By Nindy Grewal, Holistic Nutritionist, Live Blood Cell Analyst
Tips for Surviving a Healthy School Year
We are now winding down on summer and preparing for a new school year, both can bring about feelings of excitement and anxiousness. As parents, we are ready for the kids to be back on track with regular sleep and wake times, scheduled meal times and of course less activity in and out of the house. However, giving up the relaxed routines of summer can also raise a lot of anxiety in both children and adults. Getting back to school can also mean pressures to meet time lines and to be more organized for the days and even weeks ahead. As we prepare our children with new back packs, books, pencils and clothes – are we also preparing them physically and mentally to have a healthy academic year?
Below I have listed my top 5 things to do to ensure your children and you have a safe and healthy school year to prepare for the fall and winter months.
5 Top Tips:
1. Sleep Schedule – Creating a sleep schedule for your children and yourself is key. Sleep is so vital to our health and for proper mood and brain function. The long daylight hours in summer naturally keeps us awake and enjoying the day longer, which causes the bed times to also become much later. Getting children to sleep the same time each day and preparing a bedtime routine to allow for some “down time” to relax and turn off the mind is important for a proper, restful sleep. Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before sleep. A nice warm shower or bath, a bedtime story or sharing some things you are grateful for with each other is a great way to unwind. Ensure all technology and televisions are off for an hour before sleep to help the brain quiet. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and vetiver are excellent for calming and lessening any feelings of anxiety.
2. Meal Prep- Preparing for lunches and dinners can be another area of great anxiety for many parents. Try to plan your meals on the weekend to avoid last minute stress about what to make or what to eat. This planning helps you to make healthier food choices and not have you grabbing a frozen meal option or a take-away the last second. Make sure you grocery shop before the week begins and stock the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables for healthy snacks and to make simple sides with lunches or dinners. Cutting fresh veggies and packing them in snack bags, ready to throw in a lunch bag is a great way to save time on washing and cutting the morning of. Have a snack bin with healthy snack options ready for your children to pick out themselves to pack in their own lunches the night before. Here is a link to some amazing school lunch ideas to try: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/back-to-school-lunch-ideas/
Also, prepping dinners by ensuring all ingredients are already bought, cutting up foods or even half cooking can easily save time once you get home from work. Slow cooker meals are a great option too! Here is a link to some fantastic slow cooker meals : http://www.delish.com/cooking/g1419/healthy-slow-cooker-recipes/
3. Boost your immune!- Eating nutritious foods high in Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, as well as foods high in antioxidants. Eating foods such as dark leafy greens, cold water fish or fish oils (cod /halibut), eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, wild blueberries, elderberries, bell peppers, asparagus, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets and spices such as cloves, oregano, turmeric and ginger will all help support and build a healthy immune system. Taking a probiotic, that will add healthy bacteria in your gut will also aid in defending against bad bacteria and yeast/fungus overgrowth that can lead to colds and flus. Ensuring your children take a good quality multi-vitamin that has a full range of B vitamins, C and Zinc will protect them from germs and other bacteria that is likely going to pass through their schools in the coming year. The key is build their immune system now before cold and flu season starts!
4. Exercise – It sounds pretty obvious to suggest everyone gets exercise, but it is a great way to relieve stress, reduce feelings of anxiousness and get movement to keep the body healthy by allowing the lymphatic system to flow and release toxins. Regular workouts, hiking or yoga are great forms of exercise to incorporate into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be an hour class in a fancy gym, even 15 minutes at home of intense moving is enough to feel the benefits!
5. Keep a journal- Journal writing is proven to keep people on task and focused. A simple to-do list to organize what tasks need to be completed for the day is a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment and to stay motivated. At the end of the day, writing a brief summary of the day’s events or feelings that arise can provide an outlet for releasing stress or off-loading any emotions that may be creating tension in the mind and body. Lastly, writing a few things you are grateful for can also bring that positive energy and light back to you to feel calm and peaceful.
Bringing balance to mind, body and soul.
Nindy Grewal – Holistic Nutritionist (CNP, LBA, Cl. Irid., B.Ed)