AAACHOOO! This edition of The BUZZ provides families with ideas to help teach kids about germs, how to keep from sharing them, and tips for healthy eating! Be sure to check out our resource section for families below!
Health & Wellness Books & Videos for Kids
For your convenience, we've provided a link to a video reading of the book when available.
Germs Are Not For Sharing
By: Elizabeth Verdick
Achoo! Cough! F-L-U-S-H! What to do? In child care, in preschool, at home, and everywhere, toddlers need to learn that germs are not for sharing. Rather than focus on what germs are, this book teaches the basics of not spreading them. Cover up a sneeze or cough. Hug or blow kisses when you’re sick. And most of all, wash your hands! Child-friendly words and full-color illustrations help little ones stay clean and healthy. Includes tips and ideas for parents and caregivers. ( Video Link )
Sherm The Germ
By Dr. John Hutton
Baby’s perfect day of play is interrupted by an unwelcome, microbial visitor—Sherm the Germ. Written by a pediatrician and brought to life through playful illustrations, this fun, rhyming book describes the stages of becoming sick and then getting better. A perfect read-aloud for those wishing to get well soon or any budding physician, this board book uses a lovable character to teach readers on the basics of what it means to catch a cold or virus and how the healing process works.
Sick Simon
By: Dan Krall
Simon is going to have the best week ever. Who cares if he has a cold? He goes to school anyway, and sneezes everywhere, and coughs on everyone, and touches everything.
Germs call him a hero! Everyone else calls him…Sick Simon. When will it end? How far will he go? Will the germs take over, or can Sick Simon learn to change his ways?
Wash Your Hands
Sesame Studios
If you wash your hands properly, dirt and germs don't stand a chance! First comes water, then the soap. Then you scrub, rinse and dry! Listen to Bebe's hand washing song to help you remember the steps!
Cutie Sue Fights The Germs
By: Kate Melton
In the Book #2 of the "Cutie Sue" series, little readers ages 2-7 and up will find out how Cutie Sue and her little brother will be learning to fight the germs and recover from their illness, as their mother brings them to the doctor.
If your child is afraid of the hospitals, this book for kids will be a magnificent way to show them there is nothing frightening about a visit to the doctor, and on the contrary, it can even be fun. Also, teach your children the basics of personal hygiene and ways to stay healthy with Cutie Sue as she starts following her doctor’s precious recommendations on how to fight the illness and what to do to be in great health in the long run. ( Video Link )
Noses Are Not For Picking
By: Elizabeth Verdick
We've all seen it— the nose-picking habit starts as early as the toddler years, and no child is the exception. Young children pick their noses for a variety of reasons, from colds to allergies to curiosity or boredom. This board book for toddlers and preschoolers is the answer to the age-old question, "How can I get my child not to pick, especially not in public?" With gentle humor and kid-friendly support, this board book for toddlers and preschoolers helps guide little ones away from nose picking toward healthier habits, like using a tissue and washing their hands. Catchy words help children remember what to do; vibrant full-color illustrations bring the words to life. Throughout, the positive message shines through: noses are for breathing, sniffing, smelling. . . but not for picking! This book is part of the award-winning best behavior series.
The Family SPEAK website also includes mobile books from Unite for Literacy. There are 100s of topics to choose from - click HERE .
Germs, Germs, Germs...
If you have pepper, water and dish soap then you can set up this science experiment/magic trick in less than a minute.
This simple science experiment is a great way for kids to explore properties like buoyancy and surface tension or even just cause and effect.
Materials You Need:
  • Pepper
  • Plate or bowl
  • Water (optional to color it blue)
  • Dish soap
  1. Pour some water onto a plate or bowl. You want it to cover a fairly large part of the plate. Coloring your water blue with some food coloring is an optional step, but sometimes makes it easier to see the experiment in action.
  2. Sprinkle some pepper onto the surface of the water.
  3. Dip your finger into the dish soap.
  4. Place your finger in the center of the plate into the water.
  5. Watch as the pepper quickly scatters to the edges of the water on the plate.
Learning How Germs Spread
This simple activity is a great way to teach kids how germs are so easily shared.
  • First Step: Squirt some hand sanitizer on your child’s hands.
  • Second Step: Pour some glitter on top of the hand sanitizer.
  • Third Step: Have your child rub his/her hands together until there is glitter all over.
  • Fourth Step: Have your child go around the room, shaking hands with you or a sibling and touching a few surfaces.
  • Fifth Step: Have your child look at their hands and around the room to see if they can find glitter.
  • Finally: Tell your children that germs are kind of like the glitter on your hands…except germs are invisible. Every time we touch another person or a surface, our germs get passed around. Some of these germs can make us really sick. Then have your child wash his/her hands with soap and water and see what happened to the glitter. There might still be a little bit left, but the majority of the glitter gets washed away.
Click on the Sesame Street image on the right to share a fun song about healthy eating with your kids.
Healthy Foods to Boost Immunity
Load up on brightly colored fruits and veggies at meals and snacks:
Make sure that you’re serving fruits and/or veggies at every meal and snack. Try to get at least three colors in at every meal and two at snacks. Bell peppers, oranges, strawberries and other berries, carrots, squash, leafy greens, and apples will provide lots of vitamin A and C.
Include some protein in meals and snacks:
Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Serve up a variety of protein foods including plant-based sources like beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, nuts and seeds. These protein-rich foods also contain many other beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals. Animal sources such as seafood, lean meat, poultry, and eggs are great too, and contain additional nutrients such as iron, zinc and Vitamin B-12, which support the immune system too. 
Serve yogurt or other probiotic-containing foods: 
You’ve likely heard that the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) found in yogurt helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract, right? Well, there has been some  research showing that those same probiotics may help to shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections. Serving these foods does provide some health benefits, not only from the probiotics they contain, but also from some key nutrients such as protein and calcium.
Include foods that contain healthy fats (like nuts and seeds):
Foods such as nuts and seeds are not only nutritional powerhouses full of protein, fiber, potassium, healthy fat and more, but they also contain Niacin and Riboflavin—B-Vitamins that may help ward off the negative effects of stress (kids get stressed too!) by supporting the immune system. Just one quarter cup of of these tasty nuts also also contain your child’s daily requirements for Vitamin E (and more), an antioxidant that also helps to support immune function.
Resources | Support | Assistance
Family SPEAK has been working to gather important information and resources to support children and families to promote the well-being of everyone. Visit our website to see what's new!
Families impacted by COVID-19 can access resources for assistance. To learn more, visit the Family SPEAK Blog .
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