It’s the last week of April, which means it’s Every Kid Healthy Week! If you’re not sure what that is, it’s a yearly observance that focuses on what schools are doing to keep kids healthy in numerous ways, from improved nutrition to more physical activity. Basically, this is the week to recognize—and build on—any school’s accomplishments related to health and wellness. Pretty cool, isn’t it? Here’s what else is important about Every Kid Healthy Week.
If you’re not sure where to start when improving your child’s health, this should help: 5 Essential Nutrients Kids Need Daily
Why We Need Every Kid Healthy Week
School is a big influence in the life of the average child. After all, most students spend at least seven hours per day at school, which makes up about half of their time awake each day. So it makes sense for teachers and school staff to feel somewhat responsible for educating students on health and fitness.
With childhood obesity being more widespread than ever—as the CDC states that it’s more than tripled since the 1970s—there’s never been a better time to ensure kids are well versed on all things related to their health! That’s why it matters so much that educators take part in Every Kid Healthy Week, as this focuses on the strides so many schools have taken in recent years.
How Schools Can Get Involved
So what are schools doing this week to show their support for better health and fitness? One of the most common ways to celebrate is to host a Field Day this week. Most schools have this type of event every year anyway, so when it coincides with Every Kid Healthy Week, it helps both kids and parents be more aware of health and fitness and how they work together to benefit kids.
I know it’s still cold and even snowing in some states, so you might need these tips this week: Staying Fit and Safe When It’s Cold Out
Another option is to host a Super Fit School Challenge, which is a fundraiser that features an obstacle course for students. Kids love competing and an obstacle course, especially one that they can help plan, is a fun way to get their competitive juices flowing and get them moving, both at the same time!
If it’s not possible to plan a health-focused event from scratch, schools can also simply add health and fitness focuses to regular events. For example, if a school is hosting a science fair or special assembly for some reason, the staff might consider adding a booth or guest speaker to educate kids about easy ways to eat better and get more active.
How Can You Get Involved?
If you don’t work for a school, you can still get involved with Every Kid Healthy Week. If you think your child’s school isn’t aware of this observance, you can let the principal know, and offer to help plan something if he or she is interested. Most teachers would likely love to get their students moving and offer additional education on proper nutrition, as this even helps classroom performance and behavior!
You can offer to help plan an event, such as a Field Day, a Family Fitness Night, or a health-related fair. You might even suggest starting a school garden—which would then help add more fruits and veggies to the menu! If you have any gardening experience, go ahead and offer some help. If not, the mere suggestion of a garden might be enough to get teachers and staff excited about this kind of project. You can always contribute by buying seed packets and soil for this endeavor. Even just encouraging your kids to get involved will help.
How You Can Assist in Improving Your Child’s Health
The reason Every Kid Healthy Week exists is that every child’s health is important, yet not every child gets the help he or she needs when it comes to nutrition and fitness. So you can help by just making sure your child’s health is your top priority.
Start by ensuring your child gets at least one hour of physical activity per day. Most schools do not offer this much time for P.E., so you can’t count on that class helping with this on a daily basis. Instead, make sure your child walks, runs, rides a bike, or climbs a jungle gym for about an hour every day. Just encouraging outdoor play can help, though you might find you have to work out right alongside your child to get him or her to stay active some days.
Additionally, make sure your child has proper nutrition. Do your best to stay away from too many foods with added sugars and saturated fat, and make sure your kids have whole grains, dairy, protein, fruits, and vegetables every day. And don’t forget that calcium, in particular, is imperative for strong bones and muscles—which your child will need if he or she is going to be more active!
If you’re having trouble getting enough calcium in your child’s diet, here’s some help: How To Make Sure Your Child Is Getting Enough Calcium
More Information on Every Kid Healthy Week: