Back to School: Tips for a Healthy and Happy School Year

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Another summer has come and gone, and another school year is waiting in the wings. How do you ensure that your child has a good, healthy year of learning ahead?

Simple–you can browse through our 4 important back to school tips. Plus, take a look at some healthy snack and lunch options.

Tips for a Healthy and Happy School Year

sleeping child

Encourage Better Sleep

One easy way to ensure you child has a healthy school year is to make sure they are getting good sleep every night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, here is the amount of hours your children should be getting:

  • 3-5 years old: 10 to 13 hours
  • 6-13 years old: 9 to 11 hours
  • 14-17 years old: 8 to 10 hours
  • 18-25 years old: 7 to 9 hours

So, where do your kiddos land? If you have room for improvement, don’t worry, sleep deficiency is actually pretty common in America. What’s more important is that you improve these habits–it will help your family out in the long run.

Why?

Well, lack of sleep could bring a heap of issues, especially in children. The American Family Physician reports that sleep disorders in kids may lead to behavioral problems, irritability, mood problems or even increased risk of illness (1).

In fact, a Sleep Medicine study evaluated responses of 3476 8th and 10th students to analyze their sleep efficiency and how it affected them. What were the results? Those who felt deprived of sleep also complained of health-related issues, more so than those who reported sufficient sleep each night. (2)

So, let’s make sure our kids get some good shut-eye every night so they can take on any school day! After all, deep sleep is essential for learning and for brain health. (3)

Tips for Better Sleep

Here is how you can encourage better sleep hygiene for your little ones.

  • Set a bedtime. Yes, it’s a phrase that kids don’t like to hear and a whole ordeal that parents get tired of enforcing. However, it is necessary. Be firm, but also speak with heart. Try making health an incentive for going to bed on time: “If you sleep now, you can wake earlier enough for a bigger, better breakfast!”
  • Begin your family’s nighttime routine at least 30 minutes before you enforce it. The wind-down will help everyone fall asleep when they need to relax.
  • Use natural alternatives as necessary.  We can all use a little help sometimes, but it’s always wise to turn to whole foods when possible, especially with kids! Our Apothe-Cherry can help support better sleep with natural, organic tart cherry extract.

 

kid eating cereal

Implement a Morning Routine

A good morning routine is absolutely essential for a good day. Your routine should include bathing, brushing teeth and other hygienic necessities. This will help your children stay healthy all year long.

What’s more, this routine should include a hearty breakfast. Quick, small breakfasts are okay, but we do not recommend to do this every day, especially if you’re child is eating sugar-packed cereal or filler-filled “nutrition” bars.

But what’s worse? Skipping breakfast altogether! That’s a big no-no. One study published in Nutrition Today suggests this meal is integral in aiding your children (and even young adults) growth and nutritional well-being (4).

So, make sure your kiddos are eating!

Tips for a Better Morning Routine

  • Play some jams. Mornings are better with music. Create a playlist with your child (this is really fun with younger kids, but your older children might not want to try this)
  • Let your child make their own schedule (within reason).  Giving just a little bit of control makes things easier, plus this will help you child form habits on their own. But sorry, no gummy bears for breakfast.
  • Encourage whole foods during breakfast. Colorful candy is a no-go, but vibrant fruits and veggies are a “yes.” Make sure these superfoods make it into every plate, whether it’s a quick oatmeal or waffle. If you need a little superfoods help, try introducing Epi-Genius Kids to your children. It’s loaded with fruits, veggies, healthy fats, proteins and more. But all your child will taste is a chocolate smoothie (really).

What’s next? Immune health!

kid sneezing

Emphasize Immune Health Awareness

Depending on the age of your child, immune health could be a tough topic to explain. It’s important to emphasize precautions in spreading and picking up bacteria that can make us sick.

In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend being vigilant about preventing the flu, most especially during school seasons. Ensure your children are being safe to prevent them from needing days off to recover from being sick.

Tips for Immune Health

  • Pack mini, anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizer in your child’s bag (if allowed by your child’s school).
  • Ensure your entire family knows not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth until washing their hands, especially after playing outside, using a computer or handling any object with heavy hand-traffic.
  • Stock up on superfoods. Eating whole foods can help strengthen immune health. You can supplement with our kid-safe, Immune Shield, featuring powerful plants, like elderberry fruit and amla.

almond butter with strawberry on bread

Prepare Healthy Snacks and Meal Options

When school rolls around, life gets crazy and busy. Soon, you run out of time to even cook meals and BAM, you end up leaving a drive-thru with a bag full of GMO-garbage. It happens! But this year, you’ll be totally prepared!

Shop ahead of time and plan out meals. Do the same with snacks! Package small fruits so you child may take them to school.

Here are some quick snack ideas to help.

Quick, Healthy Food Ideas

Quinoa with veggies

Cook the quinoa in an organic vegetable broth with some of your kid’s favorite veggies. Season to a desired taste and pack in a thermos to keep it warm all day. Make a big batch and have leftovers.

Apple and almond butter

Kids love to dip everything! Give them a few slices of an organic apple (green or red) with some organic, all-natural almond butter. They will love it and you’ll feel good about them eating their fruit and nuts!

Homemade fruit cups

Cut up a bunch of fresh organic fruits and put them in a BPA-free container with a little organic coconut water. Freeze them and they will double as an ice pack for the kids’ lunch!

Roasted cauliflower

Healthy “popcorn!” Cut up some organic cauliflower and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the little florets with coconut oil, Himalayan sea salt and organic garlic. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

Epi-Genius Energy Bites

This can be their “dessert.” All you need is 1 cup raw organic cashews, 6 organic pitted Medjool dates, 1 serving of Epi-Genius Kids, 1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract, a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil. Pulse everything in a food processor and roll into little balls. Put in the fridge to harden and then enjoy!

Good luck!

We hope you and your children have a happy, healthy, new school year! If you want healthy tips of your own life, check out these health hacks. 

Cited Studies

  1. Carter, K. A., Hathaway, N. E., & Lettieri, C. F. (2014). Common sleep disorders in children. American family physician89(5).
  2. Paiva, T., Gaspar, T., & Matos, M. G. (2015). Sleep deprivation in adolescents: correlations with health complaints and health-related quality of life. Sleep medicine16(4), 521-527.
  3. Fattinger, S., de Beukelaar, T. T., Ruddy, K. L., Volk, C., Heyse, N. C., Herbst, J. A., … & Huber, R. (2017). Deep sleep maintains learning efficiency of the human brain. Nature communications8, 15405.
  4. Nicklas, T. A., O’Neil, C., & Myers, L. (2004). The importance of breakfast consumption to nutrition of children, adolescents, and young adults. Nutrition Today39(1), 30-39.

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