For some parents and kids, the school bells will be ringing again in just a few weeks. That’s right, it is back to school time. During the summer, healthy habits usually fall by the wayside since kids are allowed more free time, later bedtimes, and more ice cream. While getting your kid back to a healthy start for the school year may be tough, it is doable. Here are some simple tips to start them off right:
- Never, Ever Skip Breakfast: Sending your child to school without breakfast puts them at a huge disadvantage. Not only that, but you are handing the teacher a problem child from the get-go. A high-sugar breakfast is not much better. Instead, focus on whole grains and protein. Try flavored Greek yogurt with cereal or granola or scrambled eggs mixed with cottage cheese, served over toast. The right breakfast will keep your child’s focus and attitude up.
- Skip TV Time in the Morning: We know that the TV is a great distraction for getting your kids to sit still and eat their breakfast or to brush out your little girl’s hair, but it puts their brain on passive mode first thing in the morning. Instead, try an audio book or reading to them while they eat. For unruly little girl hair, brush it out the night before and braid it for a simpler, pain-free morning.
- Pack Healthy and Fun Lunches: It’s much easier just to pack Lunchables or have kids have fast food/cafeteria food for lunch, but those options are full of sodium and processed ingredients. The extra sodium and processed foods can have your child acting up by mid-afternoon. Instead, try packing healthy and fun lunches, such as peanut butter and jelly roll-ups or sandwiches cut into fun shapes. Lunch boxes that have compartments seem to be a win-win for most kids and parents because it allows kids to pick which food group to eat first.
- Up the Vitamins: Going back to school can mean going into a new world of sickness. Protect your child’s immune system by giving them a kid’s multi-vitamin daily. Another good thing to give kids daily is cod liver oil and probiotics. Most stores sell cod liver oil flavored, so kids will not taste anything fishy. Probiotics can come in powdered form and can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, or in smoothies. These can all help strengthen your child’s immune system and are worth it if they save you a few sick days and trips to the doctor’s office.
Start this school year off on a healthy foot. These tips will help your child succeed in the classroom, as well as to stay out of the doctor’s office. Be sure to consult your child’s physician before taking any medical or diet advice.
Image Credit: student_ipad_school – 199 by flickingerbrad. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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