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Tips to get Kids back in the Health Groove at School

Get bedtimes on track

Studies have shown a correlation between hours of sleep and students’ ability to focus in school. Pediatrician Susanna Block, MD, says that the best way to get your children on a school sleep schedule is to start gradually and create a routine.

Successfully in the routine of a school sleep schedule means resetting kids’ expectations for bedtime. Set a firm bedtime and establish a bedtime routine.

Children 7 to 12 years old need 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Preteens and teens need 8 to 9 hours.


Tricks for nutritious school lunches

Packing school lunches can feel like a mundane task, and school restrictions on foods like nuts can make being healthy seem difficult, but it is possible to pack lunches that are easy, nutritious, and fun. Sticking with the basics can help.

Start with protein. Think about plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, or seeds to mix up the routine of always having meat. Protein will provide longer lasting energy throughout the day.

Prohibitions on nuts and peanut butter have created many great alternatives. Try sunflower butter on celery or pack a sunflower seed butter and jam sandwich for a high-protein meal.

Don’t forget the drinks! Milk is a favorite for most but if it’s not, encourage water instead of sugar-filled juices.


Keep kids healthy with a variety of sports

In the first term back at school sports are in full swing.  The best way to build to success and avoid injury is to try many sports and “let the fun win.”

We know from studies that when kids play multiple different sports and attend different classes, it develops different parts of their bodies and minds, building all-around strength and reducing injury.

Youth activities are a chance to learn about teamwork, goal setting, and self-esteem. The best approach is to focus on learning lifelong skills and having fun.


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