Hi Kids News readers. It’s Healthy Harold, the giraffe from Life Education, here.
I hope you all enjoyed your school holidays and are looking forward to some fun learning about staying safe, happy and healthy in 2021.
If you have a question for Healthy Harold, you can ask it by clickingHERE. Please don’t include names and personal information about yourself or others. It’s important we respect everyone’s privacy.
Now, let me answer some of the great questions you sent me recently:
Q: What happens when you get COVID-19?
We have all heard so many things about COVID-19 and it can be confusing and sometimes make us feel a bit worried. There isn’t a simple answer to your very important question because every person is different.
Some people can have COVID-19 but not feel very sick, which sounds pretty strange, I know! They might not know they have the virus but they could be contagious. This means, they could pass the virus to other people, and those people could get very sick.
This is why we are all being super careful to wash our hands really well, avoid getting too close to people if we can, and even sometimes wearing face masks in certain places (and some of the masks I’ve seen are so cool!).
If someone does get sick with COVID-19 it could feel a lot like having a bad cold, they might get a fever and feel a bit hotter than usual, feel really sleepy and maybe have a cough or a sore throat.
Many people with COVID-19 can stay at home and have a big rest, drink lots of water and eat healthy food to help their body feel better, but some people can get very sick from the virus, especially if they are older or already have a medical condition. Some of these people might need special care in a hospital.
Always remember to let the special grown-ups who care for you know if you are feeling a bit worried about any of this and they will help you feel better too!
Q: What do I eat to keep my eyes healthy?
This is a fantastic question because your eyesight is one of your most important senses.
Maintaining your eyesight starts with a proper diet. Many food groups contain various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help to keep our eyes happy and healthy.
I would recommend starting with lots of vegies and fresh fruit. My favourite food is carrots, which are rich in vitamin A.
Other delicious foods to nourish your vision and overall health include whole grains, milk, lean meats, poultry, and fatty fish.
Depending on your individual allergies and intolerances include nuts, beans, and eggs too. These tasty foods will be helpful in improving eyesight and preventing future vision problems.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water too. Dehydration can lead to many health problems, including with vision, such as dry and itchy eyes.
Remember, being healthy is important for all aspects of your body, and that includes your eyes!
Q: What can vegetarians do to eat to get more iron?
First of all, we should explain what a vegetarian is for some of our readers. Vegetarians are people who choose to eat mainly plant-based foods and no meat.
We often hear that people need to eat meat to get all the nutrients we need, like iron and protein. Yes, meat is a great source of iron, but there are so many other foods that have iron and give out bodies other healthy nutrients as well.
You have probably heard that dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli have lots of iron, but did you know fruits and nuts also have lots of iron?
Great vegetarian sources of iron include nuts (cashews, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts), all types of beans, lentils and chickpeas, tofu and most soy products, and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and chia seeds. Fruit like apricots, figs, prunes and watermelon are great sources too, so are orange vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potato.
If you love cooking with flavour lots of common herbs and spices used in cooking are also high in iron.
It’s important to remember that the body has to work a little harder to get the iron out of vegetarian sources, so including a variety of these foods often in our meals helps us to get all the iron we need.
Fun fact: tomatoes also actually help our bodies unlock iron in foods. How cools is that! Let me know what foods you might like to try.
Q: Are sultanas healthy?
First of all I have to say YUM! Sultanas! And thank you for your great question.
Sultanas are grapes that have been dried which is why they look so little and wrinkly. When the grapes are dried they shrink a lot in size because the water is no longer inside them. They end up tasting even sweeter than fresh grapes and it can also mean that we end up eating more of them because they are so small.
All fruits have some natural sugars which are fine for us to eat along with all the other amazing everyday foods that give our body the nutrition it needs to be strong, healthy, and full of energy.
We just need to be careful not to eat too many foods that have high levels of sugar so where possible choose to eat the whole grape which has even more vitamins and less of a concentration of sugar. They will keep you feeling full for longer too.
Q: How does our body make our heart beat?
I love thinking about how our body works. It fascinates me!
Our bodies do so many things without us even thinking about it. Our brain automatically sends messages all around our body through our nervous system, reminding us to do things like make our heart pump the blood around our bodies or even just remember to breathe. Not to mention all the other things we do while moving, thinking, and communicating with each other.
The messages the brain sends through your “autonomic nervous system” make your heart beat.
Fun fact: did you know that your heart is a muscle? It is pumping blood around your body all the time — even when you are asleep! Your heat is about the same size as your fist. A giraffe (like me) has a heart that is about the size of a basketball! The heart is amazing, isn’t it!
Q: How can I get to sleep quickly so I’m not staring at the ceiling for an hour?
What a great question! Sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep at night too, especially when it’s my birthday the next day!
I always try to make sure that I go to bed around the same time every night so that my body gets used to having 10 or 11 hours of sleep each night. Good sleep helps my brain to think clearly the next day and even helps me to grow as tall as I need to.
I try to avoid using technology for at least an hour before bed, otherwise my brain is too active when I’m trying to go to sleep.
I find that reading my favourite books and having quiet time helps me wind down before bedtime too and I try not to eat right before bed because sometimes that can keep me awake too.
One time I even had a worry stuck in my head and it kept me awake. I remembered my teacher telling me to write my worry down on a piece of paper and talk to a family member. So I did. It was a great way to get it out of my head and then I could sleep. Teachers really are clever!
Most nights I get pretty tired while reading my book because my days are so busy. I walk to and from school, play soccer with my friends at recess and lunch, and then after school, I have a swimming lesson or take the dog for a walk.
Maybe keeping active through the day and having some quiet time before bed will help you get to sleep pretty quickly too. Zzzzz.
Click HERE to ask Healthy Harold a question.Please don’t include names and personal information about yourself or others. It’s important we respect everyone’s privacy.