The start of a new school year is a fresh start for students and families and a great opportunity to establish routines that help students thrive academically, emotionally and socially. It’s a good time to gather as a family and commit to some new healthy habits. Successfully adapting to new routines takes planning, so here are some resources.
Start each day off with a healthy and energy sustaining breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood. Here’s a great “to go” option – a Blue Zones Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie.
Having healthy snacks available to take to school supports good nutrition and can help positively impact one’s mood when setting new routines. Avoid adding empty-calorie comfort foods (cookies, chips, candy) in the pantry while adding many whole foods and minimally processed foods. Limiting energy-boosting drinks as a quick fix when stress and/or fatigue appears will also support healthful options. To read more about foods and their impact on moods-- bchd.org/foods-and-moods.
Make sure your kids remember the water and water bottle. Most school-age youth do not consume the recommended amount of water, so start the day with a glass of water and send along a full water bottle that can be refilled at school.
Walking and biking to school is a great way to build physical activity into everyday life while improving fitness and mental well-being. In fact, teachers find that pupils who don't arrive by car are more relaxed, alert and ready to start the day. With more students riding e-bikes to school, here’s a link to tips for safe biking in the Beach Cities.
Good Sleep Matters
Start your day off on the right foot by getting a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep can affect our memory, judgement and mood.
Build a sleep routine by learning to wake up and go to sleep at a consistent time. Create a sleep-friendly environment by avoiding bright lights like computers and phones in the bedroom.
Schedule Annual Physicals and Update Vaccines
Back to school is the perfect time to get annual physicals completed and assure vaccines are up to date. Participating in school sports may require proof of a physical exam, so check with your local school district or school for forms and more specific information.
Vaccines can prevent students from getting and spreading serious health diseases. Click here to see recommended vaccines, by age, from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.