As school begins and schedules are re-established, it’s a great time to make sure GOOD routines are made that can be utilized the whole year. Here are four great ways to keep your kids healthy and keep you as the parents, sane!
1.) Water Intake. This is one of the hardest things to stay on top of with kids, especially when they are in school and out of your sight for most of the day! Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University studied the effects of water balance on cognitive function and found that even with losing 1-2% body water, cognitive performance can become impaired. You should drink half your body weight in ounces a day. A great way to get in the habit of this is having specific water bottles for each person in your family. For the younger kids, it can be special to have their “own” bottle and it helps keep everyone on track with knowing how much they have actually consumed. Often we do not realize how little water has been drank throughout the day if we are not intentional about tracking it. Here are a few good options for water bottles that are functional, avoid plastics and chemicals: Hydroflask, klean kanteen, yeti.
2.) Chiropractic adjustments. Adjustments are vital to helping kids stay focused, healthy and thriving. Stimulation is different during the school year. We tend to see more headaches with increased reading and homework, as well as back pain because posture is different when sitting in hard chairs for a longer portion of the day. Chiropractic adjustments will help the nervous system thrive and function to ward off sickness, help them process stress and information more effectively, and make sure there are no postural imbalances as they are growing. For athletes, it can also mean better performance in sports and extra-curricular activities.
3.) Emotional health. Depending on the age of your child/children, their needs can look much different. Generally speaking though, we all need a few of the same things (yes, even us adults). We all need time to decompress stress and emotions, have a safe place/person to express what we are going through, and feel supported and loved. With my nieces and nephews, I like to think about how I can fill their emotional wells. Do they do better after a long day at school when we do an activity one on one? Are they better if we sit down and have a 5- 20 min. one on one conversation? Do they need to have alone time in their own space building legos or reading a book? Whatever that may be, it is important everybody understands this! The fun part is whether you have 1 or 20 kids, it can be a completely different answer for each one. School can be stressful and proper – time to decompress can make all the difference in moods, relationships and in determining what patterns are established now and taken into adulthood.
4.) Nutrient-filled nutrition. Breakfast and snacks are two areas that food tends to have less nutritional value. Understandably, breakfast tends to center around convenience with busy mornings getting out the door rather than intentional thought on what the body needs before starting a new day. There are so many options for nutritional foods that can still be convenient! Meal prep makes all the difference. Things like chia seed pudding, banana pancakes, Egg bakes, and smoothies are all better options than things like cereals, pop tarts or frozen waffles. Check out the link below for recipe ideas.
Parents, I encourage you to not be overwhelmed by being the “perfect” parent and doing all four of these things perfectly all of the time. Our hope is to give you some practical and simple steps to healthier routines for your kids and families to implement so that you have the best chance of thriving!
-Dr. Sophie Mills, Chiropractor