Kids and Parenting

Kids and Parenting

Teacher Appreciation Week: Simple Acts to Show Appreciation

May 6 to May 10 is Teacher Appreciation Week this year. It is common to celebrate teachers during this week with events, gifts, and an outpouring of appreciation and respect for teachers and their work. Here are some examples of acts that students and parents can use to show their appreciation for teachers.

Kids and Parenting

How Do I Get My Kids to Eat Healthier Meals?

It can feel like a constant effort to keep your kids eating healthy meals. Kids can also be notoriously picky, for a variety of reasons. Read on for some ideas for creating healthy meals for your kids and tips on getting kids to eat healthier.

Kids and Parenting

Immunization 101: The Vaccines Your Child Needs to Stay Healthy

Vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million deaths each year and protect not only those receiving the vaccine, but also everyone around them, particularly those with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kids and Parenting

Understanding Autism in Children

Autism affects the way a person communicates and interacts with others. It does not affect all people equally, rather there are varying degrees of severity.

World Autism Awareness day concept with puzzle or jigsaw pattern on heart with autistic child's hands supported by nursing family caregiver
Kids and Parenting

Autism Awareness Month: Jonathan’s Story

A Michigan mom shares the story of her family’s journey with autism and how she wants more understanding for people like her son.

Three photos of a boy with autism growing up
Kids and Parenting

What Are the Basics of Safe Sleep for Infants?

The primary dangers related to sleep for infants, and risk factors for sleep-related infant deaths, involve the positioning of the child while sleeping, the materials and environment the child sleeps in, temperature, respiratory inhibitors and choking hazards. There are a few basic standards or rules to go by when setting up a safe sleep environment for your baby.

Kids and Parenting

Mindful Parenting: Celebrating Inchstones

We're used to celebrating our children's big milestone moments. But it can be valuable for both the parent and the child to celebrate the smaller triumphs, too.

Kids and Parenting

8 Healthy Snacks for Pregnancy

These healthy pregnancy snacks incorporate many key nutrients and are also easy to prepare, transport and eat whether at home, work or on-the-go.

A pregnant woman preparing healthy snacks for her pregnancy.
Kids and Parenting

Signs of Feeding and Eating Disorders in Children

Feeding and eating disorders are considered mental health disorders and medical illnesses. Understanding the types, signs and symptoms is important, regardless of an individual’s age and gender. 

Kids and Parenting

Leading Causes of Cavities in Children

Limiting certain foods and teaching dental hygiene habits at a young age can lead to a lifetime of healthy behaviors while preventing cavities in the process. 

Kids and Parenting

Michigan Mom with Rare Heart Disease Credits Her Baby with Saving Her Life

West Michigan mom Amanda Banic, 35, almost died from a rare, genetic disease that caused her heart to tear apart – and she credits her baby with saving her life.

Kids and Parenting

Healthy Paczki Recipe: Battered Banana Paczki Bites

In this healthier paczki recipe, banana slices are dipped in a fluffy batter, seared to golden perfection, then served on a platter with drizzles of raspberry preserves and a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy as breakfast or dessert.

Kids and Parenting

Michigan Bucket List: Biggest Sledding Hills in Michigan

If you love sledding, you’re in the right place. Here’s our list of favorite sledding hills across Michigan.

Kids and Parenting

Sledding Hill Safety Tips

The thrill of whooshing down a sledding hill is fun for all ages. But sledding comes with risks, too.

Kids and Parenting

How to Help Your Child Make Healthy Eating Choices at School

How can you help kids make healthy choices when they buy lunch? It’s important to educate children on nutrition and how to make healthy decisions on their own.

Kids and Parenting

How to Treat Your Weekend Like a Vacation

When your weeks feel cyclical and repetitive, try treating a weekend like a vacation. Here's how to unplug, unwind, and get into that vacation mindset.

Kids and Parenting

Activities for Holiday Fun with Your Kids

Children make the holidays brighter. Make sure you set aside some special activities just for them, like the five ideas listed here.

Cute 5 years old girl making cookies for Christmas with her mom.
Kids and Parenting

Natural Home Cleaners You Can Make Yourself

Ready to make your own natural cleaners? We’ll show you how.

Kids and Parenting

When to Take Down Your Christmas Tree

Do you love to let the holidays linger? When is the right time to take down your Christmas tree?

