3 Ways to Shape Your Child’s Health at School and at Home
Health and Nutrition Take three small steps today and you’ll be on your way to becoming a school health champion before you—or your kids—know it.
Hopefully, your kids will get plenty of fresh air, fun and physical activity during the summer months. While it may not be as easy to maintain those activity levels when school is back in session, there are ways to increase kids’ physical activity during the school day—and parents can play an important role.
We know that good nutrition and physical activity impact students in a variety of ways, from fostering lifelong healthy habits to improving classroom behavior, concentration and academic performance. Many schools are creatively incorporating physical fitness and nutrition into the school day to supplement their PE programs.
Morning exercise clubs, “walking classrooms,” daily recess and in-class brain breaks stimulate children’s brains and bodies while enhancing learning. Students taste-test healthy foods before enjoying them in school meals or snacks. School gardens serve as science labs and kitchens, exposing kids to healthy fruits and vegetables.
Parents can help initiate and implement these programs. But where to begin?
Here is your summer homework assignment:
1. Survey the field
Assess your child’s school health culture. What healthy activities are happening? What unhealthy activities would you change? From there, you can plan to join or start a school health team.
2. Sprinkle in nutrition
Begin testing new healthy snacks at home, so that you can send your child to school with healthier snacks and birthday treats.
3. Be the seed
Start small, with one project. Check out online programs for ideas at home and at school. Enlist other parents and community members to help get programs off the ground.
Sometimes all it takes is one mom or dad to take the first step, and the rest of the school will follow.