Getting back on track
Can you believe school is starting back in a few short weeks? Over the summer break you’ve had lots of fun and made lots of memories. With this type of fun, we often relax a bit when it comes to some of our healthy habits. Now is the time to start getting back on track so that going back to school isn’t such a shock to the system or your lifestyle!
Get enough sleep
Routines are healthy for children. They know what to expect and how to properly behave when these routines are established. Routines are important throughout the day and you will see by your child’s schedule at school.
Going to bed at the same time each day is a routine that you can establish with your child. Repeating this behavior at the same time every day will help their body know that it’s time to calm down and allow your child to go to sleep easier. We all need sleep for our brains to function properly. Children in school need this so that they can learn academic material but also so that they can grow and develop physically, emotionally, and socially.
Six to twelve year old children need 9-12 hours of sleep. If you are looking for more information on exactly what time your child should go to bed, here is a great chart that outlines what time your child should go to bed based on their wake time. If your child needs longer to settle and turn their brain off for sleep, then he or she might need to lay down a bit earlier to allow for ample time in their routine. Also, some children naturally need a variation of the amount of sleep that is standard for their age. Pay attention to your child’s attention span and their behavior. If they are fussy, have discolored eyes, or cannot focus, these are all signs of a lack of sleep. Just because your child is in bed the proper amount of time doesn’t mean your child is actually sleeping for the needed amount of time.
What many parents learn when their children are infants and toddlers is that putting a child to bed later actually makes them wake earlier. This results in a child being more tired. Be careful to find the proper balance in your household between sports and social activities and the sleep your child needs to grow and develop.
Healthy eating habits
In many households, summer time fun equates to salty snacks like chips and lots of cold sweets like ice cream and popsicles. As school is approaching, work on getting your kids to selecting healthy options.
Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with a variety of choices. Sometimes your body is craving something sweet or salty because you need it. Feed those urges with healthy choices. Be sure to have fruits, vegetables, grains, protein options, and dairy available.
When you or your child wants something sweet, eat fruit. This does not mean drinking fruit juice. Dentists will tell you that fruit juice is not a healthy option as it often has added sugars, flavors, or dyes. The presence of dietary fiber and the fruit’s pulp or skin makes actual fruit the better choice and reduces the risks of cavities.
Consider what your children drink in general. Water is always a top choice. Teach your child how much water they should drink each day. Find a water bottle they like drinking out of and discuss with him or her how many full bottles of water they should have each day.
Establishing these healthy habits now will help the new school year go smoothly. If you haven’t scheduled an annual appointment for your child, Healthstar Physicians Premier Medical is taking new patients and accepts most forms of insurance. We are your friendly medical team in Newport. Contact us to find out more.