Are Teens Spending Too Much Time Staring At Screens?

It’s not an uncommon sight—as you walk down the street, you notice most people’s eyes are glued to their phones. Not just teens, but adults are guilty of this too. But how much screen time is too much? Well, if we’re going by expert recommendations, teens are getting way too much screen time! But not so fast—it turns out the official guidelines may be a bit outdated. Experts suggest it’s time to rethink the recommended amounts of screen time for adolescents.


Bring the Great Kindness Challenge to Your School!

Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. That’s the message behind the Great Kindness Challenge, which takes place from Jan. 26-30, 2015. It’s a school week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible. This awesome idea comes from Kids for Peace—a global non-profit—and it’s presented by Dignity Health. We think every teen should participate! And the good news? It’s super easy to sign up and get schools involved.


Teaching Cell Phone Etiquette in School

Two weeks ago in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio overturned a 9-year-old ban on cell phones in schools. For the most part, everyone was happy with the decision—especially students and parents—but there were some teachers who voiced concerns over how it might impact student learning.

Frankly, the headlines caught me by surprise. Not because the ban was being lifted, but because it had survived this long at all. How could an institution designed to train kids for the future prevent them from working with one of the tools they will most definitely, without a doubt, need?


Celebrate National Granola Bar Day… The Healthy Way

Happy National Granola Bar Day! These crunchy, chewy, sometimes chocolatey bars are a snacktime staple, and we can’t wait to celebrate. But before you tear open the wrapper and chow down, take a second to check that nutrition label.

If your granola-bar heart just crumbled into a handful trail mix, you are not alone. Granola bars are pitched as a healthy and filling snack (and they can be!) but very often are little more than candy bars in disguise.


Trouble Sleeping May Lead to Drug & Alcohol Trouble Later On

From lower grades to greater risk of obesity, not getting enough sleep is detrimental to a teen’s health in a variety of ways. In case you need another reason to convince your teens to rest up, look no further than this study! According to new research, adolescents with sleep difficulties may have substance abuse problems later on — specifically engaging in risky behaviors like binge drinking or driving under the influence. “Sleep difficulties” can either mean trouble falling asleep or getting an insufficient amount.


Even the Occasional Cigarette Affects a Teen’s Health

When it comes to teens and cigarettes, there’s good news and bad news. The upside: The amount of teens smoking cigarettes has hit an all-time low. But the downside? Some teens who smoke cigarettes occasionally don’t realize the damage it does to their bodies. According to a new study, teens mistakenly believe that occasional cigarettes are harmless. But Medical Daily reports that the opposite is true—and there’s proof to back it up!


The Elephant in the Room

Two years ago, I was in Charlotte, North Carolina for the national convention of Health and PE teachers. I attended workshops on alcohol and drug prevention, nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, sex ed, you name it. Basically, it was a health teacher’s dream… especially for a curriculum dork like me.

The last session I attended was presented by a peer-based sex ed group, and while I was impressed with what they were doing, I still felt like there was something missing. So when they asked if anybody had any questions, I couldn’t help but pose one to the room.

When are we going to talk about porn?


Talking to Teens About Drinking Matters More Than You May Think

Talking to teens about drinking isn’t a waste of time. In fact, it could be more powerful than you think! According to new research, consistent conversations about alcohol with adolescents can have a positive effect on teen drinking. This research comes from the University at Buffalo.

The study showed that parents tended to talk to younger children more about the dangers of alcohol, but then discontinued the discussions as the kids aged. However, researchers found that parents shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact of those kinds of conversations.


Here’s Another Reason to Add Avocados to Your Favorite Foods

In case you need an extra reason to pay extra for that guacamole at Chipotle, we’ve got good news. Avocados have amazing health benefits! According to information published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day can help lower cholesterol.

Research was conducted regarding what happened when saturated fatty acids found in a typical American diet were replaced by the unsaturated fatty acids in avocados, according to Science Daily.


Teaching Kids About Food When Everyone’s On a Diet

New Years is an exciting time to be a health teacher. Everyone’s resolved to make a fresh start, gyms are full, people are eager to overhaul their diets, and there is an insane amount of information in the media about how we can make healthy choices. Our students are being surrounded by positive influence, and come back from the break full of questions and information about nutrition.