Staying Healthy During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for all of us around maintaining healthy habits, especially with curtailed access to public venues such as gyms, work-out facilities, and activities where there is close social contact.   These challenges may be even greater for children and youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.   Below we have identified a number of resources that individuals and families may find helpful in supporting healthy eating and physical activity habits while spending more time at home.   

Some resources have been developed specifically for people with disabilities and are marked with an asterisk (*).  Other resources are more general but may be easily adaptable to meet the needs of people with disabilities.   We have also developed some tips for supporting healthy habits at home.

Both Physical Activity and Nutrition

Eat Right

Food, health, and fitness resources including cooking tips, recipes, workout ideas, and family activities.

National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD)*

Guides on accessibility, fitness, nutrition, adapted sports, nutrition, and more, to promote the health and wellness of people with disabilities.

Physical Activity

Active For Life

A resource to help parents support the development of physical literacy in their children.

Alo Yoga and the Alo Yoga YouTube page

Yoga and meditation videos and programs designed to bring movement and mindfulness to kids of all ages.

Community Support Services*

Structured activities to stay active while at home.

Go Noodle

Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts available for free at home.

(Available in English and Spanish)

Special Olympics: School of Strength*

Workout videos to help you stay fit and reach your athletic goals.

Special Olympics: Young Athletes*

A collection of resources and activities for inclusive play at home, designed for children ages 2 to 7.

(Available in multiple languages)

SPIRIT Club*

Offers a range of adapted, virtual exercise training classes.

YMCA 360
On demand, physical activity videos including yoga, barre, core conditioning, dance fitness, and more.

Nutrition

Cooking Matters

Tips, videos, and recipes to teach parents and caregivers how to cook healthy meals.

Delicious Heart Healthy Eating (from National Institutes of Health)

Over 100 heart healthy recipes from around the world and information about food shopping, cooking, and eating healthfully for the entire family.

MyPlate Kitchen Recipes (from USDA Food and Nutrition Service)

A playlist of video guides to healthy recipes.

For Professionals Working with Children/Youth and Families

The University of Kansas: KU Diet Project*

Materials to promote healthy weight in individuals with disabilities.

* Specifically for children and youth with disabilities