Staying healthy throughout the school year is generally a top priority for many families. Keep sick days at bay because with a little preparation total family wellness can be enjoyed by all.
Make sure healthy eating habits start at home. Student lunches and snacks can be loaded with sugar fats and preservatives so make sure your family has a healthy base of food knowledge to inform their eating decisions. Focus on whole foods at home and try to introduce two new foods a week. You might be surprised at the response!
Take a few minutes each weekend to menu plan, shop the ingredients and be sure to get your kids involved. Being organized is a great way to avoid the quick and easy fast food drive through. It is also a good idea to speak with your family doctor or pediatrician about a multi-vitamin simply to ensure everyone is getting all essential vitamins.
Healthy minds are well rested minds. Getting enough sleep might seem like a no-brainer, but studies show that 1 in 3 adults do not get enough rest each night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children ages 6-13 get 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night, teenagers 14-17 get 8 to 10 hours each night. Sleep plays an important role in whether a student feels alert or drowsy, stressed or relaxed as it can have an effect of temperament, learning and other behavior.
Experts suggest that screen time should be limited for all students. A child’s day should consist of school, homework time, at least one hour of physical activity, social time and sleep. If there is any time left over that time can include screen time. A good family rule of thumb is to turn off phones during dinner time. Parents act as role models and should be respectful of family time by putting down phones and closing the laptop. It is also recommended to keep digital devices out of bedrooms as a way for parents to monitor time and content.
A family that plays together stays healthy together. Make sure and pencil a few family fun activities each weekend and throughout the week. An activity can be as simple as taking a walk together; simply getting outside, enjoying the fresh air and scenery is a fantastic family wellness activity. Another great idea is to take the family to your local farmers market. There is sure to be something for everyone and it is a great way to get local and fresh items.
Have a happy and healthy school year with these tips on total family wellness.