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Healthy, Active Children and Academic Achievement

Youth playing volleyball outside

We all want our children and teens to enjoy learning, achieve good grades and have academic success. Nutrition, physical activity and mental well-being are all linked to academic achievement, so making sure your children are healthy and active will fuel them to reach their academic goals.

A healthy lifestyle can help improve a child’s:

  • Attention span
  • Thinking ability
  • Memory

Listed below are some tips for making healthy eating, physical activity and mental well-being part of your child’s daily life. For more nutrition, physical activity and mental health help, call 800-342-9647, view international calling options or schedule a live chat with Military OneSource to arrange a specialty consultation for health and wellness coaching.


According to studies from the Journal of School Health, hungry children tend to have shorter attention spans and have difficulty with problem-solving, math skills and memory recall. Children need a nutritious breakfast of whole grains, fiber and protein. They also need snacks throughout the day that are high in protein and low in sugar to boost their ability to listen, process and remember what they are learning.

Visit these websites to get tips about healthy food choices:

Physical activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical activity can include school recess periods, hiking, dancing, playing sports or walking to and from school.

Check out the following resources for ideas about how to keep your children physically active:

  • Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities are available on your local installation.
  • Installation youth centers offer a safe environment for youth to explore interests, build skills and experience success. Installation youth centers offer a number of programs for youth and teens, including informal and formal sports and fitness programs, open recreation, youth sponsorship and special-interest instructional classes including dance, martial arts, music and more.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s MISSION: Youth Outreach provides a free membership to local Boys & Girls Clubs for military youth ages 6 to 18 who do not live near or have access to a military youth center. Boys & Girls Clubs offers a wide variety of recreational and educational programs.
  • 4-H Military Partnership provides military youth the opportunity to join 4-H clubs in their communities and participate in summer camps around the country. 4-H offers a wealth of resources in STEM subjects, healthy living, citizenship, public speaking and other military core program areas providing valuable life skills, curriculum and resources for military youth and teens across the country and around the world.  Add to your child’s summer lineup by exploring the 4-H Military Teen Adventure Camps, offered coast to coast for teens age 13-18. Visit the 4-H Military Partnership website to learn more.

Boost your child’s social and academic success by making healthy eating and physical activity part of your family’s daily life.

Mental health

Your youth’s mental health is also essential to maintaining energy and engagement in their physical and academic activities. Help your child remain rested and mentally healthy by keeping an eye on these factors:

Connecting to comprehensive information on nutrition, physical activity and mental health will help enable you and your family to be mission ready. Military OneSource is your 24/7 connection to information, parenting tips and support — your one source for your best MilLife. If you have additional questions about health and well-being for your family, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647, view international calling options or schedule a live chat.

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