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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Health-kid.jpg”>Concerns are already being voiced in my own country (India) about the rapid rise in obesity among children. Thanks to the wide sweep of junk food, I guess the health graph in other countries isn’t a healthy one either.
For instance, a recent Wall Street Journal article talks about the importance of developing a healthy heart from childhood. “˜Heartbreaks’ of other kinds as one grows up hardly seems news at all. Even as child mortality falls around the world, invisible dangers like passive smoking for instance, or even consuming packaged products make the alert list endless.
So where does the battle begin?
As in all things it should begin with awareness, and at home. Schools play a large part, but why leave it to them when parents and guardians can teach kids a lot? Or leave them be to educate themselves first and ask questions later? How about these ten nutritional and health websites for a dose of information?
This health website is not only for kids but has sections for parents and teens too. The site is one of the most frequented ones for health information that’s easy to grasp. The site covers physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens. A lot of the features are interlinked between the three sections but customized for each audience.
The parents section for instance, talks more directly about medical issues of young ones and the importance of parenting. The children’s section takes a fun but serious look with the help of quizzes, games, and simple Q&As.
BAM! Body And Mind
A health website designed as a comic strip! This has got to be cool. It is, with sound effects and beautiful comic styled graphics. There’s also a Game Room with a lineup of nine games. Kids left on their own won’t have too much difficulty understanding the stuff because it really feels like reading a comic book. An example: check out the virtual locker room which gives a tour of places where bacteria and fungi may be hiding.
This is one site which matches the previous one on the fun scale. The Discovery Kids site takes the kids on a roach hunt without the squeals. But then there’s Wendell the friendly worm who can teach you all about the human body and other nice things like poop, belches, and barfs. If you don’t get any of the facts, just Ask Wendell a question.
Girls have their own unique health issues and this is the site which gets all informative on them. The site is for age group of 10-16 and along with healthy information it also tries to motivate them to choose healthy behaviors by using positive, supportive, and non-threatening messages. So, you will find valuable tips filed under Drugs, Alcohol, & Smoking, Relationships, and Bullying etc. You will also find Helpline numbers and real life stories on people who are cool and addiction free.
American Heart Association
The organization’s page has a section for imparting healthy lifestyle education to kids and young adults. As the introduction says one of three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Browse through the reading material and jumpstart the activities like Jump Rope for Heart, Hoops for Heart, or get to know how to defeat the fats in Meet the Fats.
A site which has a recipe for making your child realize why cabbage and beans are betters than burgers and pizzas. It has fun nutrition games for kids, and lots of interactive nutrition tools like the Food Pyramid Adventure (and a host of other games) which help to teach elementary school kids about the value of the right food. Enter with a free sign-up. The game has levels with a few tests thrown in, so in the end the child gets the right portions of edutainment. Plus, there are resources for educators and parents.
Small Step Kids
Started by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the website is a small step towards teaching kids on eating right. All content is arranged around fun activities like games and quizzes like Daffy Duck or NFL Play60.
Food Champs [Broken URL Removed]
Choose a screen name, choose a “˜food champion’ and let him or her guide you through a fun activity. The activities are arranged according to age on this Flash website. For kids in the ages 2-8, you have downloadable food coloring pages, artwork, and recipes too.
Join the Scrub Club and its cast of characters to learn about keeping hands clean with hand washing tips. The site is a cute interactive look at personal hygiene for kids. Along with the heroes, you will also meet the villains (salmonella, flu, bacteria etc) and learn how to have a showdown with them.
This is a wonderful little health website from Kosair Children’s Hospital. The site features video narrations (“˜stories’) by kids and parents who are coping with a personal illness or in the family. The site is also organized around Boy or Girl, Age, and Condition. There are also some firsthand accounts on dealing with Stress/Anxiety and Divorce. I think the site’s idea is spot on when it says that kids find it easier to learn from other kids. At Copingclub.com, you can also submit your own experience as a video.
Watch efforts like A Wake Up Story that’s asks parents and educators to be awake to the hope of a healthier environment.
A lot of people around the world are doing their bit for a healthier world. The stake is huge – an entire generation and a healthier tomorrow. Let us know how useful do you find these web resources.