This post was originally shared by Live Well Omaha Kids in April 2016 during Every Kid Healthy™ Week.

Every Kid Healthy™ Week is this week, April 25-29. Today we brag about one of our Partners for Healthy Schools members, the Parrish School. Their School Counselor, Diane Pfeiffer, shares how their students practice healthy lifestyles.

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Parrish students are learning not only English, Math, Social Studies, and Science they are learning and practicing living a healthy lifestyle.

Weekly lessons designed by the Parrish Wellness Committee, give students lessons for life.

Learning about how to take care of their bodies can not only help them develop good healthy lifetime habits but can help them perform better in the classroom and increase attendance. Students learn that when they are healthy and feeling good they tend to handle stressful situations in a more productive way. Research clearly shows that nutrition and physical activity are directly linked to academic

The staff at Parrish are going above and beyond the core curriculum by providing students with vital information that can change their healthy lifestyle habits.

Some of the weekly lessons include:

  1. Getting a minimum of 9 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Drinking water 8×8 daily; 8 oz. 8 times a day = 64 oz.
  3. Staying active; Newton’s Law of Motion: An object in motion stays in motion.
  4. Choose my plate
  5. Reading food labels

Some of the staff monthly staff wellness challenges include:

  1. Walk around the block
  2. Water log
  3. 30 day stronger knee challenge
  4. Heads Up 7 Up; take time to relax 7 minutes each day

It is important for the staff to model the healthy habits throughout the school day. Drinking water instead of soda and eating fruits and vegetables for snacks.

Staff is also encouraged to provide healthy food or non-food incentives for students rather than the typical cookies and candy.

As a counselor and physical education instructor, I honestly believe that wellness is the key to a student’s success in school. I also believe that school districts should put more emphasis on providing students and staff with the time and resources to create these healthy habits during the school day.

Students cannot perform well on tests unless they are healthy first.

The earlier in life we can teach and practice healthy lifestyles the easier it becomes a positive habit for young people.

Parrish is hosting the Parrish Family Health EXPO on Thursday, April 28th 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm at Parrish School. Families will be able to gather information and resources from community programs. Families can also participate in the Plant It, Grow It, Eat It activity where they will be able to plant fruits and vegetables as a family to take home to grow in their own garden.