Helping Families Live Healthy

Abbott, Abbott Fund join up with Discovery Education to help kids build healthy habits at home with their families.

Sustainability|Oct.05, 2020

With many families spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including many students learning remotely, it's more important than ever to find ways to help kids and families stay healthy.

Kids with good health habits can grow into healthy adults, but health education has to go further than teaching kids how to stop the spread of germs – students need practical tips on how to live healthy. Now, as part of a broader effort to help kids develop healthy habits, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have introduced an online site called Future Well Kids – For Families with educational activities and discussion guides to help kids and their families build a healthy foundation together.

The new site highlights the importance of nutrition and physical fitness and builds on an in-class learning program we launched last year called Future Well Kids. The program is designed to inspire students to take an active role in making smart health decisions today, so they can reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases (also called noncommunicable diseases, or NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. In partnership with Discovery Education and powered by Abbott employee volunteers, the program includes classroom curriculum to help educate kids about healthy habits that could help them live long, full lives.

The new Future Well Kids – For Families site is a modified version of the in-class program and hosts a series of digital activities that kids can complete on their own, or families can complete together. All activities are available for easy access in both English and Spanish, including:

  • Self-paced learning modules for kids on Exercise for Health and Nutritious Eating that gauge students understanding of the topics and teach them tools to make better choices to build a healthier future. Each module comes with a Family Guide for parents on how to make the most of the experience as a family;
  • Activity worksheets on “Test Your Skills” and “Family Conversation Starters and Activities” that take 45-60 minutes to complete.
  • And quick-read fact sheets on nutrition and exercise.

Busy mom and Abbott volunteer Anna Clausen recently wrote a blog post on her experiences sharing the family activities with her family (pictured above): "One of my three sons is a middle school student, so I know how impressionable kids can be at this age. They are absorbing so much information from their teachers, parents, friends, and from social media. It’s important students have the chance to learn about what factors impact health and how their personal choices today can influence their future. Through the Future Well Kids – For Families page, we are working together as a family to learn foundational skills in nutrition and exercise."

Future Well Kids – For Families is a great way to teach healthy habits early on to prevent chronic diseases, also known as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for 71% of all deaths globally according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The conditions and behaviors that lead to NCDs often start in childhood — globally, 81% of adolescents don't get enough physical activity, and in the U.S., 32% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

As families use the materials on the Future Well for Families website, it won’t just be the kids who benefit—the whole family will learn to live healthy.