Current research shows  35% of kids in elementary school aren’t adhering to a healthy diet, aren’t getting enough exercise or enough sleep, according to Mary VanRavenhorst with Pediatric Therapy Services in Mankato.

 Mary says, “The effects of all three of them have the same outcomes; kids have a harder time focusing, being engaged in the classroom, a harder time remembering things and keeping things straight, so they can process what is going on. As a result, they may feel they are not keeping up with their peers.”

To help combat this problem, the Mankato Clinic foundation is rallying around the book “The Rechargeables.” It's a book adapted for youth by the author of "Eat, Move, Sleep." The Mankato Clinic foundation is donating a copy of the book to every k-3rd grade classroom in District 77, St. Peter, Lake Crystal and Mapleton. The book falls right in line with recent school initiatives.

Heather Mueller, director of teaching and learning for District 77, says, “Mankato Area Public Schools has recognized the importance of teaching not only about the importance of Physical Education, but also talking about the health of a student within PE, so our health programs, our science programs, our social studies programs, as well as PE support movement and making healthy choices.”

That’s good news to Dr. Amy Boles, who is not only a mother of three, but also a family practice physician with Mankato Clinic. With her daughters. and with her patients, she says education on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle is key. The book, she says, puts it in a way kids can understand.

Dr. Amy Boles says, “Try to make it fun, have time playing, play activities with other friends, and do other activities such as sports. Also offer healthy eating choices at home, and sleep time is important because no one likes a cranky child.”

 The books are good a start, but experts say the best way to teach kids is to model the desired behavior yourself.