles.

“Guiding our children toward healthy choices isn’t easy,” said McAuliffe, “and it’s important that we have campaigns like Eat Smart, Move More to help show Virginia’s youth that it is cool to make healthy choices.”

eat smart move more billboardThis year’s campaign features billboards located throughout the commonwealth and bus signage in several larger localities that depict Virginia youth following in the active footsteps of Virginia Tech student athletes. Posters will also be distributed to schools participating in the program.

The aim of the Eat Smart, Move More campaign is to help show children and their families that eating nutrient-dense foods and being active are not just good health choices, they are also socially respectable actions and behaviors. The campaign demonstrates that eating nutritious foods helps athletes achieve their goals on baseball fields, basketball courts, and anywhere else they have to depend on their bodies to perform well.

The kick-off event featured the unveiling of a city bus branded with an Eat Smart, Move More sign and activities for children, such as a garden scavenger hunt and a nutrition fishing game where participants learned health facts. Nutrient-dense smoothies were passed out to attendees, and the first lady made time for photo opportunities with kids.

“We greatly appreciate the first lady’s interest and support of programs promoting healthy lifestyles and choices of young Virginians,” said Ed Jones, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and associate dean for the college. “The Family Nutrition Program’s primary objective is to make sure that families in the commonwealth are empowered with the knowledge to make good nutritional choices.”