It is that time of year again. Our kids are back to school and as parents we can find our sanity again. Thank goodness for teachers!
The long summer days provide time for parties, beach time, and travel. But now that school is back in session our kids are back to sitting more, being exposed to new germs, and our sleep schedules are still wacky. As parents we are also going through some of the same changes. Our kiddos are bringing home those germs and we too sit more during the fall and winter months. So, here are some tips to help you and your kiddos build strong immune systems and limit brain fog for optimal learning!
Start your day with an upbeat song & dance party. Yes, turn up a good song and boogie down with your kid(s) for 5 minutes. This will boost blood flow to the brain and get your neurotransmitters firing!
Eat a breakfast high in protein and fiber and NO added sugar. One of the worse things we can do to our bodies and our kids bodies is start our day off with lots of sugar and little to no nutritional value. Many studies have shown how added sugar creates brain fog and causes an increase in blood sugar levels along with higher levels of hunger later on. A great quick breakfast for my kids is oatmeal (rolled oats no added sugar only takes max 5 minutes) with ½ tbsp of peanut butter, and ¼ cup of berries. I also will throw in a hard boiled egg for added protein. Another quick go-to breakfast is my “monster shakes.” I take 8-10 oz of almond milk, 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder, 1 big handful of power greens, 1 medium banana, and 1-2 tbsp of peanut or almond butter, Ice and blend till smooth. This provides about 6 oz of shake for both kids. They love it!
Meal prep on Sunday nights as a family! Why pack your kids a different lunch than what you should be packing yourself? Yes, your portions will be different sizes depending on your child's age but we all need good nutrition, so get the kids involved in meal prepping. My kids help pack their lunches on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. On Friday’s if my kids have a good week at school they get “HOT” lunch as a reward. They know they must get the fruit and veggies being offered and eat them first. Then they eat the protein being offered and anything else is their choice.
Get sleep! One of the best things I did was switch out my kids LED light bulbs with a red LED light bulb. The bright blue rays given off from LED lights can impact your melatonin levels during the evening. So we also turn off all lights in the kitchen and common areas. We allow the light from the windows to guide us, but once that sun goes down it is story time and zzzz time. Another tip: Take 5-10 minutes and read your kiddos a story. Even if they are 10 years old.
Keep the same night and morning routine as best as you can. Keeping a healthy and positive morning and night time routine will help limit stress on you and your kiddos. Everyone knows what is expected and once you all get in a rhythm you are able to save time in the long run. My kids know when we say it is bed time, they run upstairs, brush their teeth, take a bath or shower, I clean their ears and brush their back teeth (as a touch up), they get into their pajamas, and then into their bedroom for a story and kiss good night.
Once you get your kids in bed it is time for your to brush your teeth and sit down and read for 10 minutes. Have a lamp next to your bed with a LED red light too, so your body gets to wind down properly as well.
I hope these tips are helpful and you have a healthy and happy school year. Before you know it we will be back to summer fun!