Over 10 years ago, Texas WIC launched The Adventures of Zobey, a video program designed to encourage young children and their parents and caregivers to get moving and boost their physical activity to address the growing childhood obesity rate. Since then more than 1 million children have received a Zobey DVD across Texas and the Southwest United States.
Fast forward to this fall and the use of video and online communications to reach families with messages about health and nutrition has grown up. This week WIC launched its new online section on TexasWIC.org — the Kids Corner — with links to children's videos, music and ideas for active play, cooking with kids and gardening.
The Adventures of Zobey has two new, full-length episodes — "Space Party" and "Superhero Training Camp" — that get kids up and moving and make healthy eating fun. Related materials, including comic books, reinforce the videos' healthy messages.
"We are very excited to introduce our new kids section and two new Adventures of Zobey episodes. Our previous research found the Zobey videos to be effective at getting kids up and moving, and kids were more likely to ask for the healthy foods shown in the video after watching the program," said Amanda Hovis, Texas WIC Director of Nutrition Education and Clinic Services. "Our initial testing for these new programs found kids really enjoyed watching and moving to Zobey, so we are interested to see how he will do online."
Texas WIC also created two children's books featuring the young boy Toby and his dog Luna. Both books have been adapted into online videos. All include messages about healthy eating and encourage growing and selecting colorful fruits and vegetables. Download the Follow the Rainbow with Toby book (PDF) or watch the video with the young children in your life.
WIC has made all of these materials available online and free to families with young children ages 2 and older. Thanks to additional funding provided to WIC by the SNAP-Ed program, child care centers will also be able to receive Zobey in the future. All materials are available in English and Spanish.
With family get-togethers ahead for the holiday season consider having some active fun with the children in your life. Short activity videos are also fun for the whole family.
All of these videos are available on Texas Health and Human Services' new Healthy Texas Kids YouTube channel, which provides parents with safe and useful content for their kids to watch on their own or view together as a family. Share the videos and the warmth of the holidays with all of those who you care about.