A Healthy Back-to-School Guide
It’s back to school time, which can be busy and hectic for everyone. Here are some tips for staying healthy during this time.
Breakfast is an important meal. A healthy breakfast gives you enough energy to get up and going in the morning, provides you with the fuel you need to start your day, and makes it easier to focus and learn. Even though your household is likely very busy in the morning, with everyone rushing around and trying to get out the door, still make sure that all of you eat a healthy breakfast.
Try to stay away from “quick fix” or takeout breakfast meals, however. Not only are these often lacking in nutrition, they’re also often filled with salt and sugar. Foods that contain a lot of simple sugars can result in a “crash” later in the day, which can make it difficult to to make it through the day.
Prepare Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Back to school time means a return to making and packing school lunches. Most children consume about half of their daily calories at school, so it’s important to give your kids nutritious options to eat. Make lunches at home whenever possible, and avoid takeout or processed meals. You can prepare lunches the night before or even several days ahead (depending on what types of food you’re packing) to save time. Have your kids help to make it more likely that they’ll actually eat their lunches.
If your children go to a school that has a cafeteria or one that provides lunches to children, take a look at the menu in advance andÂ make sure there are healthy choices available. This goes for school vending machines as well. You may want to send healthy snacks as well as nutritious drink options such as milk and water with your child so they won’t be tempted to get junk food or soft drinks from the vending machines.
Exercise is important for the whole family. While it’s tempting to skip your exercise routine when you’re busy rushing around trying to make appointments and get to activities, it’s not a good idea. To help you stick to an exercise schedule, put your workouts into your calendar just like you’d put any other meeting or commitment. Don’t break this commitment with yourself and your own health.
It’s also a good idea to schedule family exercise opportunities, such as after-dinner walks and sporting events on weekends. If you arrange a family football game in the park every Sunday, for example, you’ll have some great family fun while being active and staying healthy.