Tips To Ensure Kids Have A Healthy Start Back To School

As many kids return back to school, parents can be a bit frantic about making sure their kids get a healthy start and settled back into a routine. 

 

Here are a few tips to make life a little easier for everyone:

 

Sleep

  • Most school-age kids need between 9-11 hours of sleep
  • Encourage a bedtime routine and stick to it!
  • Remove technology from the bedroom - no television, no laptop, no tablet, and no phone! 

 

Food

  • Healthy food helps kids focus and pay attention compared to foods that are heavy in fat or high in sugar which can lead to feeling sleepy or jittery
  • Keep fruit available for a quick snack-on-the-go
  • Pre-cut carrots and celery at the beginning of the week for convenience
  • Create a meal plan for the week and delegate who is going to prepare each meal

 

Backpacks

  • Limit the weight of the backpack to less than 10-15% of the child’s body weight. If the child weighs 100 pounds, then their backpack should be a maximum of 10-15 pounds.
  • Insist that both backpack straps are used on both shoulders to reduce risk of poor posture

 

Homework Frustration

  • Create an area designated for homework that is free of distractions from television, siblings, or clanging pots and pans 
  • Designate time chunks to complete homework. For example, for elementary age children, try 20-30 minutes of homework then a play break of kickball or riding bikes. For adolescents, they might be able to work for 60 minutes before taking a break… and they should take a break. Adults are more productive at work when they take 3-5 minute breaks every 50-60 minutes. Allow the teenager to take comparable breaks, too. 

 

Sports/Extracurricular Schedules

  • Make a family calendar and keep it in a central place where everyone can see it
  • Plan ahead with homework, school projects, and upcoming tests so students can prepare ahead of time if assignments are due after a big game or the school play
  • Parents - make an appointment in their daily schedule to check each child’s school schedule and assignment due dates; staying on top of things each day reduces the “last minute” project or supply run the night before its due

 

Enjoy getting back into the school groove!

Dr. Jeanette

 

 

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