Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

Children begin learning about their own physical, emotional and mental health from the earliest ages. The CHILDREN’S resources here include parent-child games and vignettes about identifying and naming emotions, following healthy routines in caring for their bodies learning about nutritious eating.

The PARENTS section contains a wealth of resources about healthy childhood nutrition, ways to support children’s emotional health, and strategies for helping them increase their comfort level with new routines and transitions. Podcasts, articles and tip sheets give parents tools for talking with children about challenging topics like the pandemic and for addressing more general issues that concern parents as they observe their children’s development.


Healthy Cooking

What is it? This is a list of healthier food options that you can cook with your child at home. These recipes can help replace cravings your child may have for popular, but less healthy foods. 

How does it work? Each link has one recipe to follow. Each of these recipes will need help from an adult, but much can be done by a child. Some things you may need are a freezer, stove/hot plate, or an oven.

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? Making small changes to move toward healthier food choices over time can help make those changes last a lifetime. Plus, cooking can help improve your child’s math skills and fine motor skills. 

Mirror Game (English and Spanish) 

What is it? This is a game that you can play with your child that can help your child understand different feelings or emotions. 

How does it work? Sit in front of a mirror or use handheld mirrors with your child. More instructions are listed below, depending on your child’s age.

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? Being able to understand and talk about feelings will help your child manage “big emotions” like anger or sadness.

Bubble Bath Game (English, Spanish, Chinese)

What is it? This is a fun soap and bubbles activity that your child can do at home. This activity is meant to be similar to bath time.

How does it work? All you need is a container, a toy/doll, soap, and water to get started. The container can be a small bin, a large pot, a bucket, etc..

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? This activity is especially helpful if bath time is a stressful/difficult activity for your child. Playing a game related to a home routine can help your child feel less stress during that routine, because your child can practice the routine during play time.

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Exploring and Expressing Feelings: Naming Feelings (video)

What is it? A video for children to watch and name feelings with Sesame Street’s The Count.

How does it work? Watch the video with your children and talk about what other feelings they know the names of.

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? Children can deal with strong feelings more easily when they are able to name the feelings.

Helping Children Express Their Emotions

What is it? You will find many good resources on expressing emotions in this link. This starts with five simple ways to encourage children to share their feelings with you. Watch a short video of Sesame Street character, Rosita, talk to a grown-up to label her feelings. But don’t stop there, there are many more videos with Sesame Street characters which have to do with feelings like grief, school challenges, and more. There are also games and activities ideas for both children and parents.

How does it work? First click on “Parent/Caregiver.” To access Spanish language, click on top left : “Espanol.” Click around the site to discover more games, activities, and videos to explore emotions. 

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child?  By helping children talk about emotions, you can give labels to their feelings that will help them handle big feelings, little ones, and every feeling in between. When children talk about feelings, it can help reduce anxiety, help learn to self-soothe, and add to their long-term emotional and physical health. 

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Healthy Eating with Preschoolers

What is it? Current research that presents practical ideas or helpful tips for parents or teachers.

How does it work? A brief article plus a 17 minute audio podcast cover issues on healthy eating and positive body image in preschoolers. 

Why might it be a good choice for your child? This website is based on recent research and ideas and tips that you can use right away. The author gives more resources on many topics such as: fussy eating, feeding strategies, introducing new foods. 


Edible Education: Lessons & Learning Plans about Our Connection with Food

Edible Education for the Home Classroom

What is it? A website of resources and free downloadable lessons on educating students in learning how food is deeply connected to many parts of our lives.

How does it work? Start at the Home page.Click on the “Learning at Home” tab, it gives you access to ready-made lesson plans for parents. Here you can download worksheets for students. 

Then click on “Student Version” to access student worksheets, vocabulary lessons, videos (i.e. TED Talk), experiments, writing sheets and recipes. Click on “Parent/Teacher Version” to access information about the lesson, how long it should take to perform the lesson, target grade level, summary, learning goals and how to support your student step-by-step.

Why might this be a good choice for your child? This website gives quality lessons on food, nutrition, eating and health. These lessons present different learning methods like writing, reading, listening, improving vocabulary, answering questions, and experimentation. The videos give a lot of good information in fun ways. The lessons are clear, simple and engaging.

Edible Education: Family Resources & Curriculum Lessons

What is it? A website of resources and free downloadable lessons on educating students in learning how food is deeply connected to many parts of our lives. This link offers free curriculum lessons and recipes for different grade levels. 

How does it work? Start at the Home page and click on the “Resources” tab. Under “Lesson Planning,” click on “Grade level” to find free curriculum lessons for all ages of children for Prekindergarten levels and above. 

