In today’s increasingly digital, online environment, more and more children and young people are forgoing traditional healthy habits in favour of increased screen time and less exercise. While modern technology is undoubtedly amazing, it can have a big impact on health and fitness – especially when it comes to the next generation.
As a result, it is our duty to promote and encourage healthy habits in children. Here are some top tips to help you get started.
Children spend a lot of their time at school, and therefore, the school environment should be healthy and encouraging. One of the best ways to make the school a healthier environment is to consider how students spend their breaks and lunchtime. While sports clubs and facilities are great, the reality is that not all students enjoy sports. Similarly, older pupils will likely consider a traditional playground too childish. Instead, outdoor gym equipment can make a viable alternative. Providing plenty of opportunities for pupils to get active and have fun, the right outdoor equipment can be a real asset to the school environment.
Promote Healthy Lunches
While you can control the food that is offered in the school cafeteria, it’s much harder to control the food that students bring in their packed lunches. With awareness around the importance of healthy eating on the rise, many parents are ditching the chocolate bars in favour of a more balanced packed lunch – but this is not the case for every child. If the school curriculum offers a food technology or nutrition course, or after school clubs, this is also the perfect opportunity to showcase healthy, delicious, and quick-to-make recipes.
Mental Health Support
Mental health is a very hot topic at the moment, and with many studies and discussion around the field, it is essential to ensure every student receives the support they deserve. Of course, every school should have the necessary support network in place, but outside of what is required, there are plenty of other ways that you can help. Make sure that all teachers and staff are fully aware of the importance of mental health and plan assemblies and lessons around the subject to help students understand that it is something normal to discuss.
Avoid the Germs
No matter what you do, schools are always going to be germ-filled places – not least because of the sheer number of children that are in a relatively close environment. While thorough cleaning is obviously essential, there are other ways in which you can encourage healthier habits and stave off the sickness. For younger children, one of the best ways is to encourage regular handwashing to help prevent the spread of germs. Although many children will not go to school if they are unwell, common coughs and colds can be much harder to avoid, so make sure that you are fully prepared.
Although wellbeing ties into a number of the other points that have already been mentioned, it is essential for pupil happiness and healthiness. Keep an eye out for children that may seem upset or unhappy, and if possible, do what you can to help out and support them through issues like bullying, loneliness, and academic struggles. It’s also important to ensure that students are engaging with lessons, as this creates the best possible learning environment. Last, but certainly not least, projecting a positive atmosphere throughout the school is important – you should aim to be welcoming and friendly in order to boost student wellbeing as much as possible.
These tips are all designed to promote healthiness and – hopefully – will help ensure the children under your care remain both happy and healthy.