Friday, June 21, 2013



“Sufficient sleep is not a luxury – it is a necessity – and should be thought of as a vital sign of good health.” 

    --Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS, Director

     Division of Adult and Community Health

     National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and 

     Health Promotion

Did you know…Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year - is June 21st?   Here are some fun ideas for things to do with your extra daylight:
  • Read another book with your kids. 
  • Spend some time dreaming with your family. 
  • Make a new recipe together.
  • Take an extra lap around the block before the bugs bite.
  • Write down a new goal for your family’s health.

Our “Growing Healthy Kids” movement is giving parents the resources to, you guessed it, grow healthy kids (and families).   Here are five of my favorite Summer Solstice tips for parents:

  1. Make eating fun - have dinner together at least 4 nights a week.
  2. Let the kids play with their food.
  3. Show your kids how to use a small knife to cut vegetables, based on age appropriateness.
  4. Drink 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water a day (keep a family journal for a week as a check).
  5. Get enough sleep every night:

  • Adults:  7-9 hours
  • Adolescents 10-17 years old: 8.5-9.5 hours
  • Children 5-10 years old: 10-11 hours
  • Children 3-5 years old: 11-13 hours
  • Toddlers 1-3 years old:  12-14 hours
  • Infants 3-11 months old: 14-15 hours
  • Infants Birth-2 months old: 12-18 hours

My advice for the Summer Solstice?  
  • Sing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs.  
  • Decorate your dining table with fresh flowers.  
  • Dance in your back yard by the light of the full moon.  

Remember, as parents, it is our job to ensure that we teach our kids about the importance of a good night’s sleep.  Did you know that not getting enough sleep has been shown to prevent people from losing weight?  Be a good parent.  Lead by example.  Dance in the moonlight and celebrate the summer solstice.  Then sleep! 
In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.
The movement to reverse, halt, and prevent childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.