Kimberly Bertucci, DNP, FNP

It’s time for the kids to head back to school! And that means a focus on classes, sports and other after-school activities. Most children need help transitioning back into a routine for a successful start to the school year. Here are a few back-to-school tips to help your kid get into a healthy school routine.

1. Developing a Back-to-School Sleep Routine

Going back to school means an end to staying up late. To get your kids ready to wake up earlier for school, you should:

  • Make their bedtimes a little early each night for a week or two weeks before school
  • Put electronic devices away because it can disrupt their sleep
  • Keep their room dark, quiet and at the right temperature

2. Getting your child back in the habit of eating three regular meals a day

Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy.

  • If your child’s school provides breakfast, make sure they get to school early to eat breakfast or provide breakfast at home
  • If you are packing your child’s lunch, stock up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and lean protein.
  • If the school lunch is your go-to, find out about lunch options and meal schedules ahead of time.
  • Inform the school if your child has any food allergies.

3. Managing Stress from School

Back-to-school season is stressful for kids and parents alike, but too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues.

  • Talking to your children about anything that’s bothering them
  • Do not overload their schedules at home
  • Give them time to relax and wind down after school
  • Play and spend time as a family to minimize stress

4. Developing Good Study Habits

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • Create a quiet, consistent environment conductive for doing homework
  • Schedule a regular time for homework
  • Establish a rule that the tv and other electronic devices are off during homework
  • Be available to answer questions or offer assistance to your child.
  • Schedule breaks during homework time. It may be helpful to close the book and get up and stretch.
  • If your child is struggling in a subject, meet with the teacher or counselor to determine a solution.

Click here to watch Kimberly Bertucci, DNP on FOX8 discussing back to school health tips.

Click here for tips on talking to your child about bullying.

Kimberly Bertucci, DNP, FNP is a Nurse Practicioner for Crescent City Physicians, Inc. She specializes in family medicine.

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