Posted on 08/22/2014 at 12:00 AM by Embria Health Sciences
By Julie Revelant
School has started and I’ll be sending my daughter to pre-school for the first time; I think I might be more excited than she is! I know she’ll love learning, making new friends, arts and crafts, cooking, and playing outside but for me, I can’t wait to spend some much-needed one-on-one time with my youngest daughter, sneak in some extra time to exercise, and just well, take a breath.
She’s all set with her mini backpack, clothes, sunscreen and a container for healthy snacks but there are a few other things I’ve been thinking about that may help your kids have a healthy school year too:
1. Make a doctor’s appointment. More than a third of children and teens are overweight or obese and even more shocking is that many parents don’t think their children are unhealthy, according to a recent study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To make sure your child is as healthy as he can be this school year, make an appointment with his pediatrician to check his Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol, screen for Type-2 diabetes and to make sure his immunizations are up to date.
2. Plan healthy meals. The school year will be hectic but with a little planning, you can make sure your kids will eat healthy every day which will give them enough energy and boost their immunity. It doesn’t have to be too time-consuming or elaborate, either. Make a list of 5 or 10 easy and healthy go-to options for breakfast, school lunches, snacks and dinner. Bring your child to the grocery store or farmer’s market, look online for new recipes and pack lunches together so she’ll be more likely to eat healthy. Use the slow cooker, batch cook on the weekends, freeze meals and buy pre-cut fruits and veggies to save time too.
3. Prepare your child’s immune system. Our immune systems help us stay healthy everyday, fighting off daily challenges. It’s important to take care of it daily especially now that your child will be stuck in a classroom with dozens of kids, five days of the week. For starters, teach your child the importance of proper, regular hand washing. What’s more, studies show that supplements like EpiCor can help support a strong, healthy immune system.
4. Set a sleep schedule. Think your kids get enough sleep? Think again. According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids are coming up short on sleep—as much as two hours worth. So before school starts, get your child on a consistent bedtime schedule for his age, shut down electronics an hour or two before bedtime, and don’t let your kid sleep in, even if it’s the weekend.
5. Let your child de-compress. The new school year is filled with new teachers, more homework and expectations but helping your kid cope with some of the stress will make the transition easier. Start now by building in just 5 or 10 minutes each day for deep breathing, meditation, yoga or journaling together. And make sure your kid has at least 60 minutes every day to exercise and be active.