Health Information

Teaching Skills for Healthy Bodies

When educators invest in reading literacy, student literacy rates and foundational skills improve. In the same way, an investment in physical literacy and food literacy at school allows students to develop the fundamental skills to be healthy for life.

Physical literacy is the competence, confidence, knowledge, and motivation to engage in a variety of physical activities. Just as children are taught the basics of the alphabet, to be physically literate, children need to learn the fundamental movement skills such as:

  • running
  • jumping
  • throwing and catching

Intentional development of these skills gives students greater confidence to participate in various physical activities, sports, and games throughout life.

Building a healthy 24 hours for children and youth is important, not only for their physical health, but learning and mood. The right balance of activity, sleep, and sitting impacts:

  • physical health
  • thinking
  • creativity
  • relationships with others

Food literacy includes the knowledge, skills, and confidence related to food and nutrition. Canada’s Food Guide provides healthy eating recommendations as well as recipes, tips, and resources to support the development of food literacy.

Food literacy and healthy eating habits can increase health outcomes and provide protection against various chronic diseases.

Be a positive role model. Actions often speak louder than words, so try to model frequent physical activity and healthy food choices.

  • Make water your drink of choice.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables for healthy snacks.
  • Break up the day with plenty of brief, physical activity opportunities.
  • Use incentives other than food to reward good classroom behaviour.
  • Avoid reducing outdoor or physical activity time as a discipline strategy. Physical literacy is an important skill. Active outdoor time can improve concentration and behaviour.  
  • Create a supportive nutrition environment in childcare settings by using the Ontario Dietitians in Public Health resources.
  • Invest in food and physical literacy as you do reading literacy.
  • Be familiar with the 24-hour movement guidelines for your students. Incorporate frequent active breaks during the day.

More information for what a healthy 24 hours looks like for both children ages 0-4 and children ages 5-17 visit

If you are an educator, log in or register for an online account to access specific resources for you.

For more information or if you have questions, contact Lambton Public Health.