Making the Grade: Best Back-to-School Hacks to Ease the Transition
The dog days of summer are coming to an end. Which means the final items on the back-to-school list are checked off and backpacks are filled with new school supplies. That’s right – the back to school hustle and bustle begins.
And we all know that making the abrupt change from the summer months to a hectic school routine can be difficult to pull off. But it’s not an impossible feat. You can have a well-rested and energized family this new school year. Just follow these tips for an A+ start to another academic season!
Rest is best:
Evidence has shown that well-rested kids have higher performance in school. Coming off a lax summer schedule, a bedtime routine can be a difficult transition. The following rules will help ensure a good night’s rest:
- Set a bedtime alarm as a reminder to climb into bed at night. Remember, school age children require 9-11 hours of sleep per night, so set the alarm accordingly.
- Keep the bed for sleeping only. Make sure all electronics are turned off and away from your child’s bed. This includes phones, tablets, video games and television.
- Have quiet time one hour before bedtime. This would be a good time for a bath, reading or a quick television show to help them relax.
Fueling for Success:
Feeding your child with proper nutrition can help improve their school performance. Try these sure-fire ways to help meet their nutritional needs:
- Break the fast with breakfast! Our bodies go a long time at night without receiving fuel from food. Make sure your child gets a great start to the day with breakfast. It can be something quick such as yogurt, a granola bar or a smoothie.
- Five a Day Fruits and Vegetables. Nourish their bodies with a variety of fruits and vegetables to promote a healthy immune system and improved focus. Chop up fresh fruits and vegetables for a quick way to add to lunches and snacks.
- Hydrate with water. It is important to stay well hydrated throughout the day. But steer clear of sugar filled drinks. Replace sodas and juices with water or low-fat dairy.
Fit in Fitness:
Staying fit can help with increased focus and a better night’s rest. Here are some tips for the entire family to keep moving:
- Go for an after school bike ride, walk or hike. This is a great opportunity for family bonding and to hear about their school day.
- Sign them up for a sport they are interested in. This is a great way to stay active and build a new relationship with their peers. And parents, don’t get a bleacher bum – go ahead and walk around the gym or field while your child is practicing.
Help your family have a successful start to the school year by getting a good night’s sleep, nourishing their bodies and staying active. Here’s to a great and healthy year!
Cari Riker is a registered dietitian for HCA’s Wellness Center in Nashville. She is also a certified health and wellness coach.
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