Open Accessibility Menu

Achieving a Healthy Back-to-School Season

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Northern Inyo Healthcare District
Achieving a Healthy Back-to-School Season

Back-to-School Tips for the Entire Family

The back-to-school season is exciting for kids but can also be a bit overwhelming. As a parent, you can help your child have a happy and healthy school year by following these tips:

Reset Their Sleep Schedule

A good night's sleep is crucial for kids of all ages. Start by gradually adjusting bedtimes and wake times a week or two before school starts. Adjusting bedtimes will help your child ease into the new schedule and avoid feeling exhausted on the first day of school.

Here are some additional tips to help your child get a restful night's sleep:

  • Avoid sugary snacks before bedtime.
  • Help your child relax before bed by reading together or doing some calming activities such as yoga, puzzles, or meditation.
  • Avoid letting your child have too much screen time before bed, as the blue light from screens can interfere with sleep.
  • Consider a noise machine if your little one has trouble sleeping.

Manage Stress

The back-to-school season can be stressful for kids and parents alike. Help your child manage stress by discussing any worries or concerns and taking breaks when needed. Another way to help your little one manage stress is to find a productive hobby that calms their mind, such as painting, crafting, or gardening outside.

If your child seems to be struggling with mental health, reach out to their school for resources to best support them.

Get Organized

A little bit of planning can also go a long way in reducing stress levels. Help your child create a study schedule and ensure they have all the supplies they need each day. This will also help ensure they don't fall behind in school and feel confident in their work.

Stay Active

Getting regular exercise is essential for kids' physical and mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. But it can be tough to fit in a workout with school, homework, and extracurricular activities.

Here are a few tips to help your child squeeze in some exercise:

  • Encourage your child to walk or ride their bike to school.
  • Have your child get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way.
  • During breaks and lunchtime, encourage them to go outside and play with friends.
  • Sign your child up for a sports team or other activity after school.
  • On weekends and holidays, plan family outings that involve physical activity, such as hiking, biking, or swimming.

Encouraging your child to participate in extracurricular activities or join a sports team will also help them socialize. And family walks, bike rides, or trips to the park will help you bond as well!

Prevent Illness

When the school year starts, your child's classroom can quickly become the breeding ground for many common illnesses. Some of the most common diseases that affect children during the fall and winter months include colds, flu, strep throat, and stomach viruses.

To prevent spreading viruses around school and protect your child from becoming sick, here are some tips to consider at home and school:

  • Remember their annual physical.
  • Stay up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Wear a mask when appropriate.
  • Teach proper personal hygiene.
  • Stay in contact with your child's school.
  • Keep your child home if they're sick.
  • Focus on adding immune-boosting foods to their diet.

Pack a Healthy Lunch

Eating nutritious foods helps kids grow up strong, focus, and learn in school. Make sure your child starts the day with a nutritious breakfast and pack healthy snacks and lunch items for the day.

Here are some tips on packing a healthy lunch that will keep your little one satisfied throughout the day:

Include a Variety of Foods

Lunch doesn't have to be all about sandwiches! The food a child needs depends on age, activity level, and appetite. However, there are general guidelines for how much from each food group children should eat at lunchtime:

  • Grains: half of a child's grains in a day should be whole grains. This could mean packing a whole wheat sandwich or including brown rice or quinoa for lunch.
  • Vegetables: at least one half-cup serving of vegetables per lunch. Try carrot sticks, celery, peppers, or other crunchy veggies.
  • Fruit: aim for one piece of fruit per day. This could be a whole apple, an orange, a banana, or a cup of berries. Packing a small container of 100% fruit juice or fruit cups are also good options.
  • Protein: good lunchtime protein options include hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter or other nut butters, tofu, beans, lentils, chicken, fish, tofu, and beans.
  • Dairy: get their daily dose of dairy in by packing yogurt, cheese, or milk.
  • Water: packing a water bottle for lunch is a great way to ensure your child gets enough H2O.

Skip the Processed Snacks

When packing lunch for your child, it is essential to avoid processed foods. These foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Opt for whole-grain crackers, fruit leathers, or homemade granola bars.

Pediatric Care in Bishop, CA

By taking a few simple precautions, you can help your child stay healthy all school year long! At Northern Inyo Healthcare District, our pediatric specialists are committed to providing the highest quality care to your child to keep them happy and healthy. Book your little one's next wellness appointment with our team today.