Get Ready For Back to School
Could it really be that our children, teens, young adults and even some of us adults/parents will be headed back to in person learning? I hope so! Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids 2 years old and up return to in person learning for the fall. At this point they are recommending everyone be masked regardless of vaccine status, but stay tuned…
How do we prepare our children and ourselves for the return to full week in person learning? I want to take a minute to acknowledge with gratitude my families and all they have accomplished this last year, the good, the not so good and the fantastic! I am proud of all of us. I am a believer in mindfulness and mindset to bring a positive outcome. To start this we begin to dialogue with our children/teens about all that we have to look forward to, new friends, sports, clubs, learning, time at recess, new teachers…
Then we move to specifics:
- How can we improve our general health and immune function?
- How can we improve our energy?
- How can we help our kids focus during in person learning?
All three of the above questions can be answered by improving sleep, eating a whole foods based healthy diet and exercising every day.
Begin to adjust your sleep schedules the week before going back to school (see tips below from Dr. Christoforou).
Eat a healthy, diverse diet every day, even when time is limited. Start coming up with breakfasts, lunches and dinners that incorporate 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. That means every meal, snack and treat counts: a breakfast with a solid amount of protein, some whole grains, a vegetable or a fruit. Increasing protein, fiber and healthy fats at breakfast will help our kids sustain their brain power and mood while at school. School snacks should be healthy- avoid processed foods and look to apple slices with a cheese stick, or berries and almonds. Excellent nutrition throughout the day will help focus, energy, mood and immune function
Exercise: Stay active, get outside for playtime, stay in a learning, growth mindset every day. Sports are a great way to help your kids stay healthy, happy and engaged.
For children, I recommend a good quality multivitamin daily and with the start of the cold and flu season.
I like using some elderberry syrup with a powdered vitamin C mixed in water for a breakfast drink.
I recommend fish oil daily for focus and immune health.
I also recommend vitamin D as they return to the classroom this fall. Vitamin D should be 1000IU/30lb until you reach 5,000IU. I like to cap it there for daily intake from September-June.
I recommend Zinc daily during the school year, 10-15mg. This is often supplied in a multivitamin, but if you’re using one not on this list, check to see if additional zinc is needed.
In addition to exercise, a low sugar & healthy diet, and plenty of sleep, I recommend L-theanine before school if additional support for focus is needed
What about COVID?
We have learned a lot this past year and we recommend kids return to school, get plenty of exercise, fresh air, water and eat with health in mind. Decrease the sugar, the processed foods, and sedentary/screen time. Be sure they take their vitamins, including the list above. If your child or teen gets covid, be in touch. Most children have mild cases that look like a common cold.
Yours in health,