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3 Tips for Back to School Health!

1. Practice Good Hygiene Habits

Help your children's immune system with proper hygiene! This is an essential defense against bacteria, germs, and viruses which are all over classroom and playground surfaces. Teach your children to wash their hands often and thoroughly. Proper hand washing should take at least 20 seconds with warm soap and water, followed by rinsing and complete drying. Avoid the spread of germs through coughing and sneezing by teaching your children to sneeze into the fabric of their sleeve or a tissue, instead of their hands.

2. Prioritize Sleep!

A healthy night’s sleep is essential for our immune systems! It's important for every person but even more so for children as they’re still growing and developing. Set and stick to a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep. Preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep, 9-12 for school-aged children, and 8-10 for teenagers per CDC guidelines.

Help your children to fall asleep more easily by avoiding added sugars and the use of electronic devices within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Also make sure they get enough healthy physical activity during the day to ensure good quality of sleep.

4. Feed Your Child Brain Food!

Proper nutrition leads to better academic performance.

Breakfast - Start off right with some protein, whole grains and fruits and veggies. Avoid added sugars that will hinder focus and lead to crashes later in the day. Focus on ingredients like eggs, fruit, nuts, yogurt or oats.

Lunch- Avoid refined carbohydrates and opt for whole grain bread instead. Be sure to provide lean proteins like chicken and turkey, along with healthy fats like those from avocado. These help regulate blood sugar and keep you full for longer. For sides opt for things like chopped carrots, nuts, or fresh fruit. Healthy snacks are also important to provide during the school year. The right snacks can help to manage hunger, provide essential nutrients and even aid in school performance.

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