Over the last few weeks we have been presenting the information from the first five units of the HEY! Curriculum. This week we explore the Circulatory System.

The Circulatory System works as a machine to move oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and provide energy for daily tasks and physical activity. The lungs, veins, arteries, heart, and lymphatic systems are all key components in blood distribution.circulatoryfoods

Our blood is made up of nutrient rich red blood cells, infection fighting white blood cells, and wound healing platelets. Blood travels through this system via a network of veins, arteries, and capillaries. Veins bring oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs where it is oxygenated and sent back to the heart to be travel via arteries and capillaries to the rest of the body. Oxygenated blood provides nutrients and energy to other body systems and muscles.

The Lymphatic System is key to cleaning germs and toxins from our body. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body and clean germs/toxins from blood via systematic muscle contractions.

Regular physical activity is necessary to properly oxygenate the blood. You should keep your body moving in a variety of ways to provide adequate oxygen for your body. Physical activity also helps the lymphatic system clean the blood.

Food works as fuel to feed the body. The circulatory system distributes the nutrients you eat by moving blood through the body. Make sure to consume foods as close to their natural state as possible to allow the highest levels of nutrients to feed your body.

Here is a list of foods that work to feed your Circulatory System:


Notice that Circulatory System needs Vitamin C, Iron, Omega 3, and Fiber to feed your body. Find fun foods with these nutrients and make a new meal tonight!


Bone Fuel

Bones provide a framework that supports our every movement and protects our soft tissues and organs. Our bones abonefoodsre the hardest part of the body and come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on function. Our blood is created within the marrow of the bones.

The bones work as machines to move our bodies; exercise and physical activity are necessary to strengthen the bones and keep them healthy. Weight-bearing activities such as running, walking, and jump rope are most effective at keeping the bones strong and mobile.

What are your favorite physical activities?

What we put into our bodies strengthens the bones. Our bones need calcium, iron, and Vitamins C, K, and D to stay healthy and perform all their functions. Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits as well as dairy products to supply the body with these necessary nutrients.


Is there something on the bone foods list that’s new to you?

Look it up and find a recipe to feed your bones tonight!

Food for thoughtDid you know that the Brain controls and protects every part of your body?

Your brain is responsible for all of your actions, feelings, and thoughts.

Do you feed it with healthy, yummy foods every day?

Start optimizing your brain by supplying it with foods containing lots of water, antioxidants, protein, and special fats called Omega-3s.

And most important of all: WATER!


Prepare your meals with a variety of foods that FEED your BRAIN!

Did you know that everything kids put into their body has the potential to keep them healthy and help them grow?

HealthStart Foundation has created a science-based health education curriculum called Health Education for Youngsters!HEY! for short. HEY! teaches children about the foods needed to nourish their 5 major body systems. Kids also learn how their social and emotional well-being impacts their health and how the the world around them contributes to their health.

Information from HEY! inspired the framework for Healthstart’s What are YOU Feeding? Cafeteria Program (WAYF?). We began piloting this initiative at UT Elementary School (UTES) in April 2013 educating students, staff, and parents alike on the connection between what they eat and their health. This fall HealthStart welcomes two new schools into our WAYF? pilot program: Cedars International Academy and Robert E. Lee Elementary. HealthStart programs will be taught in 22 early childhood education centers and elementary schools; educating and empowering 2000+ students in the 2015-16 school year.

Screenshot 2015-08-13 15.48.46

In honor of Back to School time each day next week this blog will feature a different body system from our HEY! Curriculum.

The FIVE Body Systems
The Brain

The Bones

The Circulatory System

The Muscles

The Digestive System

Come back to find out the featured systems importance to overall health and which foods you eat nourish it best. Monday we will start with the BRAIN!


Do you follow the Healthstart Foundation on Facebook?

How about Twitter?

Well you should!

Many exciting things are happening at Healthstart and we want you to be the first to  know. Join the Healthstart online community by following our social media accounts.

We will be using our Blog, Facebook page, and Twitter to keep our community and supporters up to date on all things Healthstart.  Follow today to help create a community of like-minded individuals who support early childhood health education and strive to increase the reach of the Healthstart mission and vision.

