It is almost time for children to get back to school. Here are a few tips to ensure they have a good start and stay healthy this school year.
Promote a healthy diet.
Give your child a healthy start to the day with a well-balanced nutritious breakfast such as a bowl of whole grain cereal with fresh fruit. Studies show that children who have a healthy breakfast in the morning do better at school. Avoid sugary drinks that can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar. Water is the best way to stay hydrated. By eating a nutritious lunch and snacks, your child will be able to focus on schoolwork and activities rather than a grumbling tummy.
Set a sleep routine.
A good night’s sleep is important for everyone, especially children! Make sure your child has a healthy sleep routine, including limiting screen time before bed, and having a consistent bedtime and waking time. Getting enough rest – at least eight hours of sleep each night – gives children’s bodies and minds the necessary time to develop, and to start the next school day rested and ready to learn.
Physical activity and keeping fit is important at all ages. It is key to teaching children about staying healthy through exercise and encourages them to explore new hobbies. Sports activities are also an excellent way for kids to make friends and use up extra energy.
Communicate with your child frequently.
Talk with your child about any fears they may have about going back to school and, once back, always ask them about their day. Be present and supportive through the conversation by showing interest in their classes and activities, and inquiring about their feelings. These conversations are also a good opportunity to talk to your child about safety – from reminding them to look both ways before crossing the street to educating them about bullying.
Know the backpack essentials.
School backpacks are a practical way of carrying schoolbooks, lunch and other items children need during the school day. A good, well-fitted backpack can help prevent back injuries. Backpacks should have wide padded shoulders and a padded back, and the bottom should sit at the child’s hip. The packed weight should not exceed 20 per cent of the child’s weight.