Physical health and nutrition while social distancing and staying home don’t have to be complicated according to Hannah Calvert, assistant research professor for the Initiative for Healthy Schools.
Calvert is a big advocate of just getting outside when you can with the suggestion of setting a goal, like 5 minutes every hour. “That’s a chance for you (and kiddos) to go out around the block for a walk, play in the yard, play hide-and-seek or play with the dog,” she said.
The children’s activity website Go Noodle is also a great resource, according to Calvert. Many kids already know Go Noodle from elementary classrooms. The website features fun activities involving music and dance, movement, food and recipes, as well as mindfulness and yoga.
Calvert acknowledges that nutrition can be stressful right now since families may be experiencing changes to food access, and local grocery stores may not be stocking all the foods kids are used to eating. Calvert suggests that parents:
- Focus on the food you have rather than what might be missing, so children have less anxiety about food scarcity. The Idaho Food Bank website has food assistance information for families by location.
- Express gratitude at mealtimes
- Model enjoying your food
- Have fun and even play with food
Calvert shares more tips and advice in her video talk below, where you can see her practicing her tips by getting outside with her partner and dog pal, grooving to a Go Noodle activity at home, and creating a fun snack from simple ingredients.