This sponsored post is brought to you courtesy of The Iowa Clinic — providing comprehensive care for the entire family. Our author is pediatrician Dr. Jessica Greenley — a mom herself!
Tips for a Healthy and Happy School Year
As the school year approaches, establishing new routines and healthy habits becomes top of mind for most parents. As a pediatrician and a mom, I’m sharing five easy tips to get started so your family can have a happy and healthy school year.
Get some shut eye.
As parents, we all know how important a good night’s sleep can be; in fact, for some kids it can make all the difference between a good or a not so good day. Among many things, sleep promotes better learning and memory, combats depression/anxiety, protects against obesity, and can boost the immune system. Start moving back to your regularly scheduled bedtimes at least two weeks before school starts to help with this transition. Make sleep a priority this year!
Make mealtime family time.
Jam packed schedules can make sitting down together at the dinner table difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Even if you can’t do it every day, mark down a few days each week on your calendar and stick to it. Not only is it a great way to connect, but family mealtime has been linked to healthier eating, better school performance, and happier kids.
Fresh foods are your friend.
Try to limit processed and sugary foods. Make healthy eating easy by cutting up fruits and veggies and dividing into containers for the week. Nuts, cheese, yogurt, and whole grain/low sugar cereal are healthy snack options for your resident grazers.
Have a dance party.
Sometimes exercise is the last thing on our minds when it seems like all we do is run around all day. The current recommendation for all children is 60 minutes of physical activity a day, but 10 minutes here and there can really make a difference. Start a family tradition, like an after dinner walk around the neighborhood, a Saturday morning bike ride, or a family dance party.
When it comes to hydration, water is where it’s at. Juice or sports drinks are rarely needed and should be limited. Water is so important; in fact it makes up 60% of our bodies. It seems simple, but drinking enough water can be a challenge. School-age kids and adults (I’m looking at YOU, mom!) should try to drink eight glasses of water per day.
Meet Dr. Jessica Greenley
Dr. Jessica Greenley is a board-certified general pediatrician accepting new patients at The Iowa Clinic West Des Moines and Ankeny locations. She is a native Iowan and received her medical degree from Des Moines University, and completed residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her husband have two young children who continually keep them on their toes. Dr. Greenley enjoys staying active in the outdoors, running, taking too many pictures, and being a mama.
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