Put the Kids in Charge
GOAL: Introduce your kids to a sport and lifestyle they’ll enjoy and benefit from forever, and healthy habits that will help them avoid illness!
The ADVENTURE: Choose your healthy sport and healthy habits. Decide together how often you’ll do each activity. Make a chart you can hang on the fridge and let the kids mark off each day that you do it. For February help your family make Healthy Valentine's
Recognize the efforts they make to improve in whatever area. For example, when you see them sneeze into their elbow instead of their hand thank them.
Create a 'Healthy Habits Counter' for the family to track how many days the family can stay healthy. This is similar to what you see on the freeways- "45 Days accident free on Utah Highways".
If the budget allows you could say however many days in the month the family is 'illness free' then that many dollars is spent on something the family has been wanting.
A healthy snack like their favorite fruit, gogurt, celery and peanut butter.
For little kids you can let them help make the healthy snack, like putting raisins on celery with peanut butter
This month's theme: Help Me with My Health!
Use this creative approach to build your child’s self-awareness and appreciation for wellness!
Put your child in charge of your healthy habits… and you’ll both experience the benefits!
Is there anything children like better than feeling smarter than their parents?
This month, choose a healthy habit you want to improve, and ask your kids to help you with it. The only rule is they have to do whatever it is they’re assigning you. So:
- If you have to walk a mile every day, they walk a mile as well.
- If you eat more vegetables, they eat more vegetables too.
- If you take the stairs instead of the elevator, they take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- If you have to drink more water, they have to drink more water.
At the end of the month, you’ll both have developed a new healthy habit. Next month, you can add another one!
Year Long Focus:
NEW YEAR, NEW MOVES!!
This year, resolve to add a “lifetime” sport to your own health, and get your kids involved with you.
Lifetime sports are things you can enjoy from early childhood into your 80s. Keep in mind that activities you can do without joining a gym or spending money will be sustainable even during financially tight times. Als0, choose sports you can participate in year-round. Some ideas include:
Swimming • Tennis • Walking • Golf • Yoga • Dancing • Biking • Soccer
Ultimate Frisbee • Dodgeball • Running • Jumprope • Jumping on the trampoline
Talk with your family about lifetime sports and healthy habits you can both enjoy. Make a commitment together to participate in the sport regularly, and implement some healthy habits each day. Developing these healthy habits early in life is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.
Healthy habits for activity and nutrition include:
- Park a distance from the building you are going to a WALK
- Take stairs instead of elevators
- Walk more
- Commit to do x number of squats each time you walk into a certain room (like the kitchen or family room)
- Drink WATER instead of soda or juice, and drink LOTS of it!
- Drink water before every meal
- Get a Good Night's sleep
- Add vegetables to everything
Healthy habits for cleanliness include:
ELIMINATING GERMS IN THE KITCHEN:
• Studies have found that a third of kitchen cloths are contaminated with E. coli
• Make sure to regularly disinfect key kitchen hotspots, including faucets and chopping boards
• Regularly decontaminate and dry kitchen sponges/cloths after each use (or use disposable cloths instead).
• Remember frequently touched surfaces like cabinet/door handles and light switches
ELIMINATING GERMS IN THE BATHROOM:
• Most people think that the dirtiest place in the bathroom is the toilet seat, however studies show that the toilet flush handle is the germiest
• Make sure to regularly disinfect key hotspots, including faucets, handles and the toilet flush
• Mold can be a problem in damp bathrooms, so make sure the room is well-ventilated and regularly disinfect mold-prone areas like shower seals
• Encourage your family to put the toilet seat down before flushing. This will reduce bacteria being spread around the bathroom by the force of the flush
• Make sure to regularly disinfect shower heads to help prevent the spread of infection
HELP PREVENT KIDS FROM SPREADING GERMS AT SCHOOL:
• Keep their schoolbag clean, especially if they carry food items like a packed lunch
• Ensure your children bring home their gym clothes weekly for washing
• Kill germs by washing clothes at a high temperature (140°F or higher). If you need to wash at a lower temperature, add a laundry sanitizer
• Make sure your children practice frequent and proper hand washing, as well as proper cough and sneeze etiquette. Encourage these habits both in and out of school
HOW KIDS CAN AVOID GETTING SICK AT SCHOOL:
To help reduce the spread of germs, kids should wash their hands before and after different activities throughout the school day, such as
• Before lunch and after recess
• After using the toilet
• After coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose
• After touching or handling class pets, and
• Whenever they have touched a dirty surface
KEEP IN MIND:
• When children are first exposed to germs in a group setting, their immune systems are still developing and may take time to respond to germs that cause infection
• When older children first enter group settings (e.g., kids entering school who haven’t been in childcare), they’re more likely to get frequent infections in the first few years than their peers
Ready to take your health to the next level? Build a support team around you!
It tends to be easier to stick to your health goals if the people around you are supportive, and better yet-- live the same lifestyle with you. Share your health Adventures with a group of 2-3 friends and encourage them to join you.
by Healthy Habits: