6, 7 years
To help your body become bigger, smarter, stronger, and faster, you need to eat three meals a day and snacks of healthy foods. You can probably think of many healthy foods that you like. Believe it or not, the foods you eat today will help you feel better not just tomorrow but also in 50 years!
Remember that your body never needs junk food (candy, cookies, chips, soda-pop). These things sure taste good but do not help you grow or stay healthy. They also can cause cavities in your teeth. It is O.K. to have these treats for special times, but your body does not need them every day. You only have one body, so give it the best!
Every once in awhile, try a food you did not think you liked. Just like the rest of your body grows and changes, your taste buds in your mouth do, too. You just may surprise yourself by liking something new. And don't forget to tell your mom or dad if you would like to help with the shopping or in making your meals. They would probably be very happy to have your help.
Pretty soon you will notice that you will start losing your teeth and new ones will grow in their place. Maybe you have already lost some. These new teeth are called "permanent" teeth. That means that you will have them for the rest of your life. No new teeth will come after these, so brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day is very important. You should also see the dentist for a tooth check-up 2 times a year.
Your body needs 10-12 hours of sleep a night so it can store up energy for the next day. Sometimes it is hard to go to bed if you are doing something fun, but you know you are giving your body the best.
Continue to sit in a booster seat while in the car. This will help the seatbelt keep you more safe, and will actually be more comfortable. Also, remember to continue sitting in the back seat (until you are 12).
Always wear sunscreen if you are playing outside (summer and winter).
Always wear your helmet if you are riding your bike or scooter or skateboard or if you are roller-blading, even if no one else does. You will be the smart person.
Never go near water (lakes, pools, or rivers) without an adult nearby. Remember to wear your life-jacket if you are ever on a boat (it's a Minnesota State Law).
Never take medicine (including vitamins) without your parents helping you figure out how much you need. Some medicines could make you very sick if you take too much or if you really do not need them.
You are in charge of your body and who touches you. The only people who ever touch or look at your private parts are doctors and nurses (in a clinic or hospital), or your parents (if you ask them to).
Talk with your family about what you would do if you needed help. Do you know how to use the "911" emergency system? Does your family have a fire safety plan? What would you do if a stranger came up to you? What if a dog you did not know started running toward you?
Most people your age spend a lot of time in school, learning from the teacher and making new friends. You will be really good at some things, and will need to work harder at others. Everyone is like this, even grown-ups. If you always try your best you can be very proud of yourself. Have fun with your friends and your different activities (sports, music, scouts) but remember that your family also wants to spend time with you. You may not always agree with members of your family or their rules. The best way to solve problems is to use your words and tell others how you feel. We also recommend that you spend no more than 2 hours a day playing video games, computer games, and watching TV. Check with your parents on what TV shows and games are OK.
We look forward to seeing you again for a check-up next year. By then you will be a few inches taller, a lot smarter, and have more fun stories about your life to share with us! Please try to be at least 10 minutes early for all of your check-ups.
Do something that makes you happy every day!