By John Focht
The changing of the calendar from August to September also means it’s time to shift from the summer season to the new school year. There is plenty to do this time of year as you and the kids gear up for another year of school. Getting into a routine and eating healthy after a summer of BBQ’s, campouts, and late nights is hard, but start adjusting now so the whole family is ready to get back into gear when that school bell sounds for another school year.
Getting Back into a Routine
One of the most important things for kids during the school year, particularly the younger kids, is a set routine. Sometimes with after school activities, or games, or practices, that’s not possible, but having a set routine with dinner, bed time, and waking up is helpful in getting the kids adjusted and easing them back into the daily routine.
Another helpful tip, particularly in the early part of the school season when the weather is still nice and it is still light outside for a few hours after dinner, is trying to set a routine for homework. Whether it is having your kids to do their homework immediately after they get home from school, or finishing it up after dinner, try to create a set time for homework. The routine of doing homework at the same time daily will help your child immensely as the school year kicks off.
It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. Getting the kids off to a good start in the morning starts with a healthy breakfast. A bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, or a yogurt will go great with a glass or two of orange or apple juice. Provide plenty of nutrition for the kids in the morning to help carry them throughout the morning; don’t just send them off with a pop-tart or granola bar.
A healthy breakfast each morning will take your kids further each day and will provide them the energy they need.
Ok, so this one is a bit tough. Just how are you supposed to create balanced meals when the kids are going in separate directions each day between sports, after school activities, and just getting outside and being a kid?
Be sure your child is getting plenty of nutrition with each meal. A piece of fruit in the morning and in their lunches will help provide them energy throughout the day. At dinner, steer clear of fast-food or eating out every night. Make a strong healthy meal with a hearty mix of vegetables.
If your kids are eating at different times due to after school sports and activities, be sure they are still getting a good healthy dinner and not just a frozen dinner every night. Plan out the meals for the week to help ensure you, the kids, and the entire family are getting that well balanced meal. Planning your meals in advance will also help you steer clear of the frozen dinners and fast-food night nights out too.
Also, make Sunday night family dinner night. Get back to your family roots by planning a nice family Sunday meal in the dining room. Having quality family time is just as important to the overall health of your children as a plate full of green beans.