Kids and Parenting

The Stress-Free Way to Host a Huge Family Gathering

There's a lot to juggle when setting out to host a family gathering. Before you host yours, give these five tips a glance.

Kids and Parenting

Winter Break Activities in West Michigan

Step into a warm-water splash zone, join a museum mini camp, or skate away through a lighted forest trail. Winter Break activities are all about adventure. 

Kids and Parenting

How to Raise the Humidity in Your Home

Cold weather means your furnace is kicking on, and drying out the air in your home.

Kids and Parenting

Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

Enjoying food-centered holidays can be a real challenge for people with diabetes but there are ways to make these traditional gatherings more diabetes-friendly.

Kids and Parenting

4 Tips to Handle Halloween Candy in a Healthy Way 

The average kid is likely going to consume between 3,500 and 7,000 calories from candy on Halloween. This is the equivalent of up to three cups of sugar. -- and can be hard for kids to brush off of their teeth. Here are some tips to navigate the sugar rush of Halloween, and how to keep kids' teeth clean and healthy.

Kids and Parenting

Safety Hacks for Pumpkin Carving

Knife-related hand injuries soar around Halloween for kids and teens. Here are some safety hacks for pumpkin carving.

Kids and Parenting

Brain Foods for Studying and Exams

The brain is a highly active organ that requires a healthy supply of energy and micronutrients to function at its best.

Kids and Parenting

Michigan Bucket List: U-Pick Pumpkin Patches 

Pumpkin patches are a fall treat in Michigan. Find a good one, then stay for a wagon ride, eat a donut and do a little pumpkin bowling.

Kids and Parenting

Navigating Conversations with Children About Obesity 

Building healthy habits at home is a great way to teach children and teens behaviors that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Kids and Parenting

What is Malnutrition?

Malnutrition doesn’t just mean undernutrition, when you’re not eating enough nutrient-rich food. It can also mean overnutrition.

Kids and Parenting

Top 5 Red Flags in Friendships

Recognizing and addressing the red flags in a friendship can be crucial to your mental and physical well-being. Start an open dialogue with your friend if you encounter these five red flags.

Male and female friends walk together between classes in college.
Kids and Parenting

10 Healthy and Fun Michigan-Inspired Snacks for Your Kids

Activities with children – whether playing in the backyard or exploring your community – are never complete without snack time. Here are some tasty, healthy snacks that will keep your little ones energized throughout the day.

Kids and Parenting

Sun Protection Needs by Age

Should our sun safety practices change as we get older? Here are sun protection tips by age.

Kids and Parenting

Healthy Out-of-the-lunch-box Ideas for Kids

Different food groups provide vital nutrients to fuel a child’s day. Here’s how to get at least three of the five groups into your child’s lunch.

Kids and Parenting

5 Fun and Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Involved in Cooking

Want to sharpen your child’s cooking skills early? These easy, creative tips can make for a fun family experience in the kitchen.

A Muslim mom and daughter have fun baking together in their kitchen.
Kids and Parenting

Is It Healthier Than a Cookie? Granola Bars Carry Hidden Sugars 

Is reaching for a granola bar a healthier choice than a couple cookies? Here’s how reading a label can help.

Cookies vs granola bars
Kids and Parenting

How to Keep Kids Healthy During Summer Sports Practice 

Summertime can be a busy season for kids and sports. Here’s a few tips to keep active kids healthy.

Girls soccer teams practice together
Kids and Parenting

How to Spot Common Food Allergies in Children

Offices, classrooms and even restaurants often have signs that warn of food allergies. Here’s how parents can stay ahead of them.

A mother applies a tissue to a child's runny nose outdoors.
Kids and Parenting

Finding Relief: Who to Talk to When Allergies Strike

Learn how to spot the telltale signs of a new allergy’s development and where to go to receive qualified care and advice.

A young adult man going for a walk outdoors stops to apply eyedrops.
Kids and Parenting

A Week of Healthy, Easy School Lunches

Need inspiration for balanced school lunches? These easy options have all the nutrients kids need and some take just a few minutes to make.

A parent chops vegetables for their child's school lunch.
Kids and Parenting

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Speech at Home

Practice speaking clearly with these 5 easy speech techniques to help you feel more confident.

Improve your communication skills at home with these 5 tips
Kids and Parenting

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Preschooler Healthy

Keeping your preschooler healthy can be difficult. Check out these simple reminders to help strengthen their immune system and teach healthy habits.

