This is the last week of the school holidays for many children so to keep in tip top health for the autumn term here are some tips for getting back into the swing of things.
In the holidays we tend to eat breakfast later, perhaps enjoy more summer evenings in the garden, and generally take life a little slower.
That’s awesome for resetting our kids after a hard year at school, and relaxation is very important for us all.
BUT – it can mean the first few days of school feel like you’re living in a different time zone, trying to catch up.
There is a term ‘social jet lag’ when our internal body clocks are out of sync with the environment around us.
So to help your children start school this September full of energy and ready to learn here are some tips:
📘 Start getting breakfast a little earlier this week and weekend so the jump to an early start isn’t as much of a shock. Food is a cue to our body to get started and wake up. Eating helps to set the circadian rhythms towards a new time.
📗 Earlier nights – sleep is a massive impact on our health. Children who have the age appropriate opportunities to sleep have fewer illnesses. 5-9 year olds need between 10-11 hours sleep time, 10-16 year olds need 9-10 hours. Of course they might not always get to sleep this duration, but winding down before bed and setting an expectation of sleep, even with older ones, can help.
📒 Plan a breakfast to start their day right. Most cereal from a box is low in protein and high in sugars. Think about protein, and fibre. Try:
💡A boiled egg with wholegrain toast,
💡overnight oats with ground seeds, yoghurt and fruit
💡buckwheat pancakes with melted frozen berries (can be made in advance)
Also you can plan few dinners this weekend which can either be prepared quickly, or you can make ahead to freeze. Bean chilli, dal or a baked pasta dish are all easy to make in advance.
📕 Give them lots of opportunity to run around in these last few days, but maybe reduce the schedule a little so they don’t go back exhausted. It might help to see a friend or two to help them remember who everyone is after such a long break. But at the same time slowing down a bit, to spend time with you this weekend, before the business starts again for another year could help build their resilience.
📘 Make sure they have a drink of water before they set off for school – dehydrated brains may struggle to concentrate.
Anna is a Nutritional Therapist working with babies and children in Bristol and online. Weaning Consultations, and 1:1 Children’s Health appointments available to support the whole family.