Mix Up the Sideline Snack

Are you in charge of the sideline snack this week? Serve up fruit slices, veggie sticks, water, or whole grain crackers.

What’s on the Menu?

Let children help decide, such as choosing a vegetable side dish. Let them draw or write their choice to get them involved in meal planning.

Back to School Shots, Shopping, and More

Preparing for a new school year can be stressful for both kids and parents. Appointments, checklists, and important school deadlines can make it overwhelming. Check out USAGov’s list of tips and resources to start the school year off right.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

It’s great to get outdoors during the summer, but it’s important to stay safe in the sun. Don´t let the heat ruin your family fun. Follow these tips to prevent heat-related health issues:

  • Never cover your baby’s stroller with a blanket. It may block the sun, but even a thin blanket can stop air circulation and cause the interior of the stroller to overheat.
  • Never leave a child in a parked car. Vehicles can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.
  • Keep your children hydrated when they’re playing outside, don’t wait until they’re thirsty.

Get Kids Moving!

Create a backyard obstacle course complete with pool noodle balance beam, hula hoop hopscotch, and a jump rope station.

Prevent Teen Car Accidents

With graduation and prom around the corner, your teenager may be more focused on talking to friends than watching the road when driving. Learn what steps you can take to help a novice become a safe and capable driver with the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program.

Your Child’s Checkups

Knowing the right questions to ask your child’s doctor can be difficult and stressful. Learn what to expect for each visit and how to keep track of the doctor’s guidance for kids from newborns to college students with these age-specific resources from KidsHealth.

Homework Hygiene

Great tips to improve homework practices from Screenagers:

Homework Hygiene is all about helping kids develop effective practices around homework such as writing to-do lists, developing the habit of prioritizing the list and checking things off.

It is a top priority to engage our kids in conversations in which they become aware of the challenges they face in having good homework habits.

Screenagers 3-part conversation tactic for helping kids gain insight and ideas for optimal homework hygiene:

    1. Empathize – Start by saying you have empathy for all kids about homework—you understand that after a full school day how difficult it is to do repetitive or hard work. Validate that having to do homework can feel tortuous at times, and now with distractions at our fingertips, there is a new, unprecedented level of challenge.
    2. Get curious – Have one good conversation about homework that is calm and curious, not personal and judgemental.
    3. Explore effective strategies – After the non-personal conversations, get your kid to talk about their current homework strategies and habits. Ask questions like, “Do you start by writing a list of what needs to get done?” Now is a good time to throw out ideas.

Examples of good Homework Hygiene:

  1. Do homework after physical activity because the body is physiologically primed to learn more efficiently in this state.
  2. Start with the task that they least want to do and set the alarm for 10 minutes. That helps get over the hurdle of doing it. Then, after the 10 minutes, coming back to it will be much easier.
  3. Have a rule that all tech is off by a certain time so homework cannot be done late at night.
  4. Put phones out of sight and decide when it is reasonable for a tech or phone break. My 10th grader takes a short phone break about every 30 minutes.
  5. Put in place other breaks, not just checking phone, such as playing with a pet, or doing part of a crossword puzzle with them.
  6. Get a system that monitors what the student does on the computer, i.e. how often they check other sites. If they know this is on the computer, it can help keep them stay on task until they get a break. Check out our website for computer monitoring systems. Another way to do this is to tell your child that the two of you will check their browsing history from time to time. It is vital to be upfront about this because kids can easily erase their history.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Oral health experts agree that creating healthy smiles begins in infancy. Dental public health focuses on improving oral health by expanding access to effective prevention programs. Examples of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts in this area include community water fluoridation and school dental sealant programs. Learn more about ensuring good oral health for children.

6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruit (And Love It!)

How can you get your kids to eat more fruit? Here are six tips you can use to guide them without saying a word:

  1. Eat Together: If you snack on fruit in front of your kids, they’re more likely to meet their fruit and vegetable requirements.
  2. Keep Trying: Many children reject new foods because they’re afraid of them, not because they don’t like the taste. Don’t give up! You may need to present a new fruit 10 times or more before they’ll accept it.
  3. Slice Fruit: Your kids may be more likely to want sliced fruit than whole fruit. ]
  4. Use Stickers: Stickers: so simple, yet so powerful. If you stick a popular cartoon character on a piece of fruit, you may find your child more excited about eating it.
  5. Let Them Pick Their Fruit: While it’s not as exciting as plucking fruit off a tree, your children can still participate in the picking process at the grocery store.
  6. Mix It Up: Offer fruit in a variety of forms, textures and shapes. Experiment with frozen, freeze-dried, canned, fresh and dried fruit, as well as 100 percent juice and nectar.