Preschoolers interacting in class
Kids and Parenting

Race to Recess: How Unstructured Play Helps Kids

One-third of children are overweight or obese, leaving room for a host of other health complications. So what can be done to help?

Multi-ethnic group of little friends with toothy smiles on their faces enjoying warm sunny day while participating in soap bubbles show
Kids and Parenting

A Parent’s Guide to Dietary Discussions

Knowing how to talk to a child about their health is key to empowering them to make smart choices. Here are tips on how to start a dialogue.

mom and daughter swinging
Kids and Parenting

Who’s Caring for the Caregivers?

Taking care of a sick or elderly family members is an extremely noble act. But be careful not to abandon your own self care.

elderly woman holding adult woman's hands
Kids and Parenting

Fight Childhood Obesity with Go, Glow and Grow Foods

The typical American diet favors convenience foods over health. The “go, glow and grow foods” concept can help kids make healthier choices.

Image of two boys in a wagon, eating a strawberry and peach.
Kids and Parenting

What You Need to Know About Measles

Cases of the measles have been down in the United States since 2019, but the infectious viral disease should still be taken seriously.

what you need to know about measles
Kids and Parenting

8 Things You Should Know About the Flu Shot

The flu vaccine is effective, does not cause the flu, and affects children and adults differently. Here are some other facts to know in order to stay protected.

Flu shot during Covid
Kids and Parenting

Helping Children Get Acquainted with a New School

A new school can be a hard transition for children, tweens and teens to navigate. Read up on ways to help your child build confidence this school year.

Little girl smiling on her first day of school
Kids and Parenting

5 Sun Safety Myths Debunked

These common sun safety misconceptions and facts can reduce your family’s risk of skin damage and other sun-related health hazards.

Sun in the sky
Kids and Parenting

Table Talks: Discussing Dad Life

Fatherhood poses unique challenges for men. From raising children to keeping themselves healthy, parenting is unlike any other experience.

A Healthier Michigan Table Talks Discussing Dad Life
Kids and Parenting

Strawberry Picking in Michigan: Why You Should Go & Tips For When You Do

Fresh Michigan strawberries are a wonderful summer treat, especially when you pick them yourself!

Man picking strawberries in farm
Kids and Parenting

What Age and How Often Should Kids Get an Eye Exam?

Visiting the eye doctor may seem intimidating, especially to kids, but it could make all the difference when testing for visual development and abnormalities.

Boy getting an eye exam at the optician
Kids and Parenting

Toy Safety 101: Kid-Friendly Checklist

Are your child's toys safe? Each year, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized due to toy-related injuries.

Boy playing with building Blocks
Kids and Parenting

Back-to-School: Backpack Health

As kids bring more and more home in their backpacks, make sure their backs stay healthy and strong by following these guidelines.

Mother making school lunch to her children.
Kids and Parenting

How to Teach Kids to Love Healthy Fats 

Kids are bombarded with advertisements for unhealthy food. Here’s how to teach them to love healthy fats.

Little boy opening up peanuts to eat in a restaurant
Kids and Parenting

Bug off: Protect your family from insect bites this summer

Whether camping in the woods or gardening in the backyard, there will likely be mosquitos or ticks. Learn the best way to protect your family from bug bites.

Mother applying tick repellent on son
Kids and Parenting

Differences in Chronic Asthma and Exercise-Induced Asthma in Children

Does your child suffer from chronic asthma or exercise-induced asthma? Read more to find out how you can help manage their symptoms.

Woman African American doctor general practitioner helping child to put nebulizer inhaler face mask. Asthma treatment for children.
Kids and Parenting

Fit Like Fido: 5 Healthy Habits You Can Learn From Your Dog

Your dog might slobber and snore, but it also lives a pretty healthy life. Here’s how to find inspiration from your pup to live your healthiest life.

Friends walking dog on the beach
Kids and Parenting

The Joy of an Intimate, At-Home NYE Celebration

This New Year’s Eve will be different, but it doesn’t have to be any less fun. Here are some ideas for couples and families.

Parents celebrating New Years Eve at home with kids, sitting by the Christmas tree, holding illuminative numbers 2021.
Kids and Parenting

Is It Possible to Keep Holiday Traditions Alive This Year?

Big holiday gatherings are seen as high-risk in this COVID-19 era, so families are looking for new ways to keep traditions at the forefront.

