The Growing Minds Program, funded by Kohl’s Cares, brings health education material into communities through in-person connections and short web-based videos using Rady Children’s Hospital volunteer clinicians.  This enhances family well-being by increasing positive parent-child interactions and educating families about key child health behaviors via interactive learning.

"Make a special bedtime plan and do it every night."
- Wendy Hunter, M.D.
"Talk, read, and sing with your children all day, every day."
- Wendy Hunter, M.D.
"Breastfeed your baby for one year."
- Laura Wheeler, NP
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Duration 02:22

Bedtime Plan

Did you know that just like we teach our children how to ride a bike, we also have to teach them how to sleep? Children who get enough sleep behave and learn better. Learn how to help your child get the best sleep.

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Duration 02:42

Easy Sleep

Did you know that getting the right amount of sleep improves your child's mood and behavior? Learn how to make a calm room or area for the best sleep and help your child get the best night sleep.

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Duration 02:22

Safe Sleep For Babies

Did you know that SIDS is the most common cause of death for babies from 1-month-old to 1 year of age? The most effective way to reduce the risk for SIDS is to place your baby on their back to sleep. Learn more about the ABC's for safe sleep.

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Duration 02:34

Drink Water

Did you know that three-quarters of a child's body is made of water? Kids need to drink lots of water and less sugary drinks to be healthy. Learn how to help your kids drink more water with these simple ideas.

Eat together
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Duration 02:37

Eat Together

Did you know that eating together as a family can help your children do better in school, make them feel good about themselves, and hep prevent them from being overweight? Learn how to get the most out of eating together as a family.

Eat fruits and vegetables
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Eat Fruits And Vegetables

Did you know that each color of fruit and vegetable has different nutrients that kids need? Learn how your family can get the right balance of vitamins and minerals every day.

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Duration 02:32

Breastmilk Is Best

Did you know mother’s milk helps babies fight colds, ear infections, and even diarrhea? Breastfeeding also reduces your baby’s risk for diseases when they are adults. Learn more about how breastfeeding helps both mother and baby live healthy lives.

Duration 01:29

Healthy teeth
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Healthy Teeth

Did you know that cavities are the most common disease in children and that children need strong teeth to eat, speak and grow healthy? Learn how to help your child develop and maintain great oral hygiene habits to last them a lifetime.

Visit the doctor
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Duration 02:54

Visit The Doctor

Did you know that children need to go to the doctor even when they are not sick? Visits for well-child care give you the chance to ask questions to an expert about your child's health. Learn how often you should take your child to the doctor.

Baby crawling
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Duration 03:30

Be Active

Did you know that your child needs to be active every day from the time they are born? Play is one great way for your child to get the exercise and activity they need. Learn simple ways your family can be active.

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Duration 02:44

Screen Time

Did you know that children need to interact with people for their brains to develop normally? That's one reason why it is important to limit your kids' screen time. Learn easy things you can do to balance your children's screen time!

Talk about feelings
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Duration 02:39

Talk About Feelings

Did you know that kids who know the words to explain their feelings have fewer temper tantrums and better behavior? Learn how to teach your child about feelings so they can communicate them to us and learn to deal with their emotions.

Take a break
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Duration 02:33

Take A Break

Did you know that taking a break from daily stresses is important for you and your child? Although what makes you stressed is not the same as what makes your child stressed, you and your child can learn how to relax. Learn how you can be a good role model for your child.

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Duration 02:44

Parents' Experiences Affect Their Children

Did you know that our past experiences and how we cope with them affect how we take care of our children when we become parents? Learn healthy ways to respond to stress that can help you protect your children from the effects of your negative experiences.

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Duration 02:27

Ask For Help

Did you know that kids can have attention problems, anxiety, or depression that makes it hard for them to learn and play? Learn how you can help notice these problems early so your child can have a healthy and happy life.

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Duration 03:22

Manage Conflict

Did you know that conflict between adults can affect their children's behavior and make them fell unsettled at home? Disagreements are a normal part of relationships and it is important to learn how to handle conflict in a way that is not harmful to you or your children. Learn what you can do.

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Duration 02:27

Talk, Read, Sing

Did you know that just like your muscles get bigger when you exercise, the sound of words makes kids’ brains grow stronger? You are your child's first teacher. Learn why you should talk, read, and sing with your child every day.

Children playing together
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Duration 01:50

Catch Them Being Good

Did you know that children learn to behave better when they get praise after they do something good? Learn ways to improve your child's behavior when they are struggling or not following directions.

Behavior and discipline
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Behavior And Discipline

Did you know that setting clear, consistent rules and limits is one of the best ways to help your child behave well? Learn how to teach your child how to behave by doing these three things.

Show your love
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Duration 03:07

Show Your Love

Did you know that children are happier and feel safe when parents and caregivers show them their love? Children who grow up in a loving home will also learn to be caring to others and themselves. Learn easy ways you can show your children your love and attention every day.

Take on challenges
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Duration 02:29

Take on Challenges

Did you know that taking on new challenges helps your child build their confidence, even if they fail? Children are curious and interested in trying new things. They learn and grow by doing things themselves. Learn how to help your child try new activities.

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Duration 03:05

Play Together

Did you know that when you play at least 5-10 minutes a day with your child you can help increase their self-esteem and attention span, and improve your relationship with them? Learn how to make a special time to play with your child every day.

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Duration 03:19

Solve Problems

Did you know that kids have to learn how to solve problems? You can teach your children the thinking skills they need so they can solve problems on their own. Learn how to practice problem-solving with your child every day.

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Duration 03:48

Gender Expression

Did you know that at a young age it is very common and normal for children to play with toys like dolls or trucks, or dress in clothes that are typically thought to be for the opposite gender? Learn ways you can raise your child in a loving and healthy environment.

The Health Stars innovative model has been bringing RCHSD clinicians into communities to enhance family mental/behavioral well-being by increasing positive parent child interactions and educating families about key child health behaviors via interactive learning sessions since 2017.  Evaluation findings to date indicate a promising practice and replicable model for success. With the onset of COVID-19, Health Stars rapidly converted to live, on-line sessions with topics modified to address parent concerns related to COVID-19. Parents have expressed great appreciation for these sessions and want this type of information to continue to be available.

To address the current needs of families and expand our reach, Health Stars introduced Growing Minds, a project that created clinician-lead videos to address timely topics related to child development, literacy, and family mental/behavioral health. Video content includes innovative, interactive techniques aimed at preventing behavioral health problems by focusing efforts on young children and demonstrating positive parent-child interaction and reading. To learn more about Growing Minds’ partner, RCHSD Transforming Mental Health Program (TMH), and our goal of complimenting their efforts and sharing a wide range of resources with an expanded target audience of RCHSD parents with children ages 0-8 click here. 

From the pediatrician’s office to your community. Growing Minds brings you resources that will help your children grow healthy. Learn more about each of our topics. Questions about the topics? Feel free to drop us a line.