Hard to believe that school has started isn't it? Are your kids ready? Are you ready? After a summer filled with camps, family vacations, sports, and just simply doing nothing, getting back into the swing of things with school can feel like a shock. Here are my top 5 tips for getting back to school healthy.
1. Eat Protein for breakfast every morning - The research is clear. Kids that eat breakfast do better in school, have more focus, and have more balanced energy. Avoid cereals and a lot of breads or pastries though. Protein provides lasting nutrition and balanced blood sugar to start the day. By keeping blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning, you'll see better moods, better behavior, and more enjoyment in school.
2. Stay hydrated - Water needs to be our primary source of liquid. Juices, sodas, and teas, all have way too much sugar and should really be avoided. Focus on water and make sure they're drinking enough. I recommend drinking 1/2 of your body's weight in ounces of water per day. So someone who is 100 lbs, needs to drink at least 50 ounces of water per day. Kids are no exception. Find a fun water bottle with the volume clearly marked. Fill it up and make sure that by the end of the day, that water bottle is emptied. It'll make a huge difference.
3. Be active - In today's world it can be easy to sit in front of a TV or computer screen. Kids need to move. After a day at school make sure they use their bodies. Organized sports are one way, but things don't always have to be organized. Get them outside, running, jumping, climbing, and riding.
4. Follow a Schedule - Having a basic structure in place regarding meals, homework, bedtime, TV watching, etc. can significantly reduce stress throughout the day. Kids thrive when they know what to expect and what is expected of them.
5. Stress reduction - It's never too early to start teaching kids how to handle stress. For example, there is good research showing the benefits of meditation with kids. Simply taking a few minutes to quiet the mind and breathe can have amazing effects. Other things to consider might be art, music, singing, or sports.