Studies show that good summer health leads to school readiness
With less than two weeks left of school, are you planning summer vacation for your family?
Studies show that when kids are physically healthy, it’s easier for them to learn and succeed. How your child spends his summer will affect his health—and how he does in school next year.
Emphasizing healthy habits on vacation doesn’t have to be boring or intimidating. It can be fun! All it takes is a little extra focus on:
- Being active. Most kids should exercise for at least one hour a day. Instead, many watch TV and play video games for hours on end. Make a list of alternatives, such as taking family walks, gardening, visiting local parks and joining a sports team. Ask your child, “Which would you like to do?”
- Eating well. Involve your child in making healthy meals. You might borrow a cookbook from the library and try some new recipes with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid potentially harmful or unnecessary ingredients, including excess sugar.
- Staying hydrated. This is especially important during hot summer activities. Remember that every drink doesn’t need to be sweetened or flavored. Water is refreshing—and free! If you serve juice, consider diluting it with water. The earlier you start doing this, the less your child will notice.
- Promoting wellness. In addition to taking care of your child when he’s sick, work with his doctor to prevent illness. Discuss vaccines, summer safety, vision, hearing, allergies and other critical topics. Be sure to keep his medical records up to date!
The Parent Institute