Healthy Starts with Stuffee
Elementary schools are environments where kids are most observant about what other kids are eating and how they are behaving. This is a crucial time to introduce good nutrition and healthy habits. The best part is students learn why it is important for their bodies and this makes taking care of themselves much more motivating and relatable. Through the use of a 7-foot doll, affectionately named "Stuffee," kids get an anatomically correct but animated look at what organs exist inside their bodies and how food passes through it. They can see why healthy food, physical activity, not smoking is so important. We also lay the groundwork for essential understanding of care for the importance of their ever changing, growing brain and why they must care for it with healthy living.
Having worked as a health educator in various health care settings from public health clinics to major HMOs, and having taught classes through a local community college Siah Fried heard adults of all ages say repeatedly "I wish I would have learned this as a kid." Seeing firsthand how students were making unhealthy lifestyle choices, Siah became motivated to do something about it. Thus, the concept of the Healthy Starts program was born to ensure these topics were introduced earlier in life before bad habits become ingrained.
We offer a wide variety of health lessons ranging from sex education, fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, stress management, drug, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, vaping, addiction, sexting, consent, communication lessons that can be taught as follow up or reinforcement lessons to health class or as stand alone health lessons. One of our most popular programs addresses the mental health epidemic in our youth. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, "Children and adolescents experience depression, and studies show that it is on the rise. More than one in seven teens experience depression each year." A comprehensive understanding of mental health and illness is essential for students today. If students understand their brain and mental health, it is easier for them to be aware of signs of depression and anxiety and understand that it is not a weakness. It is similar to a physical condition like diabetes and must be treated appropriately.
We have created an entire program called Healthy Minds that focuses on teen mental health but includes physical health as well. We teach students mental and physical health are interrelated so lessons on nutrition and physical activity are intertwined with mental health lessons.
Some schools are beginning to address the mental health epidemic among our youth but don't have the resources, curriculum, time in schedules or experts to deliver and comprehensive quality programs. We come in and do this for schools! We can be booked as a field trip or as guest speakers. We will visit as often as is needed.
Without continuous, proper, effective and impactful health education lessons in schools, it is difficult to emphasize to students the importance of self-care and the value of understanding why it is so essential to make healthy choices. Health knowledge for mind and body is essential to creating healthy youth now and healthy adults down the line. Healthy Starts lessons include information on basic brain functioning with a focus on the importance of sleep, nutrition and physical activity for overall health at all ages. This is of particular importance during the teen years when their brain is so vulnerable to addiction and impulsive decisions that all too often lead to unhealthy or destructive outcomes. We can make our youth healthier if we emphasize the importance of health education, self-care and prevention. Healthy Starts is the expert in health education. We would love to visit your classroom soon!!!