3 Healthy Habits to Teach, and Re-Teach Your Kids
The saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” still rings true. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood. Children often end up in the health room at school with a stomachache because they skipped breakfast. A healthy breakfast includes high-fiber foods such as fruit and whole grains. Try hard-boiled eggs, 100 percent fruit juice and high-fiber (low sugar) cereal with berries.
Frequent Hand Washing
Washing hands often and thoroughly is one of the most effective ways to prevent disease. Reinforce hand washing skills learned at school by encouraging your children to wash well. Here’s the procedure:
- Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
- Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails.
- Continue rubbing at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse hands well under running water.
- Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Sharing, or Not!
While we want children to learn to share most toys and books, sharing germs is not something we want them to do. Teach children not to share combs/brushes, toothbrushes, hats, toys used by mouth such as whistles, eating utensils and beverages. Sharing these things helps transmit diseases and lice. This particular habit is great to reinforce with older children and teenagers as they become more independent and often share food and drinks with their friends.
For more information on any of these topics, talk to the School Nurse or visit www.cdc.gov