4 tips for healthier school year
Packing a back-pack the proper way, wearing the right types of clothing to food safety for packed lunches, keeping your kids healthy throughout the school year doesn’t have to be a big deal!
These four tips will help to keep your kids healthier this school year – and are also important, general health guidelines that we can all benefit from.
Use plenty of sunblock
It doesn’t matter if your child has a fair or a dark toned skin. It doesn’t matter if they won’t be out in the direct sun all day. Use sunblock!
This is a very simple and effective way to save your child from sunburn in the short term and the very real possibility of skin cancer in the long term. Just walking to and from school buildings, between your car and the house, or the brief time they will be outdoors with friends, can expose your child to enough sun to be damaging to their skin. By teaching your child to use sunblock in their morning routine, you will set them up for a lifetime of happier, healthier skin.
Eat breakfast! It is really the best and most important meal of the day. There is a reason it got it’s name – it is literally the time to ‘break the fast’ of the night before. Try to serve at least one grain, one protein, one dairy, and one fruit or vegetable at breakfast for a meal to get your family started the right way.
Take at least 20 minutes to eat your meal for proper digestion and to ensure that you don’t overeat (this goes for every meal – not just breakfast), and let the kids vote on meals for the week (even if it’s just their own lunch). This will make your children feel involved and means they will be more likely to actually eat the healthy foods you prepare. See my article “How to Help your Children Enjoy more Fruit & Vegetables” for more suggestions on health eating.
With schoolwork, chores and homework- it can be hard to get your kids more physically active. But there are things you can do to help keep you all active. One thing you can do is make a chore chart of the things that must be done every day. An energetic 15 minute clean up for the entire family can get the house clean and everyone’s heart rates up. Don’t stop there though. After chores, take a 20 minute walk to connect with one another. Discuss your day and what you have coming up for the week. Afterwards, go home and cook dinner together to keep the movement going.
Choose clothing carefully
Did you know that clothing and shoes that are too tight or too big can lead to health issues? Stunted growth on the toes, digestion issues, and even headaches can all occur when these shoes or clothes are too small. If clothing is too big, it can lead to a risk of falling or other injuries. Dress your kids in well-fitting, weather appropriate clothing to keep them healthy and safe.