School is starting again and it is time to create new schedules for ourselves and the kids. This can be a daunting task and is usually stressful. With all of the changes being made, most of us gain weight during the first weeks of the new school year. Even our children suffer from weight gain during this time.
There are a few things that every parent should do to prepare themselves for the busy month ahead of them. With new school days, homework, and the ever-expanding school supply list, we tend to neglect other important facets of our lives. Balanced meals can become a memory for a short time when we are stressed and time is in short supply.
To prepare for the first month of school, follow these six simple steps and the transition will be smooth for you and your child!
1. Research the nutritional value of the school’s hot lunches. If they are to your satisfaction, allow your child to be part of the decision-making for meals in school.
2. Eat breakfast with your child. Have a fun routine every morning that includes a healthy meal and lots of laughs. One of the best gifts you can give your child is a good start to their day. Have that time set aside every morning and discuss fears, joys, and school assignments. You and your child will benefit from this morning ritual.
3. Make a dinner menu for the first month. Be sure to have a shopping list that coordinates with the menu. Prepare some easy casseroles and freeze them ahead of time for nights where you will be pressed for time, such as open house and new sports practices. This will enable you to simply defrost your meal and pop it into the oven for those busy nights. This also ensures that the fast food chains, unhealthy decisions, and foods that are of poor quality will not be part of your new routine.
4. Start your school year with good habits. Eating on the run, sleeping in, sedentary habits, and rushing are not healthy for your children. The effort you put into the routine will dictate its success or failure. Show your child you are happy to have a nice breakfast with them and let them see that you enjoy their new schedule. Go to practice with them. Make time for a 30 minute walk every night to keep exercise in your routine. This will provide your kids with satisfaction and a feeling of belonging. You will benefit as well.
5. Stick to the bed time. Kids need their sleep. Have quiet time for an hour before bed so they may do their homework, read, or watch television. Everyone in the home gets their own space and time and this helps everyone wind down from their day and prepare for bed.
6. Meet the teachers and offer to be part of the class. Whether you can offer a healthy breakfast once a week or month, make copies, or come in and help with work, the teachers will appreciate it and your child will love having you as a part of their school day!
These strategies will keep your body and mind healthy during the transition from summer to autumn as well as strengthen the bonds with your children! Have a happy, healthy, and enjoyable school year!!