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So kids are back in school and the shopping is done! But there are still more important things to think about as we start a new school year. When you are little all that matters is what new sneakers you got and if your Mom splurged on the scented markers. My Mom never did. HA! But for a Mom we have to think about how we are going to keep these kids healthy beyond the cool new school clothes and supplies.
With kids going back to school and the days getting shorter we begin to usher in the dreaded flu bug season. Yes, it’s coming my friends! I don’t know one momma who looks forward to this season. I mean honestly we have these kids stuck together indoors sharing germs and swapping snacks. The flu bug is bound to creep on you and your kids this fall. Heck we homeschool and we end up hiding from the flu just like the rest of y’all! More important than the shopping, crafts, and lunchbox recipes are these 5 super simple healthy habits for back to school routines that will make fighting the flu and cold season so much easier.
5 Healthy Habits
These ideas are nothing new or novel but they are things that I think should get just as much emphasis as that amazing bento box lunch you are packing your kids for the first day. While I love all those fun back to school ideas these 5 habits will help you and your kids throughout the year. Even after the new sneakers fade and the crayons are dull.
While my husband was in nursing school the students had to complete a Community Nursing Project. They had to go out into the community and teach a nursing skill to a community group. I am pretty certain that about 80% of those students taught hand washing to school kids! I found this comical at the time. But hand washing statistics on preventing the spread of disease and infection is incredible. It’s truly amazing how some soap and water can stop the spread of sickness.
So at the beginning of the year teach your kids to wash their hands and properly! Probably because my hubs is a nurse we taught our kids to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to determine the length of time they should wash in warm soapy water. We also have a family rule that you wash your hands when you come home, every time, no exception. Second best to washing is (if your kids are old enough) send them with an alcohol free hand sanitizer and teach them to use it before lunchtime. A simple habit that we should emphasize more for back to school!
When I was a kid we always had two vitamins every morning. This was pretty uncommon when I was a kid. But my Mom made sure that each day as we went out the door we had our honking huge orange flavored vitamin c and a zinc! It was the chalkiest and grossest vitamin in the world to me. I sometimes kept mine in my pocket and “forgot” about it until my Mom found it and made me take it anyway. As we got older we took multivitamins and as an adult I still take my vitamin each day.
Fortunately for my kiddos they get Yummi Bears Organic Multi-vitamins and Immunity Health. These babies not only taste great they are free from gluten, gelatin, yeast, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, artificial flavors, artificial colors and artificial preservatives. Take a deep breath! They are quite a ways from the vitamins of my childhood and my littles love to take them. Boost your immunity before you get sick is what my Momma always taught. And yup, my Mom was right about so much!
When I was a younger gal I stayed up so late and slept in past noon. And I was always sick. I had no idea what switching up my sleep schedule would do for my overall well being. Luckily, having kids has forced me to become a pretty darn sleep scheduled human. I am totally thankful that I learned to got to bed early and wake up at a decent hour. But it wasn’t always like this. With my first child I could not figure out why she just wouldn’t go to sleep, she would stay up until 2 am and that got real old real fast.
We finally started a bedtime routine and didn’t look back. Sleep training is crazy important and it’s never too late to start a new habit. We all know that kids need a ton of sleep to grow, develop, and generally not be monsters so stack the cards in your favor. Sleep as much as you can, it’s worth it! Thank heaven for back to school and sleep on the regular!
If your school permits send your kids with a reusable water bottle. Have your kids drink water all day! We don’t teach our kids to stay hydrated. We are dehydrated and cranky. It’s killing our diets and overall well being. And our kids need to hydrate as much as we do. My daily rule for drinking water is my weight in ounces, this is totally a ton of water but I love it! Since starting to carry water regularly I have had more energy and been more focused. Honestly, get your kids to start drinking plain old h20 and they will start a life long habit. Do some research on hydration and you will be amazed at the benefits! Plus, there a bunch of totally cool water bottles on the market these days. Hydrate on!
Sugar is a beast y’all! I get it. I love it too. But we really should break up with her. She’s everywhere and we all know it’s not an everyday food. At lunchrooms across the country apples and pears are chucked in the garbage and the brownie is gobbled up. We see these viral threads of what kids eat for school lunches in other countries and complain. But let’s be honest for a second, we feed our kids what they are eating and it is junk. We have to teach them to choose better at home first. And I am a believer in all things in a balanced and moderate way.
Ultimately my big substitute for my kiddos is to feed them lots of fruits. Yes, it’s sugar. It’s not processed sugar though and the benefits are great. Provide snacks of fresh fruit for after school and pack them fruit. Feed them fruits of every kind and I bet you they will start choosing the fruit. Fruit is good for you and it’s yummy! So you don’t even have to get cray cray and make a swan out of an apple just pack those school kids brain healthy energy!
Be Good to Yourself
Now Momma, at the end of the day these things are just suggestions. Ideas that you can implement into your lifestyle. But ultimately you do you Momma! And remember that healthy habits at a young age will make adulting that much easier. I know these habits aren’t a new thing but just something I hope we can think about more as we go back to school. And perhaps take some time to say yes, this year we are going to do this instead! It’s a fresh start and lets make it a great school year!