Editor’s note: Christie Clinic is a sponsor of Chambanamoms.
By Dr. M. Louisa Maranon, Pediatrician, Christie Clinic
This past year has been a year of change and adjustment for all of us – including our children. Many have transitioned to remote learning, mask wearing and social distancing. Through all of the change, one thing remains constant – a focus on being and remaining healthy! Please join us April 26-30 as we celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week and putting a spotlight on child health.
April 26 | Mindful Monday
Social and emotional health are just as important as our physical health and can impact a child’s development and learning. Children who are mentally healthy tend to be happier, show greater motivation to learn, have a more positive attitude toward school, and demonstrate higher academic performance than less mentally healthy peers.
Use Mindful Monday to focus child’s social and emotional health. Do play-based yoga; meditate; or practice deep breathing. Teaching children to be mindful will help them to build self-esteem, manage stress and more confidently face challenges.
April 27 | Tasty Tuesday
Childhood is the ideal time to establish healthy eating habits. The foods your child eats not only provides them the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow but also gives them the energy to play and explore. Explore new foods with your children by doing a family taste test night; invite your children to help make a healthy meal; or even plant a family garden that they can help tend to.
April 28 | Wellness Wednesday
Overall wellness can influence your child’s sense of well-being. Embracing a wellness focus mindset at an early age can set your child up for a healthier future. Talk with your children about what being well means to them as well as what it means to you. Create individualized self-care plans as a family; get outside and explore; and model healthy behaviors for your children. Schedule your child’s wellness visit with their primary care provider to check and ensure appropriate growth and development.
April 29 | Thoughtful Thursday
Being thoughtful is more than just being kind. It’s about being careful and intentional with how we conduct our lives. Teaching our children to be thoughtful will have a positive impact on their social health and help them build meaningful, lasting relationships. Try incorporating feelings into your family conversation at dinner. Encourage your child to start a journal or diary to write down their feelings. For craft time, work on thank you cards or notes to share with family and friends and discuss the importance of appreciation. Ask your kids what they are thankful for every day. Gratefulness makes kids have a positive outlook in life.
April 30 | Fitness Friday
Getting our children active will help their minds and bodies! Physical activity can help control weight and build strong bones and muscle while also reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time to get outside and encourage physical fitness. Limit screen time; go for family walks; or create a sidewalk chalk obstacle course to engage the mind and body as we wrap up Every Kid Healthy Week.
Healthy kids are better prepared to learn and thrive. Enjoy this week with your children as you improve their health and wellness and their understanding of link between nutrition, physical activity and learning.