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Healthy Lessons to Teach Kids and Teens at Home

kid washing hands

Just like adults, children are facing unique challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are a few ideas to help keep your family physically and emotionally healthy.

Keep Practicing Basic Healthy Habits

Simple hygiene habits are important for keeping kids healthy all the time, including during the COVID-19 outbreak. Teach kids to keep their immune systems healthy and fight off germs by practicing healthy habits together every day: washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow, brushing teeth every day, getting adequate rest, and eating healthy foods.  

Explore Emotions Together

Children, like adults, may be feeling strong emotions during this time. You can help your kids learn about staying emotionally healthy by recognizing their emotions. 

Drawing a picture first can be a good way for a young child to reflect on their feelings about a specific situation. Older children can learn to rate the strength of their emotions on a scale from 1-10 and choose different coping methods for stronger emotions. Teens and young adults can journal about emotions and learn to practice meditation or yoga. Ask questions about how your child is feeling, and what they can do to express their emotions in a healthy way.  

Find Fun Family Activities from Early Childhood Experts

ReadyRosie is an early education tool for families, schools, and communities. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ReadyRosie has created a special Healthy at Home toolkit with pediatricians, mental health experts, and early childhood educators.  

Parents and caregivers can find videos, learning games, and activities to help infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners learn about health and emotional well-being. Check back each week for new ideas at healthyathome.readyrosie.com.  

Use Digital Media in Healthy Ways

Digital technology can play an important role for children and teens in keeping up with schoolwork and staying connected with friends and family. Help kids set healthy limits by keeping screens out of bedrooms and putting devices away at meal times and bed times. 

Take an active role in choosing media to watch together as a family, and look for options that support your values, such as empathy, tolerance, and generosity. Visit HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan to create a media plan for your family.

Cook, Eat, and Play with Your Food

For young children, you can find coloring sheets on dozens of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods at FoodHero.org.  Older kids can help prepare simple new recipes and learn to describe their taste, texture, and visual appeal using this Food Critic Activity. Teens can learn about a balanced diet with ChooseMyPlate.gov and choose healthy recipes to cook at home from the MyPlate Kitchen recipe library.

author name

Sue Lackmann, MEd

Sue Lackmann, MEd. is a health educator with Lancaster General Health Community Health and Wellness. Her responsibilities include school, workplace, and community prevention initiatives related to: child passenger safety, farm safety, healthy weight management, and tobacco. Lackmann is coordinator of Safe Kids Lancaster County, and actively involved in Lighten Up Lancaster County and the Tobacco Free Coalition of Lancaster County.

Call: 717-544-3283

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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