Routines for Healthy Learning!

By: Deb Lowther IMG_6670-imp 250

It’s time to plan for back to school! While you might immediately think of buying new backpacks, markers, lunch bags and indoor runners, you should also be thinking how you can make your morning routine a little easier!

Thankfully with the change of season and the start of a new school year, the fall is the perfect time to evaluate at your daily routines and, with the kids’ help of course, make some healthy changes!

Morning Routine
Before the first day of school, talk to your kids about what the morning routine will look like. Decide together when everyone needs to get up and get moving to get out the door without a mega melt down! Get all the kids involved in setting up the new schedule and deciding who will help with which tasks.

Create a small poster together that highlights what everyone is expected to do in the morning. Review each year and add new responsibilities as the kids get older and can handle more tasks. Hang this poster near the front door so everyone can see it. Remind the kids to check the list instead of asking you what they need to do next!

Sample Morning Routine List:
* Get dressed
* Brush hair
* Eat a healthy breakfast
* Take your vitamins
* Brush teeth
* Pack library books/homework
* Empty dishwasher

Snack Routine
Get in the habit of making homemade snacks. It takes less than 2 hours every 3 weeks to make a batch of healthy cookies, healthy muffins and spinach brownies.

Set an afternoon to bake with the kids, then store them in the freezer and on school mornings, the kids can pop them into their snack container with their lunch. Teach them the benefits of making homemade snacks and avoiding processed packaged snack foods while improving their baking skills and having fun in the kitchen!

Sample Homemade Snacks:
* Whole Wheat Flax Carrot Apple muffins
* Chocolate Zucchini Whole Wheat muffins
* Pumpkin Spice cookies
* Banana Oatmeal cookies
* Spinach Brownies

Lunch Routine
Set a routine for making lunches and get the kids involved. Have a container for everything and teach the kids what goes in each container.

Give them healthy options and let them choose some items that are part of their school lunch. Letting them choose their healthy lunch will increase the likelihood that the good stuff gets eaten instead of stealthy ditched in the lunchroom garbage.

Sample Containers For Healthy Lunch:
* Sandwich
* Fruit
* Yogurt
* Homemade Snack
* Cereal Snack (pretzels, shreddies, oat squares)
* Milk
* Water

Vitamin Routine
Add handing out vitamins to the morning school routine and give the kids a healthy start to their day of learning! Studies prove the benefits of fish oil (Omega 3s) for brain and eye health, Calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones and teeth, and a good Multivitamin that contains vitamins A, B, C, and E to promote a strong immune system.

Imagine sending your kids off to school each day with that kind of start! So as you begin preparing for back to school, don’t forget to establish a few new routines to give your kids the healthiest school year possible!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  To read more articles you can visit her websites & or visit her on Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials

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