Promoting Healthy Behaviors at Home During COVID-19
While schools and childcare centers remain temporarily closed, maintaining a routine – as you would on spring break or summer vacation – of regular, healthy mealtimes and consistent bedtimes can help keep kids healthy and happy. Check out our resources below for inspiration.
Healthy Meals for Children
After securing waivers from the federal government that enable schools to serve meals to all children age 18 and younger regardless of their location and income during the extended school closure period, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) published a parish-by-parish list of school meal sites to inform families where, when and how free food can be accessed.
Additional Resources for Families
- Meals to You is working to provide shelf-stable food directly to householder. Visit https://mealstoyou.org/ to learn more.
- USDA’s Meals for Kids directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.
- USDA National Hunger Hotline remains a helpful resource for people seeking food assistance. The hotline, operated by Hunger Free America, can be reached Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish).
- Are you looking to prepare healthy meals for children while they are home? Check out MyPlate Kitchen. This website has sample menus, cookbooks, recipes, video and much more!
Keeping Children Active at Home
Keep children moving while at home with daily, quick and creative physical activities. Ideally, kids should have two to three active play times every day. Instead of thinking of exercise as a separate scheduled activity, just try to weave quick “moving” moments throughout the day.
GoNoodle: GoNoodle engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are! While children are out of school, GoNoodle has developed a whole range of fun, developmental, and otherwise helpful things can all be done at home. We call this effort GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home. Visit www.gonoodle.com/goodenergy for free resources.
Hands-On Activities Database: Search or browse hundreds of hands-on, ready-to-do activities for movement and physical activity for young children. Search or browse classroom activities to find what you need for language and literacy, math, science, art, social skills, music, movement, and physical activity. You can search ideas by children’s age, subject, or skills learned in the activity.
SHAPE America is committed to providing resources to keep students physically active at home, as well as to support continued learning in a virtual format. SHAPE America has a webpage dedicated to updates specific to coronavirus has a variety of resources for keeping students active. There is also a hashtag on Twitter, #HPEatHome, that health and physical education teachers from across the country (and world) are using to share resources they are using to ensure students continue to have access to physical activity opportunities.
CATCH Health at Home was launched by CATCH Global Foundation. It is a free set of health, nutrition and physical education materials that require limited space and supervision. Access is quick-and-easy via Google Classroom. Full details and instructions are available at catch.org/pages/health-at-home.
Reducing Screen Time
It is important to limit the amount of screen time for children. What is screen time? It’s any time spent in front of a screen, for example, to watch television, use the computer, and play video games (not including time needed to complete schoolwork). Click here for tips for parent to reduce screen time. In addition, here is a list of 50 ways to use your pool noodle for activities!
Keeping Smiles Healthy
It’s important to help your children maintain good oral hygiene to keep their smiles healthy! Take a look at the resources from the Office of Head Start for tips on promoting oral health in your home.
Mental Health Resources for Families during the Coronavirus Outbreak – Partners for Family Health Louisiana are working to pull together resources pregnant people, parents and caregivers, and families with babies and young children.
Louisiana Department of Education continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and its effect on the state’s public schools. Explore the COVID 19 page to find resources for families, as well as up-to-date information and guidance for schools and centers.
Helping Children Cope with Emergencies – View Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health resources for supporting children through emergencies.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides free, evidence-based resources to support the physical, social, and emotional health of children and their caregivers. The COVID-19 Resources page includes resources designed to support you in reducing stress, eating healthy, moving regularly, getting quality sleep, and more.