When you know that school is about to start, summer days get noticeably shorter as your children try to enjoy the remaining time they have under the sun. For parents, it is a busy time to start prepping their child for another jam-packed year of learning and fun activities in school. More than the new clothes, shoes and books, moms and dads should also organize routines that will keep your kids healthy as they go through the year.
Children’s bedtime routine is probably the most difficult to adjust after two months of extended curfews and late breakfasts. We all know how getting enough sleep is important for youngsters – it is how they restock their energy for the next day. But how do you take away their late night TV shows after getting hooked up for 4 weeks? (Read: Importance of Sleep for Children)
On my first few years as a mom, I often rushed my son to change his bedtime schedule because I could not handle the tantrums every night. Now that we have two, I finally found the right method in getting them to change routines. The technique is to ease them into going back to early bedtimes. A gradual change 2 weeks before and enforced bedtime curfews after, during the last week, would help the kids adjust without too much whining. The gradual change on the last two weeks usually consists of sending them to the bedroom but allowing calm activities and soft play until they fall asleep. Make sure to keep them away from electronics as they are proven to be particularly INEFFECTIVE when practicing healthy bedtime habits, even for adults.
Preparing your child to be strong and healthy does not only happen before school starts. It should be done every day, throughout the year. Cough and colds are common ailments that keep kids from going to class. What do you do if you child carries the bug? How do you prevent this from happening?
When it comes to hygiene, parents should be more particular in keeping their kids clean and safe from illnesses especially during the hot days of summer. Your children will be involved in many activities with other people such as swimming in the same pool or running around and playing with dirt in the playground. Make hand washing after play and before eating a golden rule. Good dental hygiene should also be observed. Furthermore, be cautious of head lice as it tends to spread like wildfire among children. Teach your kids about being careful in sharing personal items (i.e. comb, hats, and hair accessories) with their classmates.
Check on their health periodically. For my family, I always try to have my kids checked by their physician before the school year begins. This is to make sure that they are fit and ready to face another busy year ahead. Seeing a health professional will also guide parents of foreseen illnesses that may spread throughout the year where in your children may be recommended take vaccines.
Lastly, planning out your children’s diet throughout the school year will not only help your kids get the right nutrition they need, but also reduce stress for parents. Mornings will now become hectic starting the first day of school and we all know that breakfast is an important meal of the day. How do you make sure your child, apart from eating healthy food, gets to actually eat before they head out in the morning?
There are a variety of ways for parents to keep their kids physically and mentally strong through a healthy diet. Prepare your grocery checklist. You should always have access to a selection of ingredients that you can use to whip up a quick delicious breakfast and lunch for your children. Sandwiches, high-protein cereals and protein shakes are some of the defaults for your kids’ fast-break-breakfast and lunch-meals-on-the-go. Parents can also research on quick but healthy recipes that will keep their stomachs and energy full as they head out to school.
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