Cropped shot of a mother and daughter spending quality time while baking at home
Kids and Parenting

Keep Kids Safe This Holiday: 6 Household Hazards to Avoid

If you’re celebrating this holiday season with babies, toddlers, or small children, you’ll want to take extra precautions to keep them safe.

Baby playing with gift box on the living room floor over christmas tree lights on background
Kids and Parenting

How to Prepare Kids for a Different Kind of Holiday

Holidays will be different for many families this year. Helping children understand why and picking new ways to make them festive will make the difference.

Family on Christmas shopping during Covid-19 pandemic
Kids and Parenting

Recognizing and Managing Learning Disabilities in Students

Hear from Dr. Amy McKenzie on how to recognize and cope with students who are struggling with a learning disability.

Mother and daughter working homework together
Kids and Parenting

Talking About Your Family’s Mental Health History

Finding out which mental health disorders could be in your family tree might take a little detective work but can be valuable information for your own health.

Happy black family talking during Thanksgiving meal at dining table.
Kids and Parenting

Talking to Kids About the Dangers of Drinking and Drugged Driving

Many children learn about alcohol and drugs a lot earlier than parents anticipate so having conversations about drinking and drugged driving is important.

Young African American woman eagerly takes car key handed to her
Kids and Parenting

4 Ways to Keep Anxiety Out of Your Holiday Planning

COVID-19 is putting a twist in holiday plans this year. But a little prep work ahead of time will make this year’s celebrations smoother.

Family gathered around a table
Kids and Parenting

Ideas to Keep the Family Connected this Holiday Season

From virtual chats decked out in your holiday best, to recipe swaps of your family’s favorites, there are ways to celebrate together while apart this season.

New normal online Christmas celebration. Cute sibling using laptop and festive fun props to celebrate Christmas with father via video chat, happy holidays, outdoor
Kids and Parenting

Child Safety and Protection Month

November is Child Safety and Protection Month. It was created to raise awareness about the potential dangers that children face each and every day.

Man buckling up his daughter in the car
Kids and Parenting

How to Work STEM/STEAM Lessons in at Home Using Household Items

You can encourage your children to do STEM/STEAM projects with things already in your kitchen, pantry and bathroom cupboards.

Mixed race young Asian children building tower with spaghetti and marshmallow learning remotely at home, STEM science, homeschooling education, Social distancing, isolation concept
Kids and Parenting

5 Healthy Desserts Your Kids Will Actually Love

A sweet or savory treat can be healthy with the right recipe. Check out a few of our favorite lighter-but-still-delicious treats.

Banana slices covered with chocolate and nuts
Kids and Parenting

The Importance of Kids Keeping Up with Friends During the Pandemic

Connections to friends are important for children’s development and mental health.

New elbow greeting COVID-19 alternative handshakes
Kids and Parenting

Alternative Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home

Health officials recommend we don’t trick-or-treat in the traditional way, but there are some safer alternatives.

Girls loving this kind of exercises
Kids and Parenting

Making Halloween Special, Spooky – and Safe!

While Halloween can still hold plenty of spooky fun for all, a few safety modifications will ensure everyone stays healthy and safe.

Pumpkins on the grass with face protective mask during Covid-19 pandemic
Kids and Parenting

Managing COVID-19 Disappointments for Kids 

Many children may be feeling disappointed with their current experience. There are ways to help guide children through their emotions.

Father and son sitting on a couch
Kids and Parenting

What Happens to Your Body When You Watch a Scary Movie?

Clowns, zombies and ghosts can have physical and psychological effects on your health. See what the “boos” are doing to you!

Young adults reacting to a scary movie scene
Kids and Parenting

UMatter: Helping Teens Connect During a Pandemic 

A recent survey showed that most teens have struggled with mental health issues during the pandemic. A Michigan-based organization is helping them connect.

Teens at a bonfire
Kids and Parenting

Seven Signs Your Child Might be the Victim of Bullying

Here are some important signs to see if your child is the victim of bullying.

Child sad from being bullied
Kids and Parenting

Helping Kids Understand Portion Sizes

Teach your child proper portion sizes with these fun tips and recipes!

fun family mealtime
Kids and Parenting

Cooking with Kids: Apple, Turkey and Cheese Pockets

Get children in the kitchen with this easy recipe. Young kids ages four to six can make this on their own for a quick bite to eat.

