A Healthy You!

African American girl washing strawberries in kitchen
Eating healthy food, including fruits and vegetables, is a great way to celebrate National Health Day.

Child Health Day is celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in October. You won’t get a day off from school, but it’s an important day to remember. On Child Health Day, we look at the things we can do to stay healthy and fit. What can we do to make sure we keep in shape? The experts will tell you to eat right and get plenty of exercise. Here are some ideas for how to do that.

What does it mean to “eat right”? The quick answer is to avoid the junk food, like chips, candy, soda, and snack foods that are loaded with fats and sugar. The longer answer is to include the right balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy in your diet. A good guideline is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables and make the other half protein and grains. The United States Department of Agriculture website provides great information about what we should be eating in each of those categories.

But staying healthy isn’t just about what we eat. It’s about how we move too! Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Walking, running, cycling, team sports, and even playing on the equipment on the playground are all excellent ways to get exercise. Most experts say that kids need about sixty minutes of exercise each day. Regular exercise is good for our hearts and helps keep our weight down. It also helps us sleep better and be in a better mood. So try to trade “sit time” for “fit time” whenever you can every day!

Child Health Day only happens once a year, but you can make staying healthy a part of what you do every day.

What Can You Do? Does your school have a program for Child Health Day? If so, how can you participate? If it doesn’t, what can you do to get one started?

Photo Credit: Inti St Clair/Blend Images LLC