Last month, the HHS Healthy Texas Kids YouTube channel reached 15,000 subscribers. Children, parents and caregivers are watching the channel at the record rate of more than 500,000 views each month while many are at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some individual videos have gotten as many as 875,000 views, and the made-for-kids channel has attracted more than 4.5 million total views since it launched in Nov. 2019.
Healthy Texas Kids, developed by the HHSC Communications Office, provides videos in English and Spanish that aim to shift health-related attitudes and behaviors in children, communicating to them directly through relatable words, songs and dances. Videos vary in length and theme and are meant to both entertain and educate children ages 13 years and younger.
The Adventures of Zobey series, produced by Texas WIC, features children’s dance-along videos that combine performers and a puppet filmed in front of green screen with animated backgrounds, visual effects, original songs and friendly cartoon characters. The Active Play! series of shorter videos, also produced by Texas WIC, shows kids in under two minutes how to use simple household materials to do fun physical activities. The goal is to turn sedentary screen time into active time for children and their caregivers, a huge need during the pandemic.
“YouTube provides the perfect platform to provide education messages directly to children and get them up and moving during the show,” says Amanda Hovis, director of the Texas WIC Nutrition Education and Clinic Services unit. “Our research has found this is a great way to influence behavior. Parents frequently mention that their child danced with the video and asked for a healthy item — like fruit, vegetables or water — shown during the program. The Healthy Texas Kids channel makes being healthy fun and also allows us to expand our reach to children who may or may not be in our program as well as child care centers and schools.”
Throughout the fall, WIC will launch new Zobey videos, including Searching for a Rainbow and Locomotion Lab, featuring dances and healthy eating messages. Before the end of 2020, they will also premier shorter Zobey videos on gardening at home with children and making handwashing fun. While current videos primarily focus on children’s physical activity and healthy eating, any HHS program can submit educational video content specifically designed for children under age 13 to be considered. For more information, email HHS.Communications@hhsc.state.tx.us.
- Check out Healthy Texas Kids and share it with your friends and family members with children.
- Watch short preview videos designed to promote new behaviors, including healthy eating and physical activities, for children, parents and caregivers.
- Watch the promotional video trailer for Health Texas Kids, the HHS made-for-kids YouTube channel with more than 15,000 subscribers.