As parents, raising bilingual kids is no easy task. Let’s face it, when our kids reach a certain age, they want to blend in, and sometimes that means they don’t want to speak Spanish at home. Who taught you Spanish? Was it your parents, grandparents or other relatives? Encouraging your kids to speak Spanish by reading can help. Even better, have them read in Spanish about health!
Hispanic children are at risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity and self-esteem issues early in life. Teaching them the benefits of healthy behaviors, supporting their goals and encouraging physical activity is vital. Adding a bilingual flair will help keep them interested and make health more fun!
Authors are raising awareness of Latino health issues and healthy behaviors by educating children with relatable, colorful and easy-to-read books. Here are some great bilingual reads for children ages 5-8 recommended by Mamiverse.
Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia by Lupe Ruiz-Flores
In Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/ Las aguas frescas de Alicia, Alicia’s mother introduces her to natural fruit drinks sold at a Mexican independence festival. This inspires Alicia to create her own versions of the healthy fruit drinks and share them with friends.
Sofía and the Purple Dress/Sofía y el vestido morado by Diana Gonzalez Bertrand
Like many young girls, Sofía is looking forward to a big event, but she’s uncomfortable with her body. She’s upset because she can’t fit into the purple dress she wanted to wear for her cousin’s wedding. With her mother’s help, she begins taking small steps to add in exercise, cut out unhealthy snacks and add more fruits and vegetables to her diet. Sofía accomplishes her goal and looks wonderful in her perfectly fitting purple dress.
A Day without Sugar/Un día sin azúcar by Diane Deanda
Children gravitate toward sweets and junk food, but in A Day without Sugar/ Un día sin azúcar, Aunt Sofía teaches the kids about going sugar-free after learning that cousin Tito is at risk for diabetes. Health truly becomes a family affair.
Help your kids develop their Spanish skills through reading and learn more about health with resources from heart.org.