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Healthy Back to School Habits

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Apple on top of books with pencils and "back to school" written on a black chalkboard

Now that school is back in session, you may be worrying about things like your child’s academic performance and health. While you can’t keep an eye on your child at school, you can encourage healthy habits to set them up for success.
 

Start the day off with a healthy breakfast

Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy. Some schools provide breakfast for children; if yours does not, make sure they eat a breakfast that contains some protein while avoiding foods high in sugar.

Stay physically active

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and teens be physically active for at least 60 minutes on most, if not all, days. For children, the 60 minutes of activity can be done in smaller chunks of time over the day. Some of that time may come from physical education (PE), gym class and team sports.

Make sleep a priority

Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty concentrating and learning.

Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. Having a bedtime routine that is consistent will help your child settle down and fall asleep. Components of a pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading, and tucking them in.

Remember that TV, phone, and computer screens emit a light that can wake the brain up and make sleeping harder, so turn them off at least an hour before bedtime.

Set an example

As parents and caregivers, you make a big difference in what your children think and do. You are role models for your family. When your kids see you making healthy lifestyle choices, there's a good chance that they will do the same.

Sources:
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/
https://www.cdc.gov/features/back-to-school/index.html