So it’s that time of year again, and you want to get your kids off on the right foot, and keep them healthy as they head back into the classroom. A couple of friend’s of mine just commented on facebook proving just how challenging this can be.
One talking about the aspartame and trans fats in Flinstone vitamins, and the other about how they don’t sell white milk at the school anymore. Instead you are offered red dye 40 strawberry milk, and sugar laced chocolate milk and vanilla. So how can we keep our kids healthy and happy this school year?
Here are 5 easy things to do to make sure your kids are off to a great start:
1. Nutritious lunches. This has become more challenging because some schools are limiting what you can bring because our allergies are getting out of control. At least for the most part, the healthier foods are still options. Whole wheat bread sandwiches, carrots and celery sticks, and fruits still all make the cut. Water to drink. Some people think this is crazy, my kid will never eat that but remember, we teach our children what normal food is. I can feed this to my kids and they’ll eat it because this is how they were raised on. My kids spit out artificial juices and think icing is too sweet to eat. So if your kids are hooked on this stuff, try to give them smaller servings and find alternatives like organic oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, real fruit juices, or homemade snacks that you can fully control the ingredients.
2. Ergonomic backpack. Your kids can carry a lot of weight for such small frames. Choosing a good back pack with nice padded straps and back support, and hip straps can help. Put a flat binder in the bag against at the bottom so it’s an even surface against your child’s back and try to put heavier objects to the back. Try to minimize how much they are carrying. It’s recommended children should only carry between 10-15% of their body weight. When wearing the bag, both shoulder straps should be worn with the hip strap as well. Helping your child put on the bag is good practice as well.
3. Keep them active. Having your children registered in sports activities can help to keep them off the computer and away from the TV. Hopefully they have been doing as lot more in the summer time, but as they head back to class, they’ll spend a lot more time sitting in a desk. Kicking a soccer ball around with your kids on the weekend is a great way for you be active as well. Remember this has more to do with their interests than yours. It can be anything from soccer, to swimming, indoor rock climbing, or a martial art.
4. Family bonding time. Now a days we are often online and putting these devices away ourselves, and having our kids do the same is necessary. We need to offer our kids our time. It’s a busy world, and you won’t keep a healthy relationship with your kids if you don’t plan for it. Having planned family game nights, family vacations, cooking together, and trying to find common interests are all key. You’ll be spending a lot of time away from each other so make sure the time you have together counts.
5. Get them checked by a chiropractor. Kids and students have spines just like adults do. Way to often people wait until they have aches and pains before they do anything about their health. Except for their teeth. People regularly brush, floss and see a dental hygienist to maintain their teeth, but they disregard the health of their spine. A spine can be maintained, preventing spinal decay (think tooth decay) which causes lifelong pain, arthritis, and other issues in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
5. Good bedtime routine. It’s while kids sleep that they are repairing and building new tissues. It’s essential for kids to get 8-10, maybe even 12 hours of sleep a day when they are younger. There is a rhythm to the body’s release of hormones like growth hormone, which peaks during the sleeping hours. If it’s interrupted they won’t be as strong or healthy as they could be. Regular sleeping times, not having distractions in the bedroom like toys or computers, and not reading in bed are good ideas to help keep the mind from being too active when trying to go to sleep.
These strategies are just a few of the many things you can do to help keep your kids healthy as they start out the new school year.