8 things parents can do to make this school year a healthy one
Starting a new school year is a time of transition for kids. The same could be said for parents.
Overnight, the lazy summer schedule is gone. Once again, it’s time to be a homeroom parent, attend PTA meetings, shuffle kids off to football or soccer practice, and make sure everyone is fed, clothed and smiling.
So what can you do to make the switch to school-year mode happy and healthy? We’ve got suggestions:
1. Prep the night before. Make sure you have a plan for breakfast for yourself and the kids (stay clear of sugary cereals!) and have all the clothes laid out. If you have everything ready, it means you’ll have plenty of time to have a relaxing breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.
2. When it comes to fare for school parties or events, stick to fresh food. You can bring a fruit or veggie tray or something else that’s healthy and homemade. This guarantees that there is something healthy for you to eat at the event. Plus, it’s easy to throw together fruits or veggies in a nice party tray.
3. If you can, make your children’s lunch and one for yourself. You are the most invested in what your kids are eating, so it’s a good idea to consider at least occasionally making a home lunch. You don’t have to make musubi shaped like Hello Kitty. Just be sure to get in some fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins in your packed lunches.
4. While we’re talking about lunch … invest in quality lunch box items for the whole family. If you run to work after dropping your children off, or have errands, pack a lunch in quality food containers. This allows you to move beyond sandwich bags and keeps your food fresh and safe to eat later.
5. Eliminate those processed “fruit” snacks and fatty, sugary to-go foods that you buy “just for the kids” and end up eating yourself. Instead, have a fruit salad available in your fridge at all times so that when you open the door, that’s what you reach to grab and not junk food.
6. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water! Always carry a full water bottle around with you and drink it throughout the day.
7. As a mom, I know you may want to do it all, but do yourself a favor and don’t over volunteer. If you have time in your schedule (without compromising your work, cooking, or workout schedule) volunteer for one activity to help with at your child’s school. Over-volunteering will leave you more stressed and rushed.
8. Make sure you and your children get plenty of rest. School starts early, and you have to get up even earlier to be able to get out the door on time. Don’t stay up late watching TV. Make sure you can get a good seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Getting back into the school routine can be stressful. Make sure to take time out for yourself in order to spend quality time with the family.
Christina Bell Landry is the owner and lead instructor at DumBell Fitness. She’s married to a Navy diver, and is the mother of two beautiful daughters. After her second pregnancy, she found her passion for health and fitness while taking spin classes. Her focus is on weight loss, especially with military spouses. She runs several boot camp classes in Honolulu and recently launched an online workout forum called DumBell 4 Life.