Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Back to School Tips for Parents

 “There is nothing more important than a caring and empowered parent.”
                                                     --David Lawrence, Jr., President of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and former publisher of the Miami Herald

Image result for pictures of kids at school

This week friends have been posting adorable pictures on social media of their little ones all dressed up in new school outfits with big smiles and lots of excitement about the new school year.  One picture just cracked me up:  a friend’s son insisted she take a picture of him with his back to the camera showing off his new Spiderman backpack.  Love it! 

The success of our kids in school depends on teachers, principals, and most importantly, parents.

Here are 5 Back to School Tips for Parents that can make a difference in your child’s school year:

1.       Help your kids get a great start to each day by ensuring they get enough sleep at night with non-negotiable bedtimes.
2.       Make sure your kids have a good breakfast each day.  Kids need protein, some good carbs, and a little fat for breakfast.  Steel cut oats (cook it the night before) with a little almond milk and fresh seasonal fruit like blueberries, ½ cup Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on a whole grain waffle or scrambled eggs with a little cheddar cheese wrapped in a whole grain tortilla are 3 suggestions for healthy breakfasts for growing healthy kids. 
3.       Plan to have lunch with your child at least once in the first 2 weeks of school.  This is an especially important tip if your son or daughter has a school-prepared lunch.  Watch to see if your child is throwing away most of the lunch or eating most of it.  See how much added sugar is in the flavored milks, if that is what they are choosing.
4.       Fill a large bowl with fresh fruit to keep on your dining table within the kids’ reach.  Fresh fruit makes a great after school snack. 
5.       Set aside a special area at home for your kids to do their homework.  Make sure they have a glass of cold water to drink to ensure that they are properly hydrated.  Most kids (and adults) do NOT drink enough water.

Dare to care enough to give your kids bedtime boundaries, access to fresh whole foods, and lots of love. Be empowered.   None of us received an instruction manual when we had kids.   Being a parent, however, is the most important - and best - job we will ever have! 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.