My kids adore the barefoot, popsicle-in-hand, schedule-free summer days. The first day of school marks a tough transition…and it’s right around the corner. What can you do to help your kids jump into this school year as their best selves? Set them up for success by making sure their bodies are ready to support all that brain power.
Start Changing Sleep Schedules Now
It takes a while for bodies to adjust to earlier sleep and rise times. If you wait until the week school starts, you’re certainly in for some grouchy groggy mornings. Be proactive and start rolling bedtimes back a half hour every few days until you get to your school year goal bedtime.
Fuel Those Brains
Sugary and carb-laden breakfasts can cause foggy brains when they make insulin (a hormone that makes blood sugar drop) spike. Pick some longer-burning calories from protein and/or fat to prevent a mid-morning crash. Eggs, meats, cheese, yogurt, nuts (or nut butters) can all be good choices. My kids love when I make these egg bites in advance .
Give Them a Hand-Washing Refresher
Back to school means all…the…germs. Remind your kids how important it is to do a good job washing their hands. Have them demonstrate hand washing for you, and make sure they are covering all the areas. “Inside, outside, in between” is the mantra my daughter’s brilliant preschool teacher taught her to remind her where to hit with the soap.
Minimize Morning Chaos
Children learn best when their minds are clear. Send them to school ready to learn by streamlining your mornings. Practice morning routines for a few days before school starts. A child who tends to get distracted may be motivated to stay on task by one of these easy-to-make magnetic routine charts.
Start now in implementing these changes so that you can be sure your kids have a great start! Visit me at http://babyfluent.com where I cover the most-frequently asked questions parents ask me as a pediatrician.
Post written by: Danielle Wiese, M.D. is a pediatrician and mother of three in Indianapolis. She is the creator of Babyfluent.com, where she shares short cartoon videos on child development, safety, and other important health and wellness topics. In her free time, Dr. Wiese loves to read, cook, and party-plan.
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