Sep 2, 2015

Posted by in Family Practice, General, Nutrition, Sleep Disorders Center | 0 Comments

Wahoo! Back To School!

BacktoSchoolI love the beginning of school. It’s a fresh start. New teachers; new coaches; new everything. New is in the air and I love it!

But it also means it’s time to up your game again moms! School has started. Schedules are prepared. Emails are coming fast and furious. It’s go time.

Nutrition

Eating healthy is an important way to keep kids healthy and energized at school. Studies have shown that kids who eat a well-balanced lunch often do better in school and are more alert. It can be difficult to get a child to eat, even when they’re at home. But while they’re at school, you have to up your game to make sure your carefully packed lunch doesn’t end up traded or trashed.

If your child wants to pack a lunch it’s good to make a meal plan and pack ahead of time. Portion out your veggies and fruit into plastic baggies, line up your string cheeses or bottles of water so it becomes a grab and go process rather than a frantic morning rush.

Have fun with snack time. Make after school snack time a fun time to decompress from the day. Try different veggies or fruits, smoothies, peanut butter sandwiches or whole wheat cinnamon sugar toast while you talk to your kids about their day or get them started on homework.

Sleep

Sleep experts generally advise that a consistent bed time is very important to maintain good sleep habits. But summertime can mean that consistency doesn’t happen as kids may stay awake later. The sooner your child readjusts to a school-time sleep-schedule, the better he or she will feel during those early classes. Feeling fully rested and excited for the day prepares the child for a day of learning. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that 5- to 12-year-olds need 10 to 11 hours of sleep every day.

Head Lice

Sharing is great – but limits are important. I don’t need another kid sharing their head lice with mine. And neither do you! Stress the importance to your child of not sharing combs, hats, and clothes, and send your child’s pillow on a sleepover. Do a visual head check every once in a while, particularly for younger children. This time of year, it’s a good idea also to do a body check looking for ticks.

Hand Washing

Another reminder for your kiddos is this: Wash Your Hands!! The most effective way to avoid spreading or catching germs is to encourage hand washing. To make sure kids have spent enough time on this healthful task, ask them to sing the alphabet song or “Happy Birthday to You” from start to finish as they wash the fronts and backs of their hands and in between fingers. Simple soap and water is best, but hand sanitizers will do when those aren’t available. Remind your children to always cough or sneeze into the crooks of their elbows or into their sleeves.

So enjoy these first days of school. I love all of the new!

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