It’s that time of year again– families everywhere are preparing to transition from summer vacation to back to school. Getting into the school year is a big transition for kids and parents alike. Kids have to adapt to a new environment and new schedule, and parents have to adapt to having less control over their children’s day. To be well prepared for the transition, parents need to set up healthy back-to-school habits to keep their kids healthy throughout the year. Keep these five areas in mind to help your child stay healthy and happy.
Eating nutritionally balanced meals is important for preventing illness, maintaining healthy digestion, and staying alert and focused during the school day. You can easily increase the nutritional value of your child’s meals by adding fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack.
Mayo Health Clinic recommends using the “1-2-3 approach” for eating fruits and veggies: eat one serving with breakfast, two with lunch, and three with dinner. If you pack your child’s lunch for school, add a fruit and a veggie to their meal. If your child gets their meal in the school cafeteria, encourage them to pick fruits and veggies to add to their plate.
Encouraging healthy nutrition will help your child perform well throughout the school year.
Children are often much more active in the summer when they have more freedom to get out and play. During the school year, they’ll be sitting at desks for several hours. Kids need to have physical activity breaks in their day to keep their bodies healthy and minds sharp.
One way to help your kids stay active is to give them a “brain break” right after school. Let your child play outside for 20-30 minutes before having them come in and do their homework. You can also enroll your child in active extracurricular activities such as sports or dance.
Whether it’s through a program or just by getting outside, physical activity is an essential back-to-school habit for kids.
Almost everyone thinks about healthy meals and exercise when it comes to staying healthy, but sleep is also extremely important.
Kids Health recommends 9-12 hours of sleep each night for school-age children. You can help promote healthy sleep by:
Getting good sleep at night will help your child stay alert and focused during the school day.
During the school year, your child will be in close contact with other students, and it’s much easier for them to get sick. That’s why teaching your children healthy hygeien practices is an essential healthy back-to-school habit.
Make sure your kids:
Healthline has a great list of addtional hygeine practices for kids.
Many kids don’t drink enough water throughout the day. You can help your child by packing a refillable water bottle they can keep with them during the school day. Pack a water with your child’s lunch, or if they eat from the cafeteria, encourage them to choose water over sugary drinks.
We hope this guide helps you implement healthy habits throughout the school year!