September 6th is the big day for our kids to go back to school. With the change from a summer schedule to a school schedule, it is a good opportunity to shift our focus again towards our bodies, as well as our kids’ bodies. Things like adequate, consistent sleep and a balanced diet become paramount in getting through the week in a productive and positive fashion.
Adequate sleep comes in all shapes and sizes. The amount of sleep that your children need is very different from the amount adults require. It is also important to remind yourself that you can’t beat your sleeping pattern; the human body cannot function well on several nights of 4-5 hours of sleep in a row. For children, adequate rest is important for their bodies to develop. Adequate rest for a school-age child is defined as 9-11 hours of sleep per night. Adults should strive to get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Even though it is sometimes hard to make time for adequate sleep, think of it as recharging your batteries for the day ahead.
With plenty of sleep, comes the body’s desire to refuel with nutrients and sustenance for the day ahead. A balanced breakfast comes in the form of a good protein source, which could be eggs, yogurt, or a lean meat such as sliced chicken or turkey bacon. Understandably, parents don’t always have the time to whip together a bacon-and-eggs experience, so try to keep breakfast items on hand that still give the body an energy boost but are also easy to prepare. A healthy bowl of granola or oatmeal with milk can give the body the protein power it needs for a productive day.
Breakfast isn’t the only important fuel in a child’s school day. It’s also easy as an adult to skip lunch when your day is busy. But ultimately, your body won’t be pleased. A balanced and proportionate lunch is just as important to finish the day strong. For both our kids and ourselves, we should focus on meal prepping for the week, ahead of time, to avoid the quick run to the deli or the expensive lunch out with the co-workers. This not only will save money, but will help avoid impulsive decisions based on daytime cravings. Even better, by planning your child’s lunch, you will be able to ensure they are getting the adequate nutrients necessary for the second half of the school day.
Getting a good night’s sleep and planning your weekly diet is easier said than done, that’s for sure. It takes practice and discovering what works for you and your kids. The folks at Family Choice Urgent Care believe in a healthy lifestyle and enjoy supporting you in this process.