Helpful Tips for Healthy Habits

Before school starts…

  • Ease back into a routine
    • Get children in bed by a specific time
    • Get kids used to waking up early, brushing their teeth, getting dressed and eating breakfast
  • Organize a master calendar with school holidays, sports practices, events so that you can get an idea of your schedule in a glance
  • Start a reading time in the afternoon so kids will be used to using that time for homework
  • Make sure annual exams and immunizations are up to date.

Watch this video as Liz Chea, MD discusses vaccinations and back to school.

Developing good study habits

  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework—a place that is quiet and without distractions
  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time
  • Supervise computer and internet use
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for them
  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child’s teacher, school counselor, or healthcare provider
  • Some children need help organizing their homework—try tools like checklists, timers, and parental supervision
  • Establish a good sleep routine that enables your child to get 8-10 hours of sleep per night
    Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016.

Healthy Back-to-School Eating

Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better at school. They do better academically and have better concentration and more energy.

Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria lunch menus home and/or have them posted on the school’s website. With this information, you can plan to pack lunch for your child on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat. All foods sold during the school day must meet nutrition standards established by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Schools should stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice. Learn about your school’s wellness policy and get involved in school groups to put it into effect.

For some healthy and easy after-school snack ideas, check out some of these recipes…