October 11, 2021

Healthy at Home with Esther Oyola & Daughter

Yulianna shows off her Healthy at Home smoothie creation.

Like many parents sending their kids back to school this year, Esther Oyola of Kissimmee, FL is thinking about how to keep her 14-year-old daughter Yulianna Villalobos healthy. When school shifted to virtual learning in 2020, Esther went looking for resources to support Yulianna’s physical and social-emotional well-being. This led her to attend a “Moving More at Home” fitness event hosted by Yulianna’s school that featured Kohl’s Healthy at Home resources from Healthier Generation. 

No matter the weather or environment (indoor or outdoor, virtual or in-person), Esther and Yulianna have been able to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic with resources like All Weather Family Activities (en español), Active At-Home Scavenger Hunt (en español), and Nature-based BINGO (en español). 

“It tends to be really hot [in Florida] and we also have the afternoon thunderstorms,” Esther said, noting challenges she and Julianna face while trying to remain physically active. As a result, mother and daughter have really flexed their creativity to get moving, dancing to Tik Tok videos, using household objects for weightlifting, and taking their dog for walks.  

Social-emotional health is closely linked to physical health and our Back to School Toolkit offers ways to take care of both. 

“I think what Kohl’s and Healthier Generation are doing to support our health is wonderful,” Esther says. 

Esther and Yulianna also enjoy exploring different ways of eating healthier. 

“The recipes are what we do most,” said Esther. “She loves making smoothies – mixing fresh fruits, some vegetables, also low-fat yogurt and low-fat milk.”  

Yulianna mixes ingredients for a Healthy at Home smoothie.

These Family-Friendly Recipes by Chef Grace Ramirez can save both time and money

Esther is from Puerto Rico, where she recalls eating mostly lettuce and tomatoes for vegetables. Now that she’s responsible for family meals, she tries to seek out a variety of fruits and vegetables, incorporates ingredients like spinach and chicken into recipes, and pays closer attention to nutritional labels. Esther also involves her daughter Yulianna in making healthy recipes, so she’s more willing to try them. “I like for her to read the recipe because that’s another way to teach literacy and follow directions,” Esther said. 

As students return to school, remember that whole child health starts with a supportive environment. Get started prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional well-being for your students with some of the following resources that can be enjoyed year-round:  

 Look for more Kohl’s Healthy at Home resources at kohlshealthyathome.org