Let’s Go! announced Oct. 11 that three schools, 10 school cafeterias, eight out-of-school programs, 14 child care programs and four health care practices in Knox County are being recognized for building environments in which unhealthy food choices are limited and opportunities for physical activity are plentiful. Let’s Go! Knox County will be presenting these sites with certificates through the month of November to thank them for making the healthy choice the easy choice.

“More and more communities across Maine are embracing Let’s Go!’s evidence-based strategies and we’re seeing a difference in the health of our children. Kids are shunning sugary drinks, grabbing fruit during lunch and making better media choices,” said Dr. Victoria Rogers, director of Let’s Go! “This is the fifth year we’ve officially recognized sites for making healthy eating and physical activity a priority and I’m constantly impressed by their dedication; they’re doing this because they want to, not because they have to.”

Schools, out-of-school programs and child-care sites are recognized for limiting unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations and providing healthy choices; limiting or eliminating sugary beverages and providing water; prohibiting the use of food as a reward; providing opportunities for children to get physical activity every day; and limiting recreational screen time.

Health-care sites are recognized for three practice-specific obesity prevention program components: providing consistent 5-2-1-0 messaging in offices, calculating BMI for all patients aged 2 and older and using the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Habits Questionnaire to have a respectful conversation about lifestyles with their patients.

For the second year in a row, Let’s Go! is recognizing school cafeterias for their contributions to healthy school environments. School cafeterias’ recognition status is determined based on how many Smarter Lunchroom strategies they implemented during the school year. All strategies stem from behavioral economics and range from labeling vegetables with creative names to inviting a local “celebrity” to dine with students.

This year, Let’s Go! is recognizing a total of 657 sites across Maine and in select New Hampshire communities. A list of all 2016 Let’s Go! recognized sites is available at letsgo.org.S ee below for the list of recognized sites in Knox County.

Child care: Appleton Family Childcare, Island Village Childcare, Jackson Memorial Library Pre-K, Little Critters, Little Learners—Rockport, Little Learners—South Thomaston, Lizards and Ladybugs, Midcoast Children’s Development Services, Penobscot Bay YMCA Childcare, Penquis CAP—Rockland Head Start, Ponderosa Playland, Rockland YMCA Childcare, Tree of Life Learning Center, Wee Care Learning and Nature Center

Out of School: Connections, Lura Libby After School program (now closed), Pen Bay YMCA After School program (Kids Club), South School After School program, Teen Center, Warren After School Child Enrichment (ACE) program, Washington ACE, Youthlinks

Schools (note: Lura Libby School was also recognized but they are now closed) Camden Rockport Elementary School, Guilford Butler School, Hope Elementary School

Health care: Zing!, Dr. Merrill, Pen Bay Family Medicine, Waldoboro Family Medicine

School cafeterias: Camden Rockport Elementary School, Camden Rockport Middle School, Friendship Village School, Hope Elementary School, Lincolnville Central School, Prescott Memorial School, Rockland District Middle School, St. George School, Union Elementary School, Warren Community School