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Tips for a Healthy School Year

Tips for a Healthy School Year

Tips for a Healthy School Year

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Summer is rounding to an end, and the dust is settling. It’s time for back-to-school shopping and getting back into that school routine. We know all the “stuff” we need to start the year off right, but how do you prepare for a healthy school year? I’m not just referring to physical health, either. So, let’s talk about how we can help our kids kick off the school year prepared, physically and emotionally.

Physical Health

Making sure that your kids move their bodies and get the right amount of exercise will help them stay focused and energized during those long school days. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, physical health has a small but significant effect on the mental and emotional health of children and adolescents ages 6 to 18.

Moving your body often is a great tip for a healthy school year

Exercise has many wonderful benefits, including increased energy and improved concentration. It also helps reduce stress, boost self-confidence, and increase mental alertness. Encourage your children to go outside for activities such as walking the dog, biking, or playing at the park for 20 to 30 minutes every day after school. 

Emotional Health

Another important way to help your child prepare for a healthy school year is to ensure they have an emotional outlet. This could mean talking through their feelings, writing in a journal, or even playing music or other forms of art. Acknowledging their emotions is key to helping your children cope with stress and build resilience.

Tips for a Healthy School Year

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Practical Tips to Start the Year Off Healthy

In addition to physical and emotional health, there are a few practical tips to help your kids stay healthy during the school year.

Start Your days with gratitude and thankfulness.

This hasn’t been something I’ve been doing for a while, but we recently started practicing this after reading the book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World written by Kristen Welch. It was an eye-opener for me.

Starting our day in the right mindset has really made a difference in our home. God has given us another day to be thankful for. We are not promised tomorrow. No matter what your age is, you can make a small difference in your attitude and outlook on life. Plus, gratitude helps us to focus on the positive and appreciate what we have. Teaching our kids to focus on the things they are thankful for can help them stay positive and optimistic throughout the school year.

Looking for ways to be kind as well as being gracious is a good tip for a healthy school year

Look For Ways to Offer Kindness

Look for opportunities to offer kindness to others inside and outside your home. It can be anything from a simple note to helping someone with their shopping cart. No act of kindness is ever too small.

At the start of the school year, it is important to create a culture of kindness and respect amongst students, staff, and faculty. One way to offer kindness at school is by encouraging active listening skills. Modeling active listening skills in the classroom can help foster an atmosphere of respect.

Another way to offer kindness is by helping others be included. Inviting someone new into the group will help foster an inclusive environment.

Offering compliments to others can go a long way in promoting kindness. Complimenting classmates on their work, their wardrobe, or their behavior will help create an atmosphere of positivity and respect in the classroom. Don’t ever hesitate to give someone a compliment, it might just make their day!

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Healthy Breakfast

I encourage my kids to pick a healthy breakfast. I have even taught my 7- and 9-year-old how to make their own eggs. We don’t do juice in the morning, and I believe this helps with not having a quick sugar drop while at school. We also incorporate daily vitamins and probiotics. Keep your vitamins where you will look at them often to remind yourself and your kids to take them. This will help make them part of your daily routine.

Get Outside

I say this every day to my kids, and guess what? It works. Creative minds mixed with some good old Vitamin D from the sun does a kid good. Getting to a beach or park is great but not realistic in our day-to-day life. Walking is something we can easily do every day, so we started incorporating family walks into our day. Walking gives us a chance to talk to our kids, laugh, and say hello to neighbors. It’s healthy for the mind and body. Walking releases endorphins, which naturally makes you feel good inside and lowers stress. 

A tip for a healthy school year is to get outside

Creativity and Mindfulness

Make time for creative activities. Whether it’s drawing, painting, or building with Legos, creative activities can be great stress relievers for kids and adults.

Encourage your children to engage in mindful activities, such as yoga, listening to music, or deep breathing. Mindfulness is a great way for kids to learn how to be present and in the moment, as well as reduce stress levels.

Hand Washing

Another way to ensure your children stay healthy is by teaching them good hand-washing habits. I keep sanitizer handy wherever we go. Our most important after-school rule is sanitizer in the car and hand washing when we get home.

Another way to ensure your children stay healthy is by teaching them good hand-washing habits

We have smaller kids in our family, so with the increase of germs being brought home, it is essential that hands are washed before playing with the babies. Once you start making it routine, it becomes a beautiful habit.

Get Organized

To help your kids have a successful and healthy start to the school year, it’s important to create a plan that sets them up for success. This plan should include a calendar, a to-do list, and a well-stocked backpack.

Create a calendar that maps out the school year. Use a wall calendar or an online calendar and include important dates such as holidays and school breaks. As the school year progresses, continue to add when assignments are due, tests, and field trips.

To-Do lists are a tip for a healthy school year

Creating a to-do list for each day of the week will help your kids stay organized and prepare them for what to expect each day. Include daily tasks like homework, extracurricular activities, and chores on this list.

Twiniversity Tip: To make it fun for your kids, use a dry-erase board or dry-erase markers on their mirror, and allow them to check off tasks as they are completed.

Making sure your children have a well-stocked backpack with all the supplies they need for the school year helps them to feel prepared and in control. A complete school supply list leaves no chance of a night-before-school nightmare about showing up to school without a pencil!

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One of the most important things to being healthy (and staying healthy) is getting enough sleep. Kids need sleep, and way more than most people think. Chances are if you have a bad sleeper on your hands, it may be because they actually need more sleep and their bedtime moved up. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that children between 5 and 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Start practicing a good bedtime routine a week or two before the school year starts to make sure your kids are rested and ready to start the year off healthy.

I’m not bashing iPad or TV time, but allowing their little minds and eyes to watch that before bed has really hindered my kids’ sleep, and we have noticed a huge difference since cutting that out before bed.

Creating a bedtime routine is a great tip for a healthy school year

Our household bedtime during the school year is 8 p.m. sharp. The kids are aware of this routine, so it has never been an issue. Our evenings look like this: outside play followed by an early dinner (5/5:15), then homework. We start baths at 7, followed by snack and a family read time, then off to bed.

Having an evening routine that is non-stressful yet understood clearly is important for your kids to start the year off healthy but also continue to stay healthy throughout the school year. 

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. Take the time to practice some of these tips to make sure your kids are ready for a healthy school year.

Tips for a Healthy School Year

Gwenn Black is a wife and mom to 5, including identical girls. When she isn’t at home, she works as an ER nurse, which she’s done for 13 years. She lives on the Florida East Coast and doesn’t miss a day of getting outside and soaking in a beautiful day. She enjoys Walmart pick-up, hot coffee, and her robot vacuum. She’s utterly in love with her family and thankful for every day with them. 

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