Lesson for a Parent on Take Your Child To Work Day

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Our company’s purpose last week in participating in the annual Take Your Daughters and Sons To Work Day sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women was to not only give our children the opportunity to see what we do at work each day, but also to educate them on some of the healthcare issues we cover each day as a healthcare publisher.

Our schedule last week included publishing “healthy calendars,” conducting a web-based survey among our network members on their families’ healthy habits, analyzing and reporting on the survey results and recording podcasts of what our children learned.

We also equipped our youngsters with pedometers and taught them about a 10,000 steps program that our office has just launched, which has us aiming to walk 10,000 steps and eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

After listening to the children’s podcasts about what they learned yesterday, I was proud to hear that they got our message. Through these podcasts, our kids reported back to us that they would aim to eat more healthy items each day and try to walk 10,000 steps a day (which I’m sure that they already do when they play outside).

It turns out, though, that I had something to learn, too. While I do eat my five servings mostly every day, I haven’t been reaching that goal for my children. Based on my child’s response to our survey yesterday, I need to make some behavior changes in our family to get my children to eat healthier each day. Maybe a little bowl of grapes next to their breakfast dish and some raw vegetables in their lunch box for school will be the extra boost needed to get five servings in each day.

Many of the resources that we’ve published this past year have focused on healthcare behavior change, including: Motivating Resistant Patients: Influencing Behaviors to Improve Outcomes, Modifying Patients’ Behaviors to Optimize Disease Management Outcomes, e-Health Initiatives: Driving Behavior Change and Fostering Consumerism.

I have extended many of these behavior changes to my own lifestyle; now it’s time to focus on my children’s, too.

Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for healthcare professionals in charge of wellness and health promotion programs – offering educational programs and resources on healthy eating and activities not only for employees and health plan members, but their children as well.

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