Healthy Hippo teaches children that being healthy entails maintaining an equally healthy mind and lifestyle. Healthy Hippo is also a big advocate of helping children understand that being healthy does not mean that you look a certain way. Children of such a young age are easily impressionable, and society tells us all that not looking a certain way may indicate that we don’t take care of ourselves. Healthy Hippo wants children to understand that you do not need to be a certain shape in order to be healthy, and to be comfortable with themselves as long as they are taking care of their mind and body.

More about teaching health to children

Healthy Hippo is one of nine characters that our organization uses to teach character to children. Healthy Hippo focuses on why it’s important to treat your body with respect, how children can do that, and teaches children that you don’t need to look a certain way to be classified as healthy.

It may not matter at the age of 1 that a child is a little more chubby than another, but once children start going to school the focus seems to be on what you look like, not how you treat your body. So, while we are teaching children how you can take care of your body by exercising, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, eating your fruits, and so many other ways, we are also letting them know that you do not need to fit a certain stereotype to be considered healthy.

If you’re interested in seeing what products our organization offers to help teach children the importance of taking care of their body, click the photo.

Healthy Snacks & Easy Projects

If you’re interested in making some quick and easy healthy snacks for your children, kids you babysit, or for your daycare center (or classroom) the follow snacks are the perfect fit. Please make sure that if they aren’t your children, that you know of any food allergies. Do not make these foods if even one student has a food allergy that involves any of the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to try and add or take out ingredients based on the likes, or allergies, of the children who will be eating these snacks.

Also, let kids get involved with making the snacks. The more fun that you make eating healthy, the more likely children are to carry on that lifestyle. Try to talk about the colors of certain ingredients, what shape the foods are, anything that will grab the child’s attention and keep them interested.

Cheese Shapes

Cheese is made of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. It is an excellent source of dairy. A simple snack of cheese can be made fun, and more enjoyable, for children.

If you are using American Cheese slices you can use a cookie cutter. This is a simple, safe, and enjoyable activity for kids. If you don’t want the kids playing with the cookie cutters then you can have them all cut out for snack time. If this is something you are doing ahead of time, layer the cheese slices between wax paper.

If you are using blocks of cheese you can cut them out into shapes like circles or stars and put them on kabobs with various fruits. If you are worried about the sticks becoming an issue with children you can also put different fruits, and cheeses, onto separate plates and let children pick their own fruits and cheeses in the shapes or colors that they want.

Set up a food station

This can be done on something like an island, or counter top, or it can be on a table separate from where you are eating. Set up different bowls, or plates, filled with things like fruits, nuts, vegetables, and cheeses. Make sure that each food, even if they are just two different types of nuts, are in separate bowls. Also, make sure that everything can be transferred from the bowl in a spoon, even if it is a larger plastic spoon.

Once the stations are set up, have children go through and make their own plate. This will be a fun way to get them involved in eating healthy snacks, and introducing them to new fruits and vegetables if it is something that they would not normally eat.

Smoothies

This is one recipe that you can really add whatever you would like. The basic ingredients are:
— 1/2 cup (125 mL) any flavour low-fat yogurt (one small container)
— 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
— 1 cup of whatever fruit you would like to add.

This recipe can be altered in any way that you see fit. If you’re looking for a special extra treat you can have things like crushed cookies to add to your smoothie. But be sure that snacks like the cookies are limited. Also, don’t let kids add too much. If they add a dozen ingredients they aren’t going to enjoy the taste, and you’ll be wasting a lot of food.

After you gather your ingredients put the yogurt and milk into the blender. Remember to cover he lid, and as those two are blending you can take the small opening on the top of the blender off and slowly add your chunks of fruit into the blender. If you don’t have that small opening, stop the blender, add your fruit, put the lid back on, and then start the blender again. After it is blended, and to the texture that you would like, pour the smoothies into a glass or two and enjoy!