Kids dread it.
Parents kinda look forward to it.
Primary care provider Dr. Janet Larsen shares some advice for helping school-aged kids put their healthiest and best foot forward for the first day, and following weeks of the new school year.
Dr. Janet Larsen: Many students over the summer shift their sleeping habits to staying up late and sleeping in. This can create a great deal of stress during the first few weeks of school as they are re-acclimated to an appropriate sleep schedule.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to contribute to difficulty learning, poor concentration, and decreased problem-solving abilities, not to mention increases in aggressive and/or inappropriate student behavior.
It’s recommended for most school-aged children (age 5-12) to get about 9 to 11 hours of solid sleep per night.
Teens (age 12-18) should get about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
Dr. Larsen: Establishing a consistent sleep routine can help minimize the occurrence of back-to-school stress in students.
Sources of anxiety vary with age – and can affect kindergartners to teens leaving for college.
In many cases, the source can be attributed to social concerns – making new friends – or worries around performance.
Parents can help manage stress by helping their students prepare well in advance of the first day – include students in attending orientation sessions, school tours, purchasing supplies, and doing morning routine run-throughs.
Dr. Larsen: Children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
However, not all breakfast is created equally.
Eating many high-glycemic-index foods – which cause powerful spikes in blood sugar – can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The basics of a healthy breakfast for students include:
When kids are hungry that they tend to act out more...many teachers will tell you that both teaching and behavior control are most difficult in the hour before lunch