The start of the school year brings many changes, one of which being a significant change to family schedules. It is not uncommon for these changes to throw us off track in terms of our healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some tips to help keep your family on track as this school year begins.
1. Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast score higher on tests, concentrate better, solve problems more easily, and have better muscle coordination. For adults, benefits include enhanced vitamin and mineral intake, weight control, increased mental clarity, and greater production at work. If you are running short on time in the morning, here are some quick options:
- Oatmeal topped with nuts or raisins
- Low-fat yogurt with sliced fruit or a banana
- Whole-grain toast with almond butter
A fruit and vegetable smoothie that can be put in a to-go cup (put the ingredients in the blender the night before so all you have to do is add your frozen items and zap it in the morning)
2. Pack lunches together the night before. Allowing your child to be part of the process and decision making means they are more likely to be happy with the selections and will be more likely to eat it. It also gives you an extra set of hands to get things done, all while empowering them. It’s also one less thing you have to worry about in the morning. Pack yours while you are at it! Some ways to keep it fun:
- Cut fruit into fun shapes
- Have a themed lunch like certain colored foods for holidays
- Present food differently like putting chunks of fruits, veggies, and a protein on a wooden skewer
- Fast options: turkey and cheese roll-ups; almond butter and banana sandwiches; yogurt, fruit, and granola; leftover pasta; whole grain crackers with cheese and fruit
3. Stay active. Running from one activity to the next leaves little time for meals as a family and homework, let alone unstructured play. Carefully consider the activities your children are involved in. Plan family time around physical activity such as bike riding, hiking, or playing soccer in the yard. Limit screen time for your children to one to two hours a day. There are all sorts of benefits that come from being active for both old and young, but a few big ones come to mind: improved energy, improved mood, enhanced learning and memory, improved concentration, better sleep, increased immune function, decrease risk for disease, and improved weight control.
4. Write everything down onto a calendar or planner. Fitting in your physical activity can be a challenge as well as finding time to prepare healthy meals. Putting all activities and obligations on a master family calendar allows you to see where you can carve out time for your own activity, as it’s so important to practice self care. Get creative. Maybe it is running around the field while your child is at soccer practice. Maybe it is taking turns as to who does drop off so you can hit the gym first thing in the morning. Maybe it is taking turns with a friend watching each other’s kids so that you can each get some physical activity in or have time to prepare dinner.
5. Get enough sleep. This goes for the entire family. Sleep is just as vital to us adults as it is to growing children. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, impatience, the inability to concentrate, and a decrease in productivity. Additionally, sleep deprivation alters immune function. Getting enough sleep leads to a happier and more efficient environment, so that your family is better able to face the challenges that a new and busy routine brings.
6. Use essential oils. From valor for those first day of school jitters to thieves for immune support to a focus roller to help your child stay on track, oils are a huge tool for back to school season. To learn more about essential oils, check out this page. You can also follow Dr. Marchman’s oily Instagram page at @dropsofhealth.
7. Get adjusted. Getting your spine aligned helps you function better, mentally and physically. And who couldn’t use a little mental and physical boost once school is back in session? Adjustments are safe and effective for the entire family and regular adjustments can make a huge difference in the overall wellness of your family.
Hopefully these tips will help you maintain your healthy lifestyle habits with the start of the school year. Here’s to a happy, healthy year for your family!
Dr. Kristin Marchman loves serving the Cumming community and assisting in educating about health and wellness. As a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Georgia Birth Network, Dr. Marchman is dedicated to providing optimal health to her patients through chiropractic care. She is certified in the Webster Technique for pregnant women, a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nervous system and balances maternal pelvic muscles and ligaments. This in turn reduces torsion in the uterus, a cause of intra-uterine constraint of the baby, and allows for optimal fetal positioning in preparation for birth.
5830 Clarion Street, Suite 101, Cumming, GA 30040 | 678.947.4449