Back to School, Back to Basics

September 19, 2012

As we are getting in the swing of this new school year, remember the simple and basic keys to health.

1. Sleep: Kids need a full night’s sleep to grow, learn, and recover Help them out by setting a bed time routine that will allow them to sleep a minimum of 10 hours (for school-aged children). Pre-school aged children need a minimum of 12 hours. (www.webmd.com)

2. Water: Water is an essential nutrient for everything the body does, including learning! Kids aged 4-8 years of age need 1.3 L of water a day; while kids aged 9-13 need just over 2 L per day. Teenagers require even more than that. Be sure to help your kids out by packing a refillable water bottle in their lunch box. (www.eatright.org)

3. Breakfast: Eating a breakfast high in both protein and fiber will help keep your kiddo full until lunch, and prevent blood sugar crashes until snack time. This will leave me feeling more focused and prepared to take on their day. 

4. Activity: Limiting screen time (TV, computer, iPad, iPod, video games, etc) to less than 2 hours a day is healthy. Too much screen time is associated with obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, violence, and impaired academic performance. (www.mayoclinic.com)

5. Down Time: It is easy to overextend ourselves, and our kids. While extra-curricular activities are fun and important, so is time for rest, quiet reading, talking with family members, eating meals while not rushed, etc. This down time allows for you to connect with your children, listen to them share, and for rejuvenation. Be sure to not have an after school activity every day of the week. 

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