Why might this be a good choice for your child? This website gives ideas and lessons for children on food, nutrition, eating and health. There are many topics to engage a child in learning about food. The lessons are clear, simple and engaging. Many lessons are for older children.

NAEYC For Families

What is it? The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a large nonprofit association in the United States representing educators, families of young children, policy makers, and advocates. This section of the website is built specifically for parents.

How does it work? This link will take you to the families resource page, from there you can explore the different resources by topic.

Why might it be a good choice for you and your child? NAEYC uses research to make recommendations. It is a highly respected and trusted organization in early childhood education.

Boosting Children’s Emotional Health

What is it? This is a parent resource link which gives a guideline for maintaining structure in the household by remembering simple 3 R’s: Reassurance, Routines, and Regulation. There are activity suggestions for baking, cooking, crafts, pretend play and physical exercise.

How does it work? Read the article for details on tips to support your children at home. This link also gives ideas for activities and resources and how to use the 3 R’s to keep children’s activity levels high and stress levels low. 

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? This link helps parents, students, teachers and more great information based on evidence-based practices that support children’s mental health and positive behavior.

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Mental Health

How Can We Help Kids With Transitions?

What is it? This link gives you eight ideas to use at home to help your child when it is time to stop one activity and start another. 

How does it work? Use these ideas to make a consistent and predictable plan to follow.

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? Your child can have smoother transitions, be more independent and have consistent expectations.

Cómo Podemos Ayudar a los Niños en las Transiciones?

Que es? Este link le da 8 ideas para ayudar a su hijo/hija a cambiar de una actividad a otra.

Cómo funciona? El adulto crea un plan de ejecución para aplicar estas ideas en su hogar. 

Qué aprendería mi niño/niña? Su niño o niña tendrá transiciones más fáciles, será más independiente y sabrá que se espera de él/ ella.

Resource Links on Mental Health & Learning Disorders in Children

What is it? This is a resource website that helps families with children who are struggling with mental health and learning challenges. There are articles, guides, stories and expert opinions on mental health topics.

How does it work? In the section “For Families,” click on “Common Concerns” to find topics such as discipline, military families, college, media and tech, tweens and pretweens, and many more.

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child? The resources in this website give insights and advice on common concerns and tips for facing challenges many families share.

Recursos y Links Sobre la Salud Mental y Retos en el Aprendizaje en Niños/as

Que es? Este en un recurso que ayuda a familias con niños/as que tienen dificultades con la salud mental y retos en el aprendizaje. Contiene artículos, guias, historias y opiniones de expertos sobre la salud mental.

Cómo Funciona? Haga click en “Artículos” o “Guías” para encontrar temas como: Ansiedad, Dificultades en la Escuela, Logros Importantes del Desarrollo y más información.

Porque es beneficioso? Para ustedes como padres y madres, los recursos en este link les da ideas y sugerencias o consejos sobre preocupaciones y pautas para enfrentar los retos que muchas familias comparten. 

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How to Talk to a Child about the Coronavirus

What is it? A brief article and a four-minute video on “How to Talk to Kids about the Coronavirus” that gives advice to parents about talking to children about COVID-19

Overview of the article/video:

  1. Don’t be afraid to talk to children. Use facts.
  2. Think of their ages when you talk to your children (developmentally appropriate). Answer your child honestly and clearly. 
  3. Focus on safety and health and what children can do to keep themselves healthy.
  4. Using routines can help with day-to-day structure.

How does it work? The article and four-minute video clip give simple advice to empower parents when talking about the coronavirus to their children. 

Why might this be a good choice for you and your child?  These are simple and basic tips for supporting conversations and questions about the coronavirus with children in a way that reminds parents to consider their own child’s developmental level.

NPR Parent Life Kit- Tips on Living 

What is it? This website link by the National Public Radio offers support “Tools to help you get it together.” There are many random and timely topics for anyone’s interest from parenting to gardening to streaming TV choices. 

How does it work? Find the topic you are interested in. Click on “Listen” to start  hearing the podcast on the topic.

Why might it be a good choice for you and your child? This podcast breaks down life suggestions into easy, understandable tips, offering many varied topics on recent issues and topics with titles like: Advice for Families Stretching Their Budgets, How to Get Therapy if You Can’t Leave the House, How to Turn Your Home Into a School, and many more.

Tips for Helping Your Child During the Pandemic

What is it? Seven in-depth tips for parents on how to help children cope with the changes that they may have noticed during the pandemic. There are suggestions for stories, songs, routines, and games. 

How does it work? Parents can decide what might be most helpful to their family. There are tips for families who are sheltering in place, and those that may still be going to school and work.

Why might it be a good choice for you and for your child? If your child is anxious, confused, or exhibiting new or different behaviors, this easy to follow sheet may have tips that will fit your family.

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