Healthy Habits for Mind, Body and Spirit

Kathryn Grissom teaches Grade School Wellness at CMDS

by Kathryn Grissom

The term “Healthy Habits” means more than just what goes in our mouth and how much activity we get in a day. Our healthy habits affect our whole being and make us who we are.

Being truly healthy encompasses the whole body. This includes mental, physical and spiritual health. All three areas have to be in unison for us to be completely healthy. Let’s look at each area separately.

Physical Health

This is probably the easiest to understand, to accomplish and to see a difference. Eating healthy is a habit that can be formed with little effort and time.

Let’s start with eating three good meals a day. Breakfast should consist of at least 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. We have taught the children to remember 5 and 5! Simple examples include peanut butter toast, cheese toast, yogurt and granola and eggs and toast to name a few.

Your other meals can go by dividing your plate. A half of the plate should be fruit and vegetables, one fourth should be a protein and one fourth a whole grain. Serve all meals with a dairy or water to drink.

If you begin to follow these simple steps, mealtime can become an easily followed formula.

Fun fact: Did you know that you can find everything you need for a healthy balanced meal by shopping only the perimeter of the grocery store? Think about the layout of your grocery store!

The other part of physical health is the activity we get in a day. Most children should be active at least 45 to 60 minutes a day.

The children get at least 30 minutes of that at school during recess time. Find fun ways at home to get the other 30 minutes in.

This can great time to bond as a family, when you can really learn a lot about your child and their day. It’s also a good time away from screens!

Mental Health

We are beginning to see more about the mental wellbeing of our children and ourselves. With the growing pressures the younger generations are facing, we need to be more in tune to the mental wellbeing of our children.

Many times young children hide feelings, thoughts and fears that we know nothing about. We, as parents and educators, should be more intentional with our love, care and concern of each child.

Sometimes the things we feel are so “little” can be so “big” to a little person. The stress level that some children carry on their own shoulders is overwhelming. Talk to your children and ask questions about them personally.

Spiritual Health

We are so blessed to be in an environment and school where we can talk about Jesus and learn about Him. We start every PE class reciting a bible verse or a prayer. One Bible verse we recite is Colossians 3:23. This verse reminds the children to do all things to please God not their friends or people around them.

We have to ask ourselves, how are we spiritually? Am I in a healthy spot with my relationship with Jesus? Some simple ways for us to grow spiritually is by reading a daily devotion, setting some time aside to journal and spending quiet time in prayer.

These little habits, taught at a young age, will carry your child a long way. Spiritual health allows children another outlet when times get tough. Encourage your child to build these habits into their daily life.

One habit I personally use is writing down quotes or Bible verses. When my children are going through a hard time, I will send a picture of one that may apply to them or I just tape it to the bathroom mirror for them to see when they get home. I encourage you to come up with something that works for you and your family.

As we reflect back over Healthy Habits, we quickly see that those two words carry a lot of meaning in them. When all three areas – physical, mental and spiritual – are healthy, we can then rest in the fact that we are truly healthy.

Kathryn Grissom has taught PE at Christ Methodist Day School for the past 12 years. She holds a BAA from the University of Mississippi and a MAT from the University of Memphis. She is also the mom of three CMDS alums: Andrew, CMDS Class of 2008; Robert, CMDS Class of 2011; and Ann Ragan, CMDS Class of 2013.

Christ Methodist Day School opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. Come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.


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