April 2015


Developing Healthy Kids Through Outdoor Play: Healthcare Provider Questions

Write A Prescription for Healthy Lifestyles

Patients view their health care providers as the authoritative source for key health care information. One way providers can emphasize the need for a healthy lifestyle is to give their patients a written prescription as a follow-up to the office visit.

The questions listed below could be a used to assess and prescribe a healthy family lifestyle:
  • How much time does your child spend outdoors each day?
    • at daycare or school:____________________
    • in the afternoons/after school: ____________
    • in the evenings: _______________________
    • What types of physical exercise does your child get each day? How many minutes each day, on average?
    • How much time does your child spend in front of a screen each day?
      • Watching television: ______________
      • Playing video games: _____________
      • Using a computer: _______________
      • What types of “unstructured” play does your child get? How often? Note: unstructured play can range from playing “make believe” or other games with friends to going on a nature walk.
      • Do you have a family herb or vegetable garden – either in the yard or on window sill or balcony? If so, what do you grow and do you use it in food preparations? Does your child willingly eat vegetables?
      • What types of activities do you do together as a family? How often?


      Use these recommendations on your prescription:
      • Walk outdoors for at least ____ minutes daily
      • Walk or bike to a local destination (school, store, park, etc.) ___ times/week
      • Hike ___ times/month
      • Schedule active outdoor play for at least ___ minutes daily
      • Limit TV & screen time to no more than ____ minutes daily
      • Play outdoor games ___ times/week
      • Expand your mind by cloud gazing ___ times/month

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      Ubooly Ranger Rick