Promoting Healthy Lifestyles at Home, School, and in the Workplace.

We Can!  FAQ's

Who developed We Can!?

We Can!, or Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition, is a public education outreach program designed to help children 8-13 years old stay at a healthy weight by improving food choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time. The program is a collaboration of four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  We Promote Health has a partnership with the Howard County School system to provide WeCan programs to Howard County Elementary Schools.  In 2013, We Promote Health was recognized by NIH and the National WeCan program for it's innovative approach to providing WeCan programs to families in Howard County elementary schools.  For more information, about We Promote Health and it's innovative strategies in creating and supporting WeCan programs, CLICK HERE

What are the basic concepts of We Can!?

We Can! Is a four-session program with dynamic activities for parents to encourage a healthy weight in their family. The core concept explored is “energy balance,” or the long-term balance between ENERGY IN (calories from food) and ENERGY OUT (calories burned through activity). In a fun and hands-on way, the sessions focus on helping participants learn essential skills that can help their families make healthful food choices, become more physically active, and reduce recreational screen time.

What Makes We Can! Unique? 

WeCan! is unique because it focuses on parents and families at home and in their communities. Research shows that parents have a big impact on shaping the behavior of children. They can do much to help children maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight. There are many programs that support either improving nutrition or increased physical activity.  Likewise, there are many programs that are designed to educate parents and caregivers or to engage children.  WeCan is unique in that it focuses on Nutrition AND Physical Activity as well as one Decreasing Screen Time.  WeCan is flexible and allows it's partner organizations to use the program resources in a way that works best for a specific community.  We Promote Health effectively uses WeCan resources to engage both parents/caregivers and children in the process.  By engaging caregivers and children together in the program, there is a greater buy-in for overall wellness to become a central value in the family culture.  We Promote Health effectively utilizes a growing list of professional partnerships and other Howard County resources to support their programs.

Why Do Parents Complete a Pre and Post-Session Evaluation?

The "Tell Us What You Think" evaluation from helps us gage what participants know about eating, physical activity, and screen time, and how these behaviors affect energy balance and weight maintenance.  This program allows for a lot of flexibility in regard to the number of sessions, the presentation format and the use of community partnerships.  With feedback from the evaluations, we are able to make adjustments according to the feedback that we receive from evaluations. 

Where Can We Get More Information? 

HOWARD COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS can get information about opportunities to create a WeCan program for their school or organization and receive support for their WeCan program by contacting We Promote Health at or calling 443-309-5379.

For more information on
WeCan!, visit, call the We Can! toll free number at 1-866-35WECAN, or contact the NHLBI Information Center at 301-592-8573 or