Tips, Tools and Activities
May has arrived, which means it is Healthy Vision Month! Healthy vision is not just about getting an eye exam but also about living a healthy lifestyle that supports eye health. Some things you can do this month to keep the whole familyâ€™s eyes healthy are to get eye exams, follow a healthy lifestyle, and become familiar with your familyâ€™s eye health history. Remind your kids to wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing experiments in science class. Also, make sure your children are not sitting too close to screens or holding electronic devices too close to their eyes to avoid eyestrain. Just like sunblock for your skin, the whole family should also have sunglasses to wear outside to protect eyes from the sunâ€™s rays.
You may have heard that carrots are a good food for eye health, and while that is true, adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to each meal is just as helpful. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, and foods containing omega-3s, such as fish and nuts, also have many benefits for the whole familyâ€™s vision. Not only are these foods good for your familyâ€™s eye health, but they have benefits for overall health as well. Make it a goal this month to add foods containing omega-3s to meals and snacks. Nuts are an easy snack to add to the kidâ€™s school lunch or to take when on the go.
Did you know that sleep is very important for your eye health? Health professionals recommend getting a minimum of five hours each night to keep your eyes working to their full potential. It is especially important for kids to get between 9-11 hours of sleep each night to support overall growth and development. Make it a goal for your children to avoid television or electronics one hour before bedtime to support healthy vision and good sleeping habits.
Q: Should my kids finish everything on their plate?
A: No, encouraging children to clean their plates overrides their natural ability to self-regulate their food intake. If children learn to eat past hunger and fullness, it can contribute to gaining excess weight. A better solution is to offer children smaller portion sizes and let them serve themselves.