In the coming weeks and months we will inform you and boost our online presence by:

Blog Posts (www.healthstartfoundation.wordpress.com)

  • Program Updates on the progress and effects of the HEY! Curriculum, What are YOU Feeding?TM Cafeteria program, and Monstralia TM Mobile App
  • Fun Facts and Recipes
  • Upcoming Events
  • Community and School Outreach
  • Fundraising and Donation Efforts
  • Spotlight on You! – Info about Board Members, Volunteers, Interns and Supporters
  • Community Guest Bloggers

Twitter Posts (@healthstart)

  • Quotes of the Day
  • Article and Website Links
  • Fun Tweets about Early Childhood Health Education
  • Healthstart Program Updates (use our hashtags to spread the word)
    • HEY! Curriculum – #HEYCurriculum
    • What are YOU Feeding?TM Cafeteria program – #WAYFeeding
    • Monstralia TM – #monstraliaapp

Facebook Posts (http://on.fb.me/1Th1NyT)

  • Meal Prep Mondays – fun recipes and ways to make your favorite foods taste good and nourish all body systems
  • Interactive Posts– Let us know WHAT you think!
  • Articles and Links

Start smart: Follow us today and encourage others to help grow the Healthstart Community!

And if YOU have any thoughts, suggestions, or questions please feel free to email erin.damm@healthstartfoundation.org

Thank you so much to our 2015 I ❤ HealthStart gala sponsors and silent auction donors! Thanks to your contributions, we have put together a sold out event raising money for our programs serving Central TX kids. We couldn’t have done this without you!

2015 Sponsors

Superior HealthPlan

Sandata Technologies

CHARM Austin

Network Sciences

Austin Life Chiropractic

Volente Boat Club

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

2015 Silent Auction Donors

Alamo Drafthouse

Amy’s Icecream

Anita Menucci

Austin Lofty Dog

Big Picture, Long Life

Bird’s Barbershop

Cap City Comedy Club

Carlisle Per Se

Courtyard Marriott

CYC Fitness

Deyon Jensen


Duchman Winery

E. Taylor Designs

Fantastic Magic Camp

Farmhouse Delivery Service

Grape Creek Winery

Great Hills Golf

Hat Creek Burger Co.

Hilton Austin

House Wine


June Bug and Moo Cookie

Long Center

Longevity Wellness Group

Massage Envy

Melting Pot

MYO Massage

Natural Gardener

Nina Beucler Rebstock

Optimal Health and Wellness)

Patricia’s Table

Peter Pan Minigolf

Pinthouse Pizza

Red Room Lounge

Satellite Bistro

SNAP Kitchen

Spirited Foods

Stella and Dot

Stiles Switch BBQ

The Rowing Dock

Toccare Medical Spa

Tom and Nina Rebstock

Top Golf

Trader Joe’s

Train 4 the Game


Westgate Pet and Bird

LBJ Wildflower Center

Yogurt Planet


Zachary Wassmuth, MD

Some of my fondest memories growing up were the nights I would spend with my mom or dad in the kitchen. I remember watching their technique as they prepared meals and enthusiastically helping out when the opportunity arose. Helping cook healthy meals as a child engrained into my brain the importance of trying new foods, and also taught me so many recipes that I still remember today.

cookingCooking at home not only allows a family to add more important foods to their diet like vegetables and proteins, but also gives opportunity to decrease intake of things like trans-fats and sodium. Cooking with your kids could even have some not-as-obvious benefits such as improving arithmetic during measuring and counting, and encouraging your young one to try new foods. Kids like to eat what they cook!

The National Institute of Health provides advice, by age group, on how to get your child in the kitchen. Two year olds can do things such as carry ingredients, wipe tabletops, tear or break veggies, and wash fruits and vegetables. Three year olds could pour ingredients, apply soft spreads, or knead dough. 4-year-olds can peel fruits, mash bananas and potatos with a fork, or cut herbs with kid-safe scissors. Finally, 5 year olds could crack eggs or measure ingredients. These are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless. One day your child may be cooking a whole meal for you!

Another way to actively involve your kid in the kitchen would be to follow “kid friendly” recipes. These recipes are usually easy enough for him or her to do with just minimal assistance. Try doing a search on “kid friendly recipes,” or pick up a cookbook from the store. My favorite book growing up was Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My Soup!, and in fact, it is still in my pantry today.

If you’re still stuck on where to get started, attached is a great recipe by the Pioneer Woman for French Bread Pizzas. This recipe give you and the whole family a chance to get creative with toppings like colorful veggies and low-fat meats. Allowing your kids9405475934_ef3ee61670_z room for innovation could even further encourage them to try new foods!

Click here to see the recipe.

Getting your kids in the kitchen will create memories and healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Happy Cooking!