Macaroni KID Celebrates: World Health Day on April 7

By Kyrie Collins, Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree Publisher April 3, 2023

World Health Day was first observed on April 7, 1950, to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) two years prior. The first year's theme was "Health for All," and the day was established to raise awareness about the importance of access to healthcare for everyone, regardless of their social or economic status.

World Health Day continues to be observed annually on April 7, with a different theme selected each year by the WHO. Ultimately, World Health Day aims to promote health equity and improve health outcomes worldwide.

Even though the day has a serious purpose, World Health Day is an opportunity to help our children learn about and understand the different aspects of health and wellness in an engaging and interactive way.

We have five ideas for your whole family to celebrate World Health Day.

1. Go ahead — play with your food.

Encouraging children to eat healthy foods can be challenging, and developing healthy eating habits takes time. Involving kids in the planning and preparation empowers them to make good choices.

Plus, it can be a fun and creative bonding time! Make fruit kabobs. Bake healthy muffins together, like my grandmother's recipe for Applesauce Muffins, which are shaped and frosted to look like an actual apple. Cut your food into a variety of shapes and create fun pictures. The opportunities are practically endless!

2. Learn to wash your hands properly.

Although it seems simple enough, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that only 5% of people washed their hands for the recommended time. Other studies have found that many people skip essential steps in the handwashing process.

Here are the steps for effective handwashing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  2. Rub your hands together to lather the soap. Be sure to include the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and your thumbs.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing the "Alphabet Song" while you wash.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

Show your kids this fun video from Sky Ridge Medical Center, then practice with them to ensure they do it properly.

3. Sign up for a 5K.

Our guide to 5K Races, Mud Runs, Fun Runs, and Bike Rides in Douglas County features dozens of local runs that are great for kids and families.

Some have fun themes, like a Unicorn 5K, or unique opportunities, like a nighttime bike ride followed by stargazing. Several are fundraisers to support local nonprofit groups. Almost all of them are followed by post-race festivities that may include music, local vendors, and refreshments.

4. Share your feelings.

The inability to name and express complex emotions can be a great source of frustration for children — and even some adults! Helping our children identify and name their feelings is important to their overall well-being.

When children feel safe to share their feelings with parents, teachers, or other trusted adults, it helps build trust and strengthens the relationship. Books and movies can provide examples of different emotions and how they might look or feel.

Some of our favorite movies showcasing big emotions include:

Click any title to borrow the movie from the Douglas County Libraries.

5. Get some Vitamin D.

You might have heard that Colorado boasts more days of sunshine annually than Florida. With winter weather soon coming to an end, now's a great time to head outside and soak up some of that Vitamin D!

Need ideas? You could...