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Ridgewood Focuses on Health and Wellness This School Year

This school year, Ridgewood is presenting a different topic and challenge each month to help students become more aware of their overall health and wellness. Take time to read the article below to find out how to help your student at home!

Children’s Wellness:

Health and Wellness Tips for Your Little Ones

By: Julia Mitchell

At The Ridgewood School Association, we know that good health and well-being equip children with the physical and mental fitness to succeed in school. Children who consume healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise every day, and avoid excess sugar (and other unhealthy food additives) can better focus, learn, and thrive in the classroom. Healthy habits not only help with concentration and memory but also aid in problem-solving and promote creativity! Check out the following tips to learn how you can build a strong foundation of health for your kids.

Get in the Habit of Walking Every Day

Walking every day is a great way to keep your kids active and support their holistic health. According to the Novak Djokovic Foundation, daily walks contribute to mental well-being and self-esteem, in addition to their physical benefits. The simple act of walking has the power to uplift moods and promote a positive sense of self. Interestingly, teachers often observe that children who walk to school display heightened alertness and better readiness to learn compared to those arriving by car! If you’re looking for suitable places to walk with your kids, try researching neighborhoods with a high Walk Score. Walk Score can help you identify areas and routes that are pedestrian-friendly, allowing for relaxed, enjoyable strolls with the kids.

Avoid Caffeinated Sodas

Steering clear of caffeinated sodas is a smart move for your child’s health. While caffeine might give adults a much-needed boost, it can have downsides for children, causing problems like headaches, restlessness, and moodiness. In fact, many adults experience similar side effects. Kids are even more sensitive to caffeine than adults, feeling its effects for up to six hours. Many parents are surprised to learn that soda often contains caffeine. Thankfully, there are online guides that can help you determine the caffeine content of certain drinks, such as the popular Sunkist Orange Soda, which contains 19 mg of caffeine in one 12-ounce can.

Monitor Your Child’s Sugar Intake

Caffeine isn’t the only thing to avoid when you’re shopping for foods and beverages for your children. According to the American Heart Association, children consume an average of 16 teaspoons of added sugar every day, equaling over 53 pounds of added sugar in a year! Experts recommend that children have no more than 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams, of sugar daily.

Unfortunately, sugary foods often masquerade as innocent food items, with children’s cereals, snacks, and beverages often containing high amounts of added sugar. While the occasional treat is okay, balancing your child’s diet with whole grains, lean proteins, and ample fruits and vegetables can help curb excess sugar consumption. When you buy processed foods, give the label a quick read to check the sugar content.

Invest in Family Health Insurance

Investing in health insurance is vital to securing your family’s continued well-being. If you work as a freelancer and you’re self-employed, look for health insurance options to extend a protective umbrella over your children. You never know when a health emergency might arise. Options like the Health Insurance Marketplace provide accessible avenues to finding suitable plans for freelancers. You could also become a member of the Freelancer’s Union or enroll in a health care plan through the ACA. Research your options as soon as possible so you can protect your family.

Championing children’s wellness through health and nutrition best practices will help them thrive in school and life. By weaving daily walks into your family’s routine, embracing comprehensive health insurance, and avoiding caffeinated and sugar-laden foods, you can encourage your children to build healthy lifestyle habits that will benefit them for decades to come!

Ridgewood School is a co-educational, non-sectarian independent day school with an average class size of just 12 students. Send us an email at to schedule a visit!


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