5 Healthy Tips for Back to School
Though busy is not always an undesirable circumstance, it can certainly barricade health goals. But with these back-to-school tips, parents can start the encouragement of or continue to promote a healthy lifestyle to their children!
Back-to-school generally means "back to busy schedules." Though busy is not always an undesirable circumstance, it can certainly barricade health goals. But with these back-to-school tips, parents can start the encouragement of or continue to promote a healthy lifestyle to their children!
5 Healthy Tips for Back-To-School
1. Eat Breakfast
Research has consistently shown children who eat breakfast function better at school by their increasing concentration and energy levels. Unfortunately, though, getting some children to eat breakfast may be a tough task in the wee morning hours. If that is the case, start small and basic - even consuming a glass of milk is ultimately better than shooing them off to school with an empty stomach. But if they do enjoy breakfast, skip the sugary cereals with these breakfast ideas:
• Grained Cereals
Cereal all-in-all can be a balanced breakfast with healthy carbs from cereal and protein from milk. Add fresh nuts or bananas to further amplify the nutrients.
• Whole Grain Toast and Nut Butter
Toast rich in whole grains offers fiber while nut butter provides protein and healthy fat, the duo ultimately providing satiety and fullness to the child. Throw on apple slices and sprinkle with cinnamon for good measure and added flavor!
• Yogurt Parfaits
Layer plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and other favorite fruits and toppings. The parfait will be full of protein and packed with antioxidants and nutrients to get the day powered!
• Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are a valuable protein source and generally well-perceived. Throw eggs into a breakfast burrito with veggies or pair with wheat toast. Add a piece of fruit if desired.
2. Prepare Meals in Advance
Going back to school creates busy schedules - transporting kids to and from school, attending afterschool activities and events and helping with homework. Hectic days leave little time to prepare and consume nutritious meals so designate a certain night of the week to prepare healthy meals to come home to after long days. Get kids in the kitchen to expose them to ingredients and cooking procedures, ultimately equipping them with lifelong health and nutrition knowledge or desire. Additionally, utilizing a crockpot can reduce time spent in the kitchen on anticipated busy days. These healthy crockpot recipes are simple, loaded with protein and ultimately, flavorful!
3. Skip Out On Sugar
The American Heart Association (AHA) has recently announced children and teens aged two to 18 should limit sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons or more per day. Common products with added sugar include cookies, some cereals, sweetened yogurts, sauces and dressings. Additionally, the guidelines suggest no more than one sugary beverage per week, including soft drinks and concentrated juices. But all-in-all, the less added sugar, the better!
4. Offer Healthy Back-To-School Snacks
Like meals, it is important to offer and provide healthy snacks and as previously acknowledged, foods rich in added sugars should be limited. Stock up on the "good" stuff and replace sugar-laden foods with fresh produce, whole grains and ready-prepared proteins such as nuts and nut butters. Keeping healthy foods on hand reduces the opportunity to binge on cookies, chips and other convenient snacks. Snacks are particularly sought out right after school, the time between lunch and awaiting dinner. So instead of offering convenience snack cakes and chips, try out these healthy snack ideas both kids and moms will love!
5. Establish and Set Bedtimes
Sleep is just as essential to health as a nutritious diet and recommended sleep hours range from 9 to 13 hours for schoolchildren and teenagers! Keeping sleep adequately within that range can help promote productive mornings and facilitate full participation in classes. Try to keep bedtimes consistent by promoting some sort of evening structure - afterschool activities, homework completion, family dinner and time. Also keep screen time limited, especially closer to bedtime!