How to Make Healthy Back-to-School Choices

Posted September 1, 2017

As much as we wish summer would never end, it does. The back-to-school hustle and bustle can bring about lots of excitement, fun, and new routines. However, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the madness, right?!

Not only is it a challenge to simply keep up with it all, but it’s also a challenge to maintain healthy habits amidst the demanding schedule. Incorporating healthy habits into your family’s back-to-school routine is important, and with a few tips - it’s easier than you think.

Catch Some Z’s

A good night’s sleep is key to a productive day (not only for your child, but you too!) Children who don’t get enough sleep have trouble staying focused, and thus can’t learn as effectively in the classroom. Younger children should get about 10-12 hours of sleep per night, while older children (13-18 years old) function best on 8-10 hours of sleep.

1.) Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Creating a routine before bed helps your child ease into the idea of sleep before actually having to fall asleep. Baths/showers, reading, and laying with them are all calming pre-bedtime components. In addition to following the same routine each night, it’s important to stick to the same bed time each night. This helps adjust their sleep pattern so that they won’t be groggy in the mornings [1].

2.) Ditch the electronics. The light from electronics not only stimulates our brain, but it also suppresses our body’s melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep. Bottom line: it’s a good idea to shut off all electronics well before bed time [2].

[1] https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx [2] https://sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/

Make Nutritious Choices

1.) Sneak breakfast in, even if it’s a quick banana + pb. You probably hear it all the time: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true for the kiddos heading to school. Studies have found that children who have a nutritious breakfast containing carbs and protein function better at school than those who don’t. So, even if you don’t have time for an extensive breakfast, make sure to get something in their tummies (and yours!) 2.) Prep lunches a few days in advance. Certain lunch components can be prepped ahead of time, which will make your morning routines much easier. Chopping up some veggies and separating them into baggies at the beginning of the week will make it easy to grab-n-go. Other great options that will last throughout the week include chicken salad, hard boiled eggs, pasta, and much more [1].

[1] https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx

Stay Active

Staying active not only helps your child stay physically fit, but will also help with staying focused in the classroom.

1.) Sign your child up for an after school sport. In addition to allowing your child to build new relationships, joining a sports team will also offer an opportunity for healthy exercise. There are lots of options available—so if your little one isn’t a fan of one sport, try another! 2.) Plan family time around physical activity. Spending quality time with your family is important—so why not spend time with them while being active? Go for a walk, enjoy a bike ride, or play some catch in the back yard [3].

[3] https://www.cooperinstitute.org/2013/08/healthy-back-to-school-habits/

Stay On Top of Your Child’s Medication Regimen

When you’re not with your child 24/7, you might get a little nervous in regards to their medication schedule. If you’re not there to remind them, who will?

1.) Speak with your child’s teacher and school nurse. It’s key to communicate with the caretakers at school. Informing them about your child’s medication regimen—and explaining it to them in detail—will increase the accuracy of your child’s drug schedule. 2.) If your child has a smartphone, download Habit. Available as a standalone app, Habit by MedaCheck will ensure your child takes the right dose, at the right time, every time. The app serves as a progressive reminder system that provides alerts when it’s time to take medication. Each alert has the name of the medication, a picture of the medication, and any special instructions required.

Want to Learn More?

We care about your family’s health, and we want to be a part of your support system. Want to learn more about MedaCheck’s easy-to-use medication reminder system? If you’re a hospital, care center, healthcare organization or home care provider, employer or individual, visit www.medacheck.com.