Have you ever thought about adding a specific study on a topic that was outside of the homeschool curriculum that you are using? An easy way to do that is with a unit study. While there are many different ways to do a homeschool unit study, a great thing about them is the flexibility to go as in-depth as you want. You can make them last a day or a month, depending on your child’s interest level.
Of course, as parents, we all want our children to be healthy and happy. We know that we can’t ensure that they are ALWAYS healthy and happy — we all have the occasional sickness and bad mood — but what can we do to encourage overall wellness in our children? Definitely, teaching them the right things to do and to eat goes a long way in encouraging them to make the right choices for themselves.
September is National Food Safety Education Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, National Organic Month, and Self-Improvement Month. Because of this, we wanted to offer you a unit study on keeping kids healthy. Naturally, we know being healthy isn’t just eating the right foods and exercising…though that is a big part of it. In fact, wellness also includes mental health. We especially hope you enjoy using this unit study with your little ones!
Download your free Healthy Kids Homeschool Unit Study eBook for grades PreK-5 at the bottom of this article.
Healthy Kids Book List
- The Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzie Rockwell
- Grow Strong!: A Book about Healthy Habits by Cheri J. Meiners
- The Fascinating Human Body Book for Kids: 500 Phenomenal Facts! by Donna M. Bozzone
- Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids by Teacher Created Resources
- Vitamins! – What Foods Give You Which Vitamins – Healthy Eating for Kids by Prodigy Wizard
- Eat More Colors by Breon Williams
- It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop) by Dr. Jennifer Gardy
- Ultimate Kids’ Guide to Being Super Healthy: What You Need To Know About Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Hygiene, Stress, Screen Time, and More by Dr. Nina Shapiro
- Healthy Heath and his Magic Fruits and Vegetables by Dr. Kristen Poe
- Get Your Dragon To Eat Healthy Food by Steve Herman
- My Friends on the Inside by Kemi Tijani
- The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids! by Edward Miller
- Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy by Tish Rabe
- Babaroo the Alien and the Magic of Healthy Food: A Funny Children’s Book about Good Eating Habits by Kate Melton
- Germs vs. Soap: A Silly Hygiene Book about Washing Hands! by Didi Dragon
- Eat God’s Food: Kids Activity Guide to Healthy Eating by Susan U. Neal
- Super Foods for Super Kids Cookbook: 50 Delicious (and Secretly Healthy) Recipes Kids Will Love to Make by Noelle Martin
- Listening to My Body Activities for Kids: Social-Emotional Skills to Build Self-Awareness and Express Feelings by Mallory Striesfeld
- The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and In Control: Simple Stuff to Help Children Regulate their Emotions and Senses by Lauren Brukner
- The Positive Mind CBT Workbook For Kids: Fun Mindfulness Exercises To Help Children Manage Anxiety, Self Regulate & Keep Calm To Transform Into Powerful Positive Thinkers by Mindful Panda
Activities for Healthy Kids
- Play Physical Activity Charades: In truth, kids need at least an hour of physical activity each day. Before playing, talk with your children about ways to stay active. Then on paper, write some activities that can be drawn and acted out, like playing soccer, ice skating, jogging, yoga, horseback riding, dancing, bike riding, etc. Also be sure to add your kids’ suggestions to the bowl as well!
- Make a “Calm Down” Jar: Sometimes our minds and emotions get overloaded. Especially when we are stressed. Naturally, it helps us to take a moment to ourselves and relax. Begin by giving each child a plastic or glass jar. Next have them fill it with warm water, glitter glue, and glitter in the color of their choice. If they want to add some confetti or small toys, they can add those as well. Then when they get upset and need a moment to calm down, they can shake their jar and watch as the glitter slowly sinks to the bottom. As it settles, their mind and emotions can settle as well.
- How Dirty Are Your Hands?: Certainly germs are all around us. Do an experiment with white bread to show your children how germs can spread. Of course, they will be amazed at what they discover and how gross the bread gets after a few days! To start, get 5 Ziploc baggies and label them:
- Control – a fresh, clean slice of bread
- Dirty – a slice of bread touched with unwashed, dirty hands
- Soap and Water – a slice of bread touched after having washed their hands with soap and water
- Hand Sanitizer – a slice of bread touched after having used hand sanitizer
- Laptop/Tablet – a slice of bread that has been wiped on a laptop keyboard or tablet screen
Next have them make guesses about where will have the most germs. Then check on them daily to see what growth has happen and where. Finally discuss how washing our hands can help! In fact, you can also add in proper hand washing as well!
- Make a “Wellness Check-in” Poster: Sometimes, it isn’t easy for us to talk about how we feel. First, grab your kids, some markers and posterboard, and make a place for your children to let you know how they’re feeling without having to say it out loud. You can also make categories for physical wellness as well as mental wellness. Start writing the question, “How do you feel?” Then, add boxes with different choices like, “I feel strong!” “I feel happy!” “I feel sad.” “I feel overwhelmed.” “I need a hug.” Additonally, keep some Post-It notes handy so they can easily cover their feeling on the poster to keep you aware of what kind of day they are having.
- See Where Your Food Comes From: Take a field trip to a working farm with your kids so that they can see cows and pigs, growing vegetables. In fact, they can also get an idea of what all goes into growing and gathering the food we eat. However, if you can’t make it to a farm, go to a farmer’s market or supermarket. Let them choose some vegetables to try. In truth, they may be more likely to eat them (and maybe enjoy them!) if they see where they came from!
Snacks for Healthy Kids
- Rainbow Snack Platter: We know charcuterie boards are all the rage, and your kids are sure to love this fun snack option. Get them involved in making a rainbow! While you may not be able to use every color, there are still many options. Here are a few suggestions:
- Red – red bell pepper slices, cherry or grape tomatoes, strawberries
- Orange – baby carrots or carrot slices, orange slices
- Yellow – yellow bell pepper slices, small cubes of cheese, banana slices
- Green – sliced green bell pepper, sugar snap pea pods, sliced cucumber, chopped broccoli, kiwi
- Blue – blueberries
- Violet(-ish) – purple goldfish crackers, grapes
- *Bonus – Add some small cauliflower bunches around the rainbow to look like clouds!
- Fruit Pizza: For this snack, first get a whole wheat tortilla and spread cream cheese spread (or Nutella!) over it. Then add sliced banana, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi as toppings for an easy, fun way to sneak in a fruit serving your kids will be happy to eat! Finally enjoy!
- Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick: For this snack, you’ll need some grapes, bananas, skewers, and 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. First, cut the sandwiches into 6 pieces. On each skewer, stagger 3 pb&j pieces with grapes and banana slices. Lastly, enjoy! Definitely a fun, healthy snack on the go!
- Crunchy Apple Boat: Surprisingly, all you need for this treat is half an apple (remove the core), some nut butter (or Nutella or honey or whatever you want to use). Start by spreading the nut butter over the inside of the apple, some crispy rice cereal sprinkled over the spread, a thick slice of cheese cut into a triangle (for the boat’s sail) and attached to the apple with a toothpick. Then eat! Indeed an easy, healthy, and cute treat!
- Tropical Salad Waffle Cone: Indeed, if you have a child who is reluctant to break out of their “picky eater” box and try new things, this recipe may help them branch out a bit! First, coat the inside of a waffle cone with some vanilla or coconut greek yogurt, then add diced mango, pineapple, kiwi, banana, peaches, guava, or any combination of those. Lastly, enjoy!
Healthy Kids Learning Videos