Healthy Habits for Back-to-School

As a teacher, I know that students learn much more effectively if they are healthy. As a few reminders and tips, here are ways you can keep your kids (and other students) healthier this year.

– Get enough sleep. Sleep boosts the immune system and mental health, as well as keeping your kids’ minds ready to learn.
– Promote healthy handwashing. You don’t need to be obsessive about it, but making sure kids do wash hands properly is important (and even older kids need reminders).
Eat healthy. Good nutrition also boosts the immune system. Get plenty of vitamin C especially, but also a well-balanced diet overall. It’s easy and tempting to reach for the convenient, not-so-good-for-you snacks, but if you keep lots of healthy, easy options on hand (and less junk), it’ll be easy to encourage your kids to choose them. Fresh fruit and cut veggies are good, as are cheese sticks and nuts.
– Let your kids stay home if they’re sick. It can be tempting to send them, especially so you don’t have to take time off from work, but it can prolong illnesses and make them less productive, as well as spread germs. It’s better for your kids to stay home a day and go back refreshed than to drag themselves in to school for three days of misery and lack of focus.
– Take some down time. Kids need time to recharge, for both physical and mental health. This can be time spent playing a game, going for a walk, snuggling on a Saturday morning, or whatever is relaxing.
– Stay active. Even if your kids have a lot of homework, encourage stretch breaks and family activity. Physical activity also helps the immune system and mental health, and can recharge the brain too.

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