Back-to-school season is upon us, and for many parents and children, the first few days can leave you feeling tired and anxious. However, with proper preparation and a slow shift back into your busy school-time routine, you can avoid the extra anxiety and sleep deprivation and start the school year off healthy and ready to go:
Slowly Start to Shift Your Routine
By slowly shifting and creating a routine, similar to the one you will be following in the coming months, you can gradually get your child used to his/her new schedule and minimize their stress during the first few weeks and months of school.
“Gradually changing bedtimes and setting more regular mealtimes will allow the body to adjust gradually. Now is the time to start following a schedule during the weekdays. Begin by slowly moving up your child's wake time and bedtime each day,” said Dr. Dipali Desai of Southwest General Medical Group Family Practice – Strongsville. You also will want to ensure that your child is getting the proper rest he/she needs each and every day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that proper sleep habits can lead to better focus, improved concentration and better academic performance. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the following amount of sleep for children:
Set Healthy Eating Habits Now
Early fall still comes with a lot of outdoor activities and running around, unfortunately making it too easy for parents and children to eat on the go. Often, this means choosing meals that are fast and lacking the nutrition your child needs for growth and development. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people aged two years or older should follow a healthy eating pattern filled with:
Dr. Desai states, “By getting your kids involved in their meal choices, and working on planning out healthy lunches and dinners for the week, you can instill healthy eating habits early on and provide them with the tools they need to make better dietary choices.” If your children are old enough, work alongside of them to create a meal plan, shop and prepare for the week together so that, each day, they can grab healthier food choices.
Make your health a priority all year long. Southwest General Medical Group, Inc.includes primary and specialty care physicians who can work closely with you to help you stay healthy through the years. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.