School has resumed and is in full swing. Did you know we can work to make our children better students and help make them healthier at the same time? We can, all we need do is help the children make more healthy choices because healthy students have been shown to learn better.
Health related factors such as abuse, chronic illness, and hunger have been shown to lead to poor school performance. Per the Centers for Disease Control, Health risk behaviors such as early sexual initiation, violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores as well as lower overall level of education completed.
This means that healthy kids are more likely to graduate high school and beyond.
What can we do to make sure children are healthy and perform their best at school? Check out the tips below to help improve your child’s overall wellness so they can conquer the classroom.
Establish a routine for sleeping. Children need the proper amount of sleep to be alert and ready to learn. A well-rested child is also less grouchy and will have a better attitude towards learning and school. The national sleep foundation suggests that kids ages 3-5 get 10-13 hours of sleep at night, ages 6 to 13 should get 9-11 hours and teens should get 8-10 hours.
Provide your kids with healthy foods.
Schools have taken huge steps to make sure what they are serving for school lunches are healthy and provide necessary vitamins and nutrients. However, it is hard to tell which parts of their lunch your kids are eating and what they are throwing away.
That is why it is important to make sure you provide a healthy well balanced diet at home.
Make sure your meals and snacks include fruits and vegetables and are low in fat. Try to avoid trans fats and excess sugar when at all possible.
Make sure your children stay physically active. The amount of time children spend in P.E. classes and being physically active in school has decreased since you were in school. Enroll them in programs or sports that promote physical activity and cut down on their screen time and have them play outside more.
Don’t skip check-ups. Make the regular appointments that your doctor, optometrist, and dentist recommend. This could go a long way to keeping them healthy and identifying what could be holding them back in school. No one will perform up to their best ability if they can’t see well or they have a tooth ache.
The last way to help your child succeed in school is to make sure they have a good environment for studying and homework. A good environment is free from distractions like TV, loud noises, and other children playing.
Also, make sure your student has a proper place to sit up straight and write.
Do your best to have your children happy and healthy when they get to school and watch them succeed!
Tyler Glidden is the wellness director for the McPherson Family YMCA.