As a new school year begins for kids of all ages, it can be hard to transition from a summertime schedule to a back to school routine. Especially this fall, as many kids are back in school after a year of remote learning or a hybrid schedule. Parents and kids will benefit from a consistent routine designed to build good habits, reduce stress, ease anxiety, and keep everyone moving forward as efficiently as possible.
One of the most important things to remember is to be aware of restrictions about Covid-19 and prepare your student accordingly. Many schools are requiring masks, so students should have a clean mask every day and keep an extra in their backpack.
Reminding them to wash their hands and use sanitizer when necessary is also important. As a parent, keep an eye on your student’s health and if any Covid-like symptoms seem to appear, call the doctor or visit the Medical Specialty Center.
Here are some more tips to help everyone adjust to a new schedule, stay healthy and get out the door as easy as possible each morning.
Posted by: Eat Smart
Dedicate a place for school necessities
Have a dedicated place in your home for your children’s school necessities. Keeping backpacks, supplies, lunchboxes, and school forms in the same space stops the scramble of searching for misplaced items. Put your child in charge of emptying and hanging up their backpack each day after school. TravelWise Packing Cubes come in handy for holding extra supplies to replenish backpacks. They act as small drawers and are made of durable nylon with two-way zippers that are easy for small hands to open.
Establish a consistent sleep schedule
To get kids back on a sleep schedule, start going to sleep earlier 10 – 14 days prior to classes starting. Weekend schedules should be similar to weekdays to ensure they’re getting enough sleep. Keep in mind anxieties often come out around bedtime. Help your children create an age appropriate sleep routine that helps them calm their minds and prepare for bed.
Create a morning routine
Create a morning routine to maximize efficiency and decrease stress. Teach kids their responsibilities including getting up and out of bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, etc. Then have them add something they may want to do, such as play outside when weather is nice or watch a YouTube kid’s video. Be clear that the extra special item can only happen if the other activities are completed. And don’t forget about you Mama and Papa! Morning routines set the entire family up for success.
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It’s also important for kids’ minds and bodies to begin the day with a healthy breakfast and pack a healthy lunch for school.
Skipping breakfast can make kids tired, restless or irritable and cause their mood and energy to drop by mid-morning, which can lead to poor focus and sabotage them the rest of the day.
Eating a healthy breakfast also kick starts their metabolism, helps them consume less calories throughout the day, and boost brain power. It’s best to avoid sugary cereals or grab-and-go breakfast pastries and instead choose foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber and protein such as: whole grain cereal with low-fat milk, whole-grain waffle topped with peanut butter, bran muffin with berries, or a whole wheat pita stuffed with eggs.
A healthy packed lunch should be balanced with lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables. Try to avoid heavily processed meats and other packaged foods and instead try whole grain products, natural lunch meat, low-sugar yogurts, nuts and seeds, and one fruit or veggie your kiddo will eat! And don’t forget a water bottle so they stay hydrated too.
Going back to school means kids will be exposed to more germs. Eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting enough sleep are your best immunity boosters for flu prevention!
Also encourage your kids to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and get plenty of Vitamin C. As soon as they're available, consider getting your child a flu shot at Orchard Hospital’s Medical Specialty Center – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic.