A new school year is well underway and our kids are out there being busy and productive (…hopefully). As you are establishing a school time routine, it’s the perfect time to set some goals for both ourselves and our children. The way that your child eats, the amount of sleep that he or she gets, and whether or not there’s exercise incorporated into the day can all make a huge impact on your child’s performance in school, not to mention their health and happiness.
Here are some tips for healthy habits to make the school year a success:
Prepare Healthy Lunches
This undertaking often consumes more time than we like to spend in the evening, but a healthy lunch can make a huge difference in your child’s day. Have your kid help you to pick healthy, appealing options, and take extra time to prepare or cook something exciting. It could be anything from leftover dinner to a fun and unique veggie salad.
Have Healthy Breakfast Options
One of the biggest ways that excess sugar sneaks into our diets is through our breakfast foods. This sets a pattern for the rest of the day, causing us to crave sugar to maintain our energy levels, when actually, healthy protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables are usually the best way to go.
Start checking the sugar content for many common breakfast foods, like yogurt, granola bars, juice, and pastries. Just a glass of orange juice and a granola bar can exceed your child’s recommended sugar allowance for the entire day! Fortify your kids with oatmeal, omelettes, or fruit smoothies.
Incorporate Play and Physical Activity Into Their Day
Whether or not your child’s school has recess, or a physical education program, it’s up to you to encourage your child’s physical play time. The CDC recommends that children and adolescents get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This can include sports, climbing, running, biking… just about anything. Physical activity helps your child focus and improves healthy brain development in addition to keeping them physically fit. If you don’t think that your child is getting the physical education that they need, take a look at our home-study courses. They’ll help your child get active, and get school credit at the same time.
Set Specific Bedtimes
In order to perform his or her best, your child needs a set amount of sleep each night. Even more than that, they need a steady pattern that their body can adjust to in order to promote better, more restful sleep. Set a specific bedtime for your kids, and don’t waver on it. Encourage them to finish homework long before that time so that you can maintain a steady pattern.
We know all of this is easier said than done. But, as they say, nothing worth doing is really easy. Set an example for your children by prioritizing health and wellness this year.