Healthy Habits Tips to Share With Families
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life is here to help families raise healthy, safe, resilient kids. To support families and school staff, we’ve created sample newsletter content for schools to share via email or on social media.
Our ready-to-use school newsletter content features healthy habits for kids, including tips for eating well, being active, getting quality sleep, practicing healthy coping skills and being safe.
Pro tip: Highlight the content below, copy it and paste it into your school newsletter, social media posts and more. It’s yours to use anywhere you communicate with families.
General healthy habits for kids
Being a healthy role model for students
It’s no surprise that kids mirror adult behavior. So when it comes to building strong bodies and minds, we all have an opportunity to be a positive influence and support kids.
Be a healthy role model by:
- Participating in activities and mealtimes
- Drinking water throughout the day
- Modeling healthy boundaries with technology
- Practicing healthy coping skills and prioritizing self-care
All these things factor into greater success in the classroom and beyond.
Building healthy eating habits
How to encourage kids to drink more water
Kids’ bodies and minds need water to stay healthy and strong. Not only is drinking water important for helping kids grow, but drinking water also helps them perform their best at school, in sports and during their favorite activities.
Encourage your family to drink more water with these helpful tips:
- Make frozen fruit ice cubes by freezing mashed fruit and water in ice cube trays and adding to water.
- Make homemade flavored water by adding slices of fruits, veggies or herbs to water.
- Let your child choose their own water bottle or a silly straw.
- Try sparkling water with no artificial sweetener, added sugar or caffeine.
Raising active kids
Limiting screen time for kids
Technology can help make life a little easier, but too much screen time can negatively affect our mood and take away time to be active and connect as a family.
Try these tips to help limit screen time:
- Reduce screen time gradually.
- Make screen-free mealtimes a priority.
- Keep all screens out of the bedroom and power down 1 hour before bedtime.
- Model screen time habits you want kids to work toward.
Keeping kids safe
Swim safety for kids and teens
Practicing water safety for kids of all ages is crucial because drowning is a leading cause of death in children from birth through the teen years. And drowning is often quick and silent.
But the good news is drowning is preventable. Here are our top swim safety tips for kids and teens:
- Practice proper supervision. Keep beginner swimmers within arm’s reach to practice touch supervision. Be a water watcher for strong swimmers by keeping them within eye’s reach.
- Be honest about swim skills. There’s no shame in not knowing how to swim. But the good news is it’s never too late to learn. (Take it from NFL running back, Ito Smith!) If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, give them the courage and confidence to be open about their skills with their peers and other adults so they can be properly monitored.
- Sign up for swim lessons. Our experts recommend that children be able to swim confidently by the time they are in school. Check out our tips for finding swim lessons for kids.
- Talk about risk-taking behavior. Older kids and teens are more likely to drown because they’re taking risks in or around water. Risky behaviors include jumping and diving, swimming or boating at night, and swimming while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Peer pressure plays a part. Talk to your child about how certain behaviors can be life threatening. And empower them to make the right decisions under pressure.
Building healthy sleep habits
How much sleep do kids need?
Sleep affects every aspect of your child's development (both their body and mind) and a good night’s sleep can improve mood, focus, academic performance and more.
Here are the CDC recommendations for how much sleep kids need by age:
- Newborns: 14 to 17 hours
- Infants: 12 to 16 hours
- Toddlers: 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers: 10 to 13 hours
- Grade schoolers: 9 to 12 hours
- Teens: 8 to 10 hours
Building resilience at every age
Ask kids open-ended questions about their day
Sometimes kids need help opening up and sharing how they’re feeling. Asking open-ended questions about their day encourages them to answer with more than just “yes” or “no.”
|"Did you have a good day?"||What was the best/hardest part of your day?"|
|"You doing OK?"||"How are you feeling?"|
|"Can I help you"||"What can I do to help?"|
Encourage your kids to build a long list of coping skills so they have lots of options to pick from. Visit Strong4Life.com for more tips for raising healthy, safe, resilient kids. You can also subscribe to the Strong4Life newsletter and follow Strong4Life on Instagram.
Last updated: Apr. 19, 2022