I’m in complete denial that my son, Josiah, is growing up. He’s 4 years old and starting school on Wednesday. He’s nervous and excited, but I’m just plain sad. I’ve thrown myself into the preparations it takes to get him ready and started for his first year at his new school.
There are, of course, several items he has to take with him and rules about which shoes and clothes can be worn, so we’ve gone shopping on several occasions. I still need to get him a backpack! What a big boy. I’ve been trying to prep him for going to school, too. I want the transition to be smooth and enjoyable for him. I want him to be healthy and ready to play, have fun, and be ready to learn. So, without further ado, here are my top 10 healthy tips to get your children ready for back-to-school!
10. Start a regular sleep schedule! Sleep is so incredibly important. Without it, kids are so sleepy at school and cannot retain materials they are supposed to be learning. Plus, they have a much higher risk for getting sick. It’s important to start getting back on the regular schedule about 2 weeks ahead of time. We don’t want a shock to the system, right?
9. Buy healthy snacks- Fruits, low-sugar foods, and organics are always great snacks for kids. Plus, it doesn’t make them feel sleepy and zapped of energy. Remember, you are what you eat. Don’t send your kids to school with chocolates and other foods you wouldn’t want them eating at your home.
8. Vitamins – Give the childrens’ immune systems that extra boost of vitamins they need. We just bought some gummy vitamins at Wal-Mart for less than $4. Many contain Echinacea, Omega-3s, and extra Vitamin C. These are all great for their systems!
7. 4 food groups – Make sure the kids have balanced meals. If you pack lunches, make sure you hit a great deal of them, especially those that are filling and nutritious without all the yucky preservatives and sugars.
6. Teach about germs – Kids really need to know about germs. Everyone has germs, some are good and some are bad. They have to have some basic concepts down to follow the next rules. I am actually packing some “germ gel” in my son’s backpack for him to use since he can’t always run to the restroom to wash his hands.
5. washing hands – Make sure your children understand the importance of washing hands, especially after being on the playground and before eating!!
4. sharing is caring?! – I know we all want our kids to share, but there is a limit. They shouldn’t be sharing drinks and eating each other’s foods. If one is sick, the other may get it, too. I always tell the kids to eat their own food and drink, not someone else’s. I hope they stick with this, though I know it’s fun to trade.
3. dress appropriately- In the earlier months, it sure is hot outside! Kids need to dress in cooler clothes if they are allowed to. Then, of course, when it gets cooler, always pack a jacket. Our school actually lets the kids keep rainboots, so they can wear those if it has been raining.
2. check-ups at the doctor – Regular check-ups at the dr. are very, very important. You can keep on top of your child’s growth, development, and any sicknesses that may occur during each season. Plus, kids tend to listen to the dr. much better than Mom and Dad.
1. Make sure they feel comfortable with their environment. It’s very important that kids feel comfortable and safe in their new environment. Starting school for the first time can be very emotional. They may be leaving parents for the first time and not used to being away. Sit with them, talk with them, let them know it’s ok. Once school starts, ask them about their days and make sure all is well at school. It’s important for them to know you are there for them and can help them if there are problems.
The summer sure has flown by! School in several counties around here actually started 2 weeks ago. Can you believe that? My mom-in-law is a school nurse and you won’t believe the stories I’ve heard about kids coming back to school with lice and other sicknesses. The parents and children are sometimes very unprepared and, in turn, the other children suffer. With Josiah, I at least feel it’s my duty to keep him healthy and ready to be learn. I can only hope the other parents will do the same!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Transitions Lenses blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.