Summer has come to a close and kids are on their way back to school. The beginning of every school year is an important time for our kids; meeting their new teachers, getting into a routine of school, homework, and extracurricular activities, and making new friends. However, the beginning of the school year also brings some health risks.
Send your children to school knowing that you are doing everything in your power to keep them healthy. By establishing healthy habits early, you are teaching your kids lifelong habits.
Here are some tips to help your children start the school year off on a healthy foot:
1) Send them with a healthy lunch:
Eating a healthy diet is important in the growth and development of children. By sending them to school with a homemade, packed lunch that includes fruit, vegetables, protein, and healthy carbs, you are helping them to remain healthy throughout the school year and combat the typical colds & flus that circulate throughout the year.
2) Teach them to wash their hands & often:
Kids come in contact with a number of different things throughout the day; door handles, desks, other kids, play gym equipment, etc. Encourage them to wash their hands often throughout the day.
It is important for us to educate them on the proper way to wash their hands. Find ways to help them remember to:
a) Wet your hands first
b) Lather your hands with soap
c) Rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds (for young children, teach them to sing their ABC’s while they rinse to help them learn the appropriate time to clean)
d) Rinse off the soap
e) Dry your hands
3) Make sure they are getting plenty of sleep:
Although your children may be at the difficult age where they want to stay up late, teaching your kids the importance of getting the proper amount of sleep each night can help them perform better in school and develop their immune systems to fight any foreign antibodies they may face during their school day.
4) Pick a backpack that helps support the weight of their belongings:
Many kids look forward to getting a new, stylish backpack at the beginning of the year. However, some of those stylish backpacks are not necessarily beneficial to their posture. As kids carry their books to and from school along with their other personal belongings, their backpacks can quickly become heavy. Look for a backpack that helps to carry the weight. Consider options such as roller backpacks, backpacks with straps that connect in front of their chest, and that have padding on the shoulder straps and throughout the back.
5) Ensure they are getting a proper amount of exercise:
PE may be a requirement for all kids, but that does not mean they are getting the amount or type of exercise they need, especially now with PE classes only happening every other week at times. Encourage your kids to get outside and play after completing their homework, to join a youth sports team, or enroll in an after school program that teaches them exercises to do regularly.
6) Start their day with a nutritious breakfast:
Do you have a difficult time getting your children to eat their breakfast? Do they want to get the extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning? Although it may cause an argument, your children should be eating in the morning to refuel their tank. Send them off to start their school day with a balanced breakfast with a variety of foods from different food groups.
Some food is better than no food, so if getting your children to eat the breakfast you prepared proves to be difficult, start with a yogurt, fruit, and maybe a whole-grain muffin.
If you need help implementing any of the above tips to keep your child healthy throughout the year, contact us today.
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! We wish you and your children a healthy & successful school year.