It's that wonderful time of year again! Across the country parents are letting out a giant sigh of relief as they send their children back to school and structure once again fills their home. It's also the time of year that I get asked how to best keep kid's healthy and focused the entire academic year. There are three surefire ways to keep health and focus on your side.
Diet Drop breakfast cereals and oatmeal, even the whole grain cereals are as bad as the sugary, chocolate puffs. All cereals, even fruit, put your star students on a blood sugar roller coaster. This will impede the brains ability to learn and focus because of the spikes and crashes in their blood sugar. It also leads to moodiness, obesity, and overall crabbiness. As I know with my own children, most kids don't need help with crabbiness! So start and end their day with heavier protein and fat based meals. This will help balance their blood sugar, give them sustained energy throughout the day, and let them sleep better at night. Breakfast meals can include eggs, steak, fish, lamb, or pork. Yes, that includes bacon or sausage! As an added bonus, high protein breakfasts will help keep them full through lunch. Keeping them full and focused keeps them healthy in mind and body.
Sleep This may be the biggest fight that some parents have in their lives, but it may be one of the most important fights for overall sanity. As your kids grow they need so much sleep. During sleep their nervous system rewires and assimilates all that they have learned in a day. The amount may not be as important as the quality, but an extra hour during the night won’t hurt. To increase the quality you need to strive for a completely black, cavelike room. This means absolutely no electronics in bed, and blackout curtains over the windows will help. The best "trick" I relay to my parent patients is to pretend to be an airline at bedtime. Anything an airline makes you shut off during takeoff and landing stays in the kitchen after bedtime. If your kids are struggling to get out the door on Monday mornings try getting up around the same time on weekends A regular sleep schedule seven days a week will pay off in six weeks when the report cards start coming in!
Exercise Children of all ages have way too much energy to sit at a desk on lockdown all day. They need to run and play. Never, ever, let a kid opt out of gym class. Encourage different ways to explore athletic endeavors. Walking, biking, even scootering home from school is a great way for a child to burn off stored energy from the school day. With plenty of energy burning exercise, good sleep is sure to follow, and they'll wake up hungry for a protein packed breakfast! Providing proper nutrition, a restful sleeping environment, and different ways to burn off energy will pay off when you see a healthy, focused student this school year. If your immune system gets a little stressed out and a germ or two find their way into your home and you'd like information on natural, homeopathic ways to manage the germs and get healthy, contact our office and we'd be glad to help! I hope you found this week’s Q & A helpful.
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