Helping Kids Lead Healthy Lives
I started my teaching career as an early childhood educator. I taught the little ones, younger than five. Teaching healthy habits such as good nutrition and washing hands was as much a part of our curriculum as social skills (remember to say please and thank you) and academics. So when my own children entered elementary school, I assumed that teaching would go on. But conversations with their teachers led me to realize that they often felt unprepared to teach health. At the elementary school level we ask so much of our teachers. They need to know a how to teach a whole range of content and frankly, health sometimes gets left out due to lack of time, resources, and understanding.
Yet with childhood obesity rates at the highest they have ever been, giving kids the knowledge and the skills they need to lead healthy lives becomes ever more important. Here at NEA HIN, we have been working on a number of initiatives that help teachers and other educators focus on building healthy lives. The most recent of these is Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives. It provides K-3 educators with 31 lessons to teach fundamental nutrition and physical activity concepts. The lessons are aligned with national standards in Math, Science, English/Language Arts, and Social Studies. Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives was developed in partnership with Nestle Healthy Kids Global Program. Classroom teachers tested the lessons, reviewed the materials during the development stage, and provided feedback along the way.
Information on how to get copies of Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives can be found here. I hope you will take a look and use them in your classroom.