Child Health Day


Celebrate child health day with inspiration from your favorite childhood memories! 

I remember, as a kid, hopping on my bike, cruising the neighborhood with my sisters, our crimped and feathered hair blowing in the wind as our acid wash jean jackets with the iron-on roses and puffy painted names glistened in the Arizona sun. Our bright neon outfits were all the rage, and we couldn’t wait to meet up with friends. Our parents’ mission was to tell us to “go play in traffic” — code for “get out of my hair, entertain yourself, and you better be home when the streetlights come on.”

This was before cell phones, and not many of us had cable or “The Box” or MTV yet. The neighbors took turns supplying snacks or offering up a PB&J sandwich and let us drink out of the hose before we were off on our next adventure. Somehow, we survived and thrived during the late 80s & early 90s. Adolescence was not wished away but embraced. Our imagination kept us creative and active, allowing for some of the best memories to be made.

Now, with the advancement of technology, some parents and caregivers have complained that younger generations seem to have an aversion to actual playtime. In our “give it to me now” microwave society, if we don’t cater to every whim, our kiddos will not be happy campers. When cell phones and video games are taken away from kids for a period of time, they panic because they do not know what to do with their time. They struggle to take the initiative to enjoy nature and just “be a kid.”

Thankfully, Child Health Day, an initiative started in 1928 by Calvin Coolidge and recognized as the first Monday in October, seeks to bridge the gap between sedentary statistics and get children to try to be more healthy and proactive. Though more than 80% of kids in the US are considered healthy according to the CDC, 1 in 6 kids struggle with a healthy weight and lifestyle. If we prioritize health, an everyday occurrence that doesn’t feel like a chore, we are likely to help children implement a more active and nutritious lifestyle they can stick with.

Here are a few ideas for child health day to consider now that Arizona weather is cooling off:

  1. Walk around the park or play on the playground.
  2. Ride bikes. Instead of driving a short distance to the store or ice-cream shop, why not consider biking?
  3. Have fun in the sun — a few more weeks of pool weather can be great for one’s health.
  4. Take a hike to see the sunrise or sunset. Use this time to be intentional about how climbing a mountain metaphorically relates to life. Work on building the bond with your kids.
  5. Go roller-skating.
  6. Walk the dogs.
  7. Meet with neighbors to walk the neighborhood.
  8. Go to the batting cages. A great way to blow off steam.
  9. Make smoothies with lots of fruit and veggies. (You can always add spinach and sweeten with a bit of honey, yogurt, and your favorite protein powder to disguise).
  10. Sign up for a 5K that gives back to a worthy cause.

Staying up to date with your child’s health providers is vital to helping them to grow into their best selves. Annual physicals, hitting the gym, allergy testing, if need be, avoiding junk food and indulging in a sweet treat occasionally, and spending intentional time together away from technology is sure to set a precedent for worthwhile health for all. Enjoy!


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