Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
University of California
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education

Lesson 3.3: Dreaming is free

Background: In children and adults, sleep is important for memory and learning Getting enough sleep is also associated with healthy weight in children. Young people who get more sleep consume less calories, possibly due to fewer late night snacks, and gain weight more slowly.  

People differ in the amount of sleep they need. Nonetheless, children and adults whose sleep patterns usually fall well outside these ranges are more likely to develop health problems.

Table 1: National Sleep Foundation Recommendations on Sleep Duration by Age Group   

Recommended hours of sleep









Target Audience: Mexican-origin families with children 3 to 8 years.

Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

Key Message: Set a routine that helps children get sufficient sleep for better health.

Teaching Tips: The skit can be an entertaining way to show bedtime routines. You might use this opportunity also to reinforce other health messages or help confront some barriers that parents mention related to getting enough sleep. For instance, if the parent has to awake very early for work, bedtime clothing may be clean, comfortable items that can be worn to day care. The routine will also include having the child get the backpack ready to go.


1) Identify the importance of sleep for children’s health;

2) Identify how many hours of sleep their children need according to their age; and

3) Establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes creating a relaxing environment; turning off TV/computers at least 60 minutes before bedtime; and avoiding late night snacking.

Materials: paper, pens, small sticky notes, poster board chart with age group and # hrs of sleep recommended; food and other supplies for food demonstration 1-2 story books for the skit.

Handouts: recommended hours of sleep for each age group, recipes (suggested: Pumpkin Atole (grain beverage), 

Set-up: Prepare poster chart with age group in columns along top row (Toddlers, 1-2 yrs; Preschoolers ,3-5 yrs; School-age, 6-13 yrs, and Teenagers, 14-17). Under each age-group, write the recommended hours of sleep (Table 1) but cover the number with a sticky note. Display poster and place sticky note pads with pens on tables. As participants arrive, ask them to write on the note the age of at least one of their children and the number of hours the child slept last night (recall bedtime last night and wake time this morning). Parents should not write names on the notes.

Click here to download English version lesson plan Lesson 3.3 EnglishLessonPlan

Handouts and Activity Sheets

Pumpkin atole recipe (English Spanish)

Other resources

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