Take a moment to review some easy ways to help your children enjoy a happy, healthy school year. Consider these tips.
- When it comes to staying healthy, nothing does the trick better than frequent hand-washing. Remind students to wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom or playing outside.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating and after using a computer mouse, pencil sharpener or water fountain.
- Arm your children with sanitizer, and consider donating disinfecting wipes to the classroom for everyone to use.
- Remind students not to share their food, water bottles or other personal items.
- Being active, not necessarily in sports, helps children learn, develop social skills and build self-esteem. It's also a great way to spend family time together. Ride bikes after dinner, play catch after work or take the dog for a brisk walk.
- Maintain healthy sleep habits, including consistent bedtimes and wake times. Children ages 5-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night.
- Talk to your students about the purpose of homework. It might help to explain that, just like a favorite sport or hobby, practice is required to improve.
- Make sure students have a comfortable, quiet and distraction-free spot to do homework.
- Work with your children to determine a set time for them to do homework. Remember that many kids function better with a bit of free time immediately after school, so a later homework time might be a better choice.
- Don’t hover, but be available for guidance with instructions, and check to make sure the work is complete. Don’t forget to add praise for a job well done.
- It’s been said before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you’re in a rush (and who isn’t?), try low-fat yogurt with sliced fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter or instant oatmeal with nuts or raisins.
- If your children eat lunch at school, review the menu together to select healthier choices.
- If you pack a lunch, shop together to pick out healthy food. Even better, encourage them to pack their own.
- The more choices you offer, the better. Protein sources may include tuna, peanut butter, turkey or beans. Use whole-grain bread, tortillas or crackers. Rotate fruit with sliced vegetables.