School is starting for most families around the country and kids, who may have spent the entire summer playing, swimming, climbing trees, and generally being active will now sit in classrooms for several hours every day.
Not only will they be sitting in classrooms, they will come home with backpacks full of homework. When I was a teenager all I wanted to do when I got home from school was sleep! My brother played video games and my sister loved to watch television. The business-ness of our lives seemed to take over and our main goal in life was to eat chips and hangout on the couch!
Today’s kids are no different. With school demands on children increasing it is sometimes hard to keep kids active and healthy during the school year. Or parents compensate by over scheduling their children to keep them active and the kids can become run down and exhausted!
It can be hard to find a balance but it is possible!
Here are some tips to help keep your children active and healthy without stressing yourself or your kids out!
Make extra curricular activities – active
Our children have always enjoyed organized activities like soccer, basketball, or dance. When choosing what our children are going to participate in each year, we try to focus on things that will help them burn off energy (they have a lot of it!) and build character at the same time. We also try to find activities that includes all family members in some way.
For our family we found soccer worked best. Most of my kids played on a team and Cora was always a helper at practice when she was too little to play. My older children also were involved in coaching some of the younger teams which kept them very active.
Schedule family fun time
Not every family is a sports family, and if your family prefers activities that are a little less active remember to schedule in some active time on the weekends. Hiking, swimming, walking, bike riding and bowling are fun activities for the entire family which can be done on a budget!
Schedule buffer time before bed
It can be hard for kids to go from activity to activity and then fall asleep. Unless of course they fall asleep from exhaustion in the car on the way home! Schedule thirty minutes of down time before bed for children to unwind and decompress from the day. My kids love to read or listen to audio books in their room.
This is a great way for them to relax and hopefully get a good night’s sleep!
Start the day with a healthy breakfast
Kids need a well balanced, low sugar breakfast in the morning to help them concentrate on their studies.
We have a tradition of making/ getting donuts for someone’s birthday in our house. While I love this tradition, my kids can be crazy sugar monsters after a breakfast of like that! Donuts are perfect for a special day, but for every day help your child succeed in school by providing him healthier, high protein options for breakfast.
Make healthy choices easier
My kids love convenience so whatever food is easiest for them to eat they will grab. I’m convinced that if peas came in a plastic pouch my kids would be eating them like crazy!
To help my kids make smart choices at snack time I cut fruit and veggies and keep them in small containers in the fridge. I also try to keep cheese sticks/ slices, and yogurt in the fridge for a quick snack. My kids know that they can always have fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, milk, and cheese whenever they are hungry.
They don’t need permission, they can just grab it for themselves. Of course if it is 5 minutes before dinner that’s a different story, but I’ve found that if I make healthy snacks available to my kids they are more likely to choose them over chips or candy.
Make snack time fun
Make snack time fun by offering your kids cheese sticks, grapes on a toothpick, apple slices with peanut butter, celery with cream cheese, frozen banana slices, or yogurt Tuberz™.
My kids are more willing to try new things or make healthy choices if those choices are presented to them in a fun way.
Remember kids are more likely to succeed when they get plenty of exercise, rest, and healthy food (and so do adults). Jump start your school year by getting a plan together now for how you can make it happen in your family.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.