Apple, Turkey and Cheese Pockets
Kids and Parenting

Keeping Your Kids Healthy: Good Habits Start Young

While your kids can create healthy habits at any age, it’s easiest to teach and instill habits if you get them started down the right path when they’re young.

Latin family of five people, cooking spaghetti all together
Kids and Parenting

How to Protect Kids from Cyberbullying

Do you think your child could be a victim of cyberbullying? Here’s what you can do.

Two girls cyberbullying individual girl
Kids and Parenting

5 Steps to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

By encouraging independence at a young age, you’ll shape your child’s personality and confidence. These 5 tips can help your child become more independent.

Mother Helping Son With Homework Sitting At Desk In Bedroom
Kids and Parenting

Back-to-School Lunch During COVID-19

Like everything else, school lunches might look different this year. Check out these tips to keep your child full and energized for optimal learning.

Mom making lunch with her daughter
Kids and Parenting

Making Sure Back-to-School Lunches Keep Their Cool

Packing your kid’s lunch for school is a way to save money and keep lunch healthy. These safety tips will make sure the food stays good until lunchtime.

Closeup view of mother putting lunch box into her son's backpack
Kids and Parenting

Would You Know if Your Child Had Trouble Seeing?

Prepare for the start of school by checking in on your child’s eye health. Here are signs their vision isn’t 20/20 and what to do about it.

Child Eye Health - Young girl working on tablet
Kids and Parenting

Help Kids Protect Themselves Against COVID-19 at School   

Kids heading back to school for face-to-face learning? Empower them to take steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Little girl going to school with a mask on
Kids and Parenting

COVID-19: Things to Consider for Your Back-to-School Checklist

Back-to-school shopping will look and feel different this year. Here are a few items to add to your list for in-person and distance learning.

Little girl picking out school supplies with her mom, both wearing masks
Kids and Parenting

COVID-19 Home Cleaning Checklist

Standard cleaning practices may not be enough during the pandemic. Follow this checklist to properly disinfect your home.

Woman spraying cleaner on door knob
Kids and Parenting

Tools to Help Nursing Moms

If you have a nursing mom in your life, you can help her adjust to her new normal with a few helpful tools for her breastfeeding journey.

Two mothers and babies on sofa, nursing
Kids and Parenting

Three Ways to Keep Kids Active Into Their Teens

Follow these tips to keep kids active in the age of technology.

Father and son playing basketball
Kids and Parenting

5 Simple Ways to Show Your Parents Appreciation

If it’s been awhile since you’ve said thanks to your parents, there’s no time like the present. Here are some simple ways to show appreciation.

Man with his senior mom
Kids and Parenting

Fun Ways to Boost Summer Learning

Make summer schooling fun with these tips to help your child continue their education on vacation.

Small boy looking at butterfly through magnifying glass
Kids and Parenting

How to Stay Safe on Independence Day

Fireworks are fun but proper safety precautions need to be taken to protect yourself from unnecessary injuries.

Fireworks Display over Detroit, Michigan
Kids and Parenting

The Importance of Dads and Other Adults in Modeling Healthy Emotions for Boys

Trying to raise boys fully able to express their emotions in healthy ways? These tips can help.

Dad comforting his son
Kids and Parenting

In Praise of #GirlDads and Empowering Father Figures

A salute to all the dads and father figures raising strong, confident girls.

Dad and daughter standup paddleboarding
Kids and Parenting

4 Bike Safety Tips to Keep Kids Safe

Follow these four simple tips to keep your little ones safe this bike riding season.

dad teaching daughter how to ride a bike
Kids and Parenting

Educational Activities Kids Can Do at Home

Struggling to keep kids engaged while at home? Here's how to turn household activities into school-approved lessons.

Parents and children coloring pages together
Kids and Parenting

Blast from the Past: Old Throwback Games

A blast from the past that includes old school games that we all use to play outside during the summer and at recess.

Girl playing hopscotch and two kids cheering her on
Kids and Parenting

Pandemic Parenting: It’s Not Perfect and That’s Okay

The struggle is real. Author Brianna Neace shares her take on parenting through a pandemic - the good, the messy and a healthy dose of grace and understanding.

Brianna Neace and her son
Kids and Parenting

How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt

You can create a hunt that is kid-friendly or opt for a more difficult set of clues for adults. It really is whatever you decide.

Scavenger Hunt map laying in grass

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.