Back to School
Even if your child can’t wait to start school, transitioning from lazy summer days to strict school schedules can be tough. You can help your family prepare for the school year by easing into new routines and promoting healthy habits at home.
Breakfast: Don’t let your kids skip breakfast in the morning rush. A nutritious morning meal helps kids concentrate better in class and maintain a healthy weight. Stock your kitchen with plenty of healthy breakfast foods, such as wholemeal breads, muesli, yogurt, and fresh fruit, or make sure your children eat a balanced breakfast at school.
Lunch: Sorting lunch can be tricky, especially if your child is a picky eater, plan ahead to pack a healthy lunch they’ll enjoy.
After school: Keep nutritious foods on hand so your child can prepare their own snacks. They may be more likely to eat celery with peanut butter or carrot sticks with a yummy dip. Nuts or cheese with whole-grain crackers are also good options.
Earlier wake-up times can be tough on kids and parents alike. Ease your family’s transition to a “school night” sleep schedule by rolling back bedtimes the week before classes start. Kids ages 5 to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, while older children need at least 9 hours of sleep.
Your kids may not be getting enough sleep if they:
* Are irritable or restless or have a short attention span.
* Have much less energy than they normally do.
* Are more impatient, anxious, or defensive than usual.
You can help your children get sufficient sleep by establishing and maintaining a night-time routine.
* Limiting caffeine consumption in the afternoon and evening.
* Avoiding serving big dinners close to bedtime.
* Setting a regular bedtime and enforcing it.
* Creating a calming night-time routine. Video games and TV shows are too stimulating before bed. Instead, share a favourite story with your child or encourage them to read on their own.
Much of a child’s success in school is tied to the support he gets at home. You can help your kids get the most out of school by:
* Maintaining open lines of communication with teachers and understanding their expectations.
* Creating a homework station and keeping adequate school supplies on hand.
* Designating times for doing homework, playing outside, and watching TV or playing video games.
* Being available to help with homework.
* Observing your children for signs of frustration or confusion.
If you are concerned with your child’s behaviour and/or stress levels or would like further advice to help sort out dietary options for your child, please contact the clinic on (02) 6021 0557 to book in to speak with one of our healthcare practitioners.