Back to School: 5 Tips for Getting You and Your Kids on Track for a Healthy Start to the School Year | Nourish
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Back to School: 5 Tips for Getting You and Your Kids on Track for a Healthy Start to the School Year

Posted: Thu, 31 August 2017, 09:21

After summer months of staying up late, running wild outside and playing video games, kids are in for a huge adjustment as they head back to school.

Most children need help transitioning back into a routine with early mornings, structured meals and deadlines for a fruitful start to the school year; but it’s not only the kids that need help.

Whether you’re a working or stay at home parent, the kids going back to school can be a stressful or anxious time of year.

This blog will be covering my 5 tips for getting you and your kids on track for a healthy start to the school year.

Let's get started!

1. Set Bedtimes for Both You and the Kids

Getting back on a school-year schedule can be a real struggle, especially after summertime; but it’s essential for kids (and adults!) to get a healthy amount of sleep each night in order to stay focused throughout the day.

Although sleep requirements vary, in general most adults need about eight hours of sleep each night, and children/adolescents typically need 9-15 hours (depending on their age).

I would recommend getting into a sleep routine, starting out by setting a bedtime (for both you and your kids), keeping the lights dim and the mood calm in the hours approaching this time.

I highly recommend turning technology off at least an hour before bed and replace this screen time with a nightly relaxing bath/shower routine, a read of a good book and/or a cup of chamomile tea to relax the nervous system and aid in a restful sleep.

Sticking to a routine is important too, so don’t let weekends become too much of a late-night free-for-all.
See my blog here on my top tips for naturally improving your sleep naturally.

2. Menu plan

Naturally, all children (and adults!) should be encouraged to eat healthy foods throughout the year, but the start of a new school year is a great time to reemphasize the importance of a healthy diet.

We’ve all had our fair share of summer ice creams but now that school is back we want to decrease the sugar load and up the fruits and veggies.

Menu planning is a great option to help keep you on track with purchasing and creating healthy meals for yourself and the whole family.
Make it easy on yourself and spend a few minutes on any chosen day and write out your meal plan for the week ahead. You’ll know what to buy, and then you can spend a few hours on the weekend preparing for the upcoming week.

If you have a freezer, make freeze-able meals ahead of time so you can simply get them out when needed.

Have the fridge filled with roasted veggies, pre-cooked grains, salads, dressings/dips/pestos etc; and a cupboard with your beans/nut butters and so on to make everything as easy as possible for you.

For some inspiration, check out Wellnessmama’s post on Healthy School Lunch Ideas  or my previous post on healthy snack ideas here.

3. Manage stress

Back-to-school season can be stressful for kids and parents alike, but too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues, like poor sleep quality, poor learning abilities and lowered immune systems.

Children thrive on routine, therefore establishing a good one at the beginning of the school year may help cut down on a multitude of stresses and anxiety for the entire family.

Grab yourself a planner or stick a calendar up on the fridge so everyone can see what’s going on, and write in what’s happening in the upcoming week/month.

 

A daily routine that’s put up on the wall can also help kids, whether it’s writing in breakfast time, morning duties, after-school activities, chores, homework or free-time.

Creating and managing a schedule may be a great step towards a less stressful week!

With that in mind, take care not to overload anyone's schedule (including your own!) and make sure time to relax, play and spend time with the family is pencilled in there for some down time.

And don’t forget about yourself!

I encourage you to regularly think of the quote ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup” – this essentially means take care of yourself first, then help others.

In order to help others, it is of upmost importance to take care of yourself first, because if we are not fine, then we can't truly help others.

Perhaps you would benefit from introducing some self-care techniques into your day, like deep breathing, visualization, and/or yoga.
Breathing exercises, physical exercise and mindfulness exercises like meditation are absolutely proven to benefit your mental health and help relieve stress, so I highly recommend you look into them :)

Equally, just scheduling in time to read, time to sit and watch your favourite TV show or go for a massage is a great way to give yourself some time. You time is essential.

4. Get Active

For optimal health, get yourself and your kids active every day!

The downfall of school is the need to sit at desks for large periods of time, and likewise with many jobs, like office jobs.
After hours of sitting and learning/working, it can be hard to be motivated to come home and exercise, but it really is a great energy and mood booster.

I encourage you to find sports/physical activities to sign your kids up to, whether it’s football, yoga, swimming etc. so that they can benefit from all the advantages of sport; from physical health, mental stimulation, improved mood and so on.

And the same goes for you. Find a gym, a nearby swimming pool, spinning or tai-chi class. Anything that gets you active and engaged. You’ll really feel the difference.
Also think about scheduling in some family time and take a walk together or cycle. It’s a great way to de-stress and bond as a family.

5. Supplement

For the Kids:

I covered in my previous post on Back to School: 5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Child’s Immune System my top recommended supplements for kids, but here’s an additional one I’d recommend for focus and concentration, and that’s Omega Oils.

Most people (kids included) are deficient in omega-3’s, therefore it is super important to ensure you’re all getting your levels topped up.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are important for brain development, mental focus and a balanced mood.

They have been shown to improve cognitive function, including hand-eye coordination, attention span, social skills, behaviour, attention and intelligence test scores. They have even been linked to strengthened immune systems, having mood-boosting effects and reducing hyperactivity.

Good examples of Omega- 3 rich foods include oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and krill, plus walnuts, flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower seeds and algae oil.

For under-fives, you should look for supplements with higher DHA levels as these are important for the proper development of the brain, eyes, and nervous and immune systems.
Older kids require higher levels of EPA which helps to support cardiovascular, joint, skin, immune and brain health.

Eskimo Kids is a firm favourite with the Nourish team, our customers and especially our youngest little shoppers. It’s a pure, natural, essential fatty acid supplement specially formulated for the requirements of children aged 1 up to the age of 12.

For the parents:

I covered 5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Child’s Immune System in my previous post. However, with kids going back to school, you too may need to boost your own immune system too to help keep those nasty cold and flu viruses from heading your way.

On top of consuming a high plant-based diet consisting of tons of fruit and veggies, green juice/smoothies, whole grains, beans, fermented probiotic rich foods and plenty of water; to keep your immune system strong I recommend the following:

1. Oregano oil - This is a great way to incorporate a prevention remedy into our everyday routine
2. Echinacea
3. Probiotic
4. Vitamin C 1000mg
5. Vitamin D
6. Elderberry Syrup

For more detailed information on why these are so beneficial for your immune system, please check out my previous blog Winter Wellness Series: Nourish’s Favourite Supplements to Keep You Healthy this Winter to tell you everything you need to know!


7. Turmeric - check out why here
8. Reishi - Mushrooms like Reishi are great for boosting immune function and supporting the lungs. Be consistent in your use if you want it to be effective.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us via our Facebook or Twitter page!

- Emily

Twitter - 
@nourishstores

*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you're on any medication

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