Many things come to mind when pondering the topic “healthy”. I am a kindergarten teacher for Akron Public Schools in Akron, OH and this is something that is vital for me as an educator of young children to master. Most people think of food when they think of the word healthy. And in a way, they are correct! The foods we eat help us with the way we think and provides us with the energy we need for everyday tasks like school, recess, and evening activities! The amount of physical activity and the amount of rest we get each day takes a huge role in becoming and maintaining a healthy, well-rounded human being.
In my perspective as a teacher of young minds, the students do, as I do. They are very observant to the environment around them. That is why it is so important to MODEL. Children mimic all behaviors that they see. This can be positive and negative. In my classroom, we have many “brain breaks” throughout the day. These consist of a program called Go Noodle, a healthy snack, and some kind of hands on manipulative with no direct instruction. These help the child give their brain that enrichment that they need by doing it in their own differentiated way to meet their needs. I also have had a Full Scale Fitness personal trainer from the Akron area come into my classroom to teach a lesson about being healthy and different ways to “make the heart happy”. This was a great success for my students and they continued to refer back to him during health discussions for the remainder of the school year.
Children watch and imitate adults and look to them to learn everything from saying please and thank-you to fitness and nutrition behavior. Children can also pick up on their parent’s attitudes about food. As role models, parents need to make sure they’re demonstrating a healthy attitude toward food so their children do, too. This same thing can be applied to being active. In Akron, OH, there are vast amounts of opportunities for fitness for the whole family. Going to Cuyahoga Valley National Park for hiking, biking, or even just a simple nature walk is a great example. Parents can also look into personal training and dietitians to assist them with the confidence in being a good role model for their children. If you have any questions about healthy decisions or getting your child active, contact us and we would love to help! Email us at [email protected] or give us a call at (419) 906-0204.