1. A bedtime routine. The summer is great for that laissez faire attitude, but now that we need to get to school on time, those carefree summer days are going to have to come to an end. Children between the ages of 5-12, need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep is connected to poor attention and memory, lower grades and mood disturbances. Start by turning technology off at least an hour before bed. Try to keep the lights dim and mood calm. Set a bedtime routine with bath/shower, reading, snuggles, and lights out.
2. Bring back the healthy diet and take out the summer treats. We’ve all had our fair share of summer ice creams but now that school is back we want to decrease the sugar load, which is excitable to our nervous systems. Also, being back to school means being surrounded by large populations of germs and in order to maintain healthy immune systems we need to keep the sugar out.
3. Increase fruits and vegetables. We want our children (and ourselves) to “eat the rainbow” daily. With such bounty this summer of fresh and local produce it should come easily. Fresh produce is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These food choices keep us energetic and healthy, which are two essential ingredients for successful learning.
4. Get kids moving and active outside everyday! The downfall of school, is the need to sit at desks for large periods of time. The recommended guideline is for our children to have 1 hour of outdoor activity daily and sadly only 7% of children are reaching this. Try to make this a priority.
5. It might be the time to bring the supplements back. If you feel your child needs an extra boost consult with someone about an appropriate multi-vitamin, fish oil or greens drink to help power your child through those first few weeks of school.
I hope everyone enjoys these last few carefree days with their children. I know firsthand how hard it is to be at home with children during the summer months. I try to remind myself that “the days are long and the years are short”. So on that note, enjoy your sweet ones while they still want to spend all their time in the world with you. Good luck with the back to school craze!