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Healthy back-to-school tips

This summer, kids enjoyed their free time staying up late, watching lots of TV, play video games, running wild outside and eating whatever they wanted. After a long summer break, it’s time for kids to go back to school. Returning to school can be a big adjustment for many children. Most kids need help transitioning back into a routine that will help them kick-off a successful school year.
Here are some tips to help your child get ready to start the new school year. Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week before school. Bedtime is usually the biggest adjustment for kids and parents. Starting an earlier bedtime routine will help prepare your child to wake-up on time when school starts so that the time change is not a factor in their first couple of days at school. It will also give your child a jump on some extra sleep to feel well rested days before school starts.
The summer munchies will also come to an end. Get your child back on a sensible diet with healthy and stable food to support and nourish their body. A healthy diet filled with fruits, veggies, and lean protein promotes brain function and gives the body lots of energy to throughout the day. If your child will take lunch to school, make shopping and preparing their lunch a family affair. Take your kid with you to the grocery store and allow them to help select healthy foods they enjoy eating. Teach them to look out for healthy choices. Try to buy healthy kid size grab and go snacks that children can load up on between class breaks, before or after lunch, after school and before dinner time. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts label on packaged food to choose products with lower numbers for calories, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugars. Try to avoid high calorie and high sugar snacks and drinks, they can make kids sluggish and lead to weight gain. Children spend a large part of their day sitting in the classroom which requires food that promotes energy not take it away. Letting your child help prepare and pack their own lunch gives them shared responsibility and some independence of selecting items they will surely eat because it’s what they choose.
The beginning of the school year is also a great time for kids to visit their pediatrician, dentist and eye doctor to make sure their health is good and to address any wellness concerns. Parents, please don’t wait until the first day of school to address health issues or medical accommodations your child may need for school. Schools are open early to address any concerns a parent or child might have or specific special needs a child may require for the school year.
Starting the new school year should not be stressful for parents or children. Parents talk with your child about what to expect when school starts. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them talk through their concerns and ways to help them feel comfortable. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. Parents make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

Cokeitha Gaddist (54 Posts)