Time To Start Healthy Back-To-School Routines
The last few weeks of summer vacation are a terrific time to ease into healthy routines that will make the start of the school year less stressful.
Before the backpack scramble begins, help your kids start or reestablish habits that will help them get enough sleep, avoid kid-to-kid illness and prevent backpack backaches. It’s also a great time to brainstorm together on healthy, packable, lunch and snack ideas and make sure you have enough reusable lunch containers on hand; if not, check out the back-to-school sales.
1) Teach your children to wash their hands before eating and after using the bathroom or playing outside. Have them practice covering their mouths when they cough and sneeze. Visit the Sneeze Wall and SureWash station in Wellbody Academy’s Germnasium to practice proper techniques using fun, interactive game technology.
2) Load lunchboxes with colorful fruits and veggies for sweet crunch and antioxidant energy. Watch a tween’s award-winning video about pre-packing a week’s worth of on-the-go fruit/veggie snack boxes. Visit the conveyer belt Food Analyzer in Wellbody Academy’s Cafedium to scan food choices (similar to cashier scanner) and discover calories and nutrients of your standby lunch choices. You might be surprised when you compare pepperoni pizza, bagel and cream cheese and falafel in pita!
3) Set up a healthy sleep routine. Adequate sleep sets the stage for better learning, better moods and better relationships. Here’s how much sleep school-age children and teens need:
Ages 3 – 6: 10-12 hours per day
Ages 7 – 12: 10-11 hours per day
Ages 12 – 18: 8 – 9 hours per day
Visit Wellbody Academy’s Slumbertorium for tips and inspiration on getting optimal shut-eye.
4) Lighten your child’s load to avoid backpack injuries. Review the contents of their backpack to help them figure out what can reside at home or at school instead traveling on their shoulders. In their backpack, place heavy items closest to their back or in the center compartment. The load should not exceed 10-20 percent of body weight. Talk with teachers about switching to a single sheet or e-homework system instead of requiring students to tote notebooks for each subject.
Check out Ask the School Nurse on WebMD for more useful back-to-school health tips.