As we wrap up Kid’s Eat Right Month, you have probably already snapped those adorable back to school pictures. If you are one of the lucky ones, you may have even got your little one to crack a smile and face the camera while doing it. As we gear up for another exciting school year, everyone is in a frenzy of trying to figure out their new schedule. Below are some helpful tips make sure you come back with your A+ game. Of course we are focused on nutrition, but let’s face it --- health is so much more than just nourishing our bodies.
Structure is everything. This not only means structured meal/snack times, but it also means with physical activity and nighttime routines. Structure may not seem as fun, but you will be thankful in the long run. Just as every person is different, every house is different, so you have to figure out what works best for your home.
We have all experienced the morning madness. This year aim to get ahead of the game with planning. If you have been following our page, then you already know the importance of getting kids involved in the kitchen. A great way to get the ball rolling is to have your child make their own lunch (some may need more assistance than others, but that’s okay). Have your child portion out snacks advance, as to cut down on the not so satisfying snacks after school. Some may even find it helpful to create a meal schedule to post to provide a little guidance, so your family will know what to expect for the week. If your schedule is jam-packed with after school activities, then plan to brown bag it for a night. Who said nutritious meals must be complex? On those busy nights a wrap, popcorn, and fruit/veggie is perfectly suffice and will leave your child feeling satisfied. This is also a great way for you to have peace of mind knowing that you are providing nutritious foods to help fuel your child.
A bedtime routine is vital for kids. Aim to help your child or teen come up with a realistic bed time and work with them to be consistent with this. You may find it beneficial to help them come up with a night time ritual that helps them relax and get in those zzz’s. Lack of adequate sleep not only affects ability to focus and retain information in school/work, but can also hinder the weight management.
As the saying goes “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Help create a healthier lifestyle by finding ways to include activities that you and your kids enjoy. If you must – make an appointment with yourself and make it non-negotiable. Lack of stress management not only leads to poor weight management, but it can have some pretty serious consequences on the body such as leading to higher blood pressure and chronic fatigue. What have you done for you this week? If you are having trouble answering this question, it may be time to reevaluate your schedule.
When the school year first starts, it can be difficult to commit to adding in one more activity when you have not figured out your routine. The thought of starting an exercise routine can be daunting. If you can relate to this, I would encourage you to simply start with committing to 15 minutes of walking daily. To most, this time amount sounds doable. This is a great way for you to practice coping skills and a great chance to bond with family and share with each other about your day. This is another opportunity to get your child moving to burn off some energy before starting school work.
We would love to hear what steps you have taken to make this the best school year yet!