kids teaching kids 21-Day Challenge exceeds expectations

Nearly 40,000 school children from 448 schools in 14 North Texas school districts made a commitment to healthier snacking by taking the Medical City Children’s Hospital kids teaching kidssm 21-Day Challenge.

The kids teaching kids program educates students and parents about developing lifelong healthy snacking and eating habits. This year, more than 275,000 snack recipe books developed by high school culinary students were distributed. Children must document that they made a healthy snack by themselves for each of the 21 days. The goal is to change habits through repetition.

Data collected from the spring 2017 challenge shows:

  • fruit and veggie consumption rose 14.6%
  • cookie consumption down 21.4%
  • chip eating dropped 19.8%
  • 60-percent tried a new fruit or vegetable

Through generous donations from Kroger and FreshPoint, more than 75 students attending Dallas ISD’s Mount Auburn Elementary School were able to participate in a 21 Day Challenge pilot program. Mount Auburn Elementary is located in a known food desert, an area that lacks grocery stores, farmers markets and healthy food providers.

“The 21-Day Challenge empowers children to take control of their health early in life,” says Bill Lee, CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital. “Improving the health of children is a top priority at Medical City Children’s Hospital so we created this program to teach children healthy eating habits sooner. It helps prevent children’s disease later in life.”

To further motivate participation, the 21-Day Challenge featured an internal competition within each school district. The elementary school with the highest percentage of kids finishing the challenge versus their total school census won, and a trophy was presented to each of the winning schools.

21 Day Challenge participants with a check from Kroger for $500

“When kids eat healthy, everyone wins,” says Ryan Eason, program director for the kids teaching kids program.

Created in 2010 by Medical City Children’s Hospital, and in partnership with the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, Texas ProStart culinary programs and school districts across North Texas, high school culinary students create healthy snack recipes while graphic arts and photography students design cookbooks especially for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.

For more information about the Medical City Children’s Hospital kids teaching kids program, visit