Written by the Good Health team.
We all know how tough it can be to get the kids into a good routine for the start of school. Between the more relaxed bedtimes and the varied diet changes that so often go hand-in-hand with holidays, the start of school can be a real shock to the system for your littlies. So how do you ensure they’ve got all the tools they need to function properly at school? We’ve got a few ideas here…
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. After all, eating within three hours of waking up helps to boost your concentration; it fuels your body with enough energy to get you through the morning and it sets you up for better eating habits throughout the day. Of course, if your brekkie isn’t substantial, then the benefits won’t be either. So how do you ensure you’re giving your child the best possible start to the day? Balance is key; a little protein, a little fibre, some good carbohydrates – these are all the things needed to kick-start your kid’s day.
Top Tip: Keep breakfast interesting by mixing things up a bit. Experiment with delicious, nutrient-dense smoothies; try creating overnight oats, or whip up a quick omelet with some healthy fillings. The options are endless, with plenty of easy (and most importantly, quick) recipes floating around; in fact we’ve found some really good ones here.
While their young brains are developing, kids need a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids to assist memory, learning ability and mood. It can be difficult to get enough of these essential fatty acids from diet alone, so often a supplement is necessary. Good Health O-Mega 3 BurstsTM are an easy way to get a little extra omega-3 into your kids diet, giving them the boost they need to tackle school.
Iron is necessary to make haemoglobin, the component of red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. Without sufficient iron, your organs and tissues can’t get enough oxygen and therefore can’t generate enough energy, leaving you exhausted and foggy. Kids are no exception to this rule; in fact up to 25% of Kiwi kids under the age of three are estimated to be iron deficient – just imagine what that means if this problem isn’t nipped in the bud before starting school. There are many dietary ways that you can up your child’s iron intake, but sometimes a supplement is necessary if their iron levels are particularly low. There are a few tips and tricks when it comes to making sure your kids get the most out of their iron intake; find out all about them here.
Kids coming home with their sandwiches still firmly wrapped in their lunchbox? The Nutrition Foundation has a few ideas around how to deal with fussy eaters and ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Your child needs a variety of food from all four food groups, fruit and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk (and milk products) and lean meat (or vegetarian alternatives). Try to experiment with different foods (when you can) to make their lunch exciting.
Top Tip: Involve them in the process so they’re getting some say in what they’re eating. If they love apples, turn their Royal Gala (or Granny Smith) into a more filling snack that incorporates good fats, by giving them a little peanut or almond butter to dip their slices into. Or if they love sweet treats, make some bliss balls for a healthy dessert option.
The health benefits of a good night’s sleep are vast, including improved memory and more efficient learning. School aged children (6-13 years) need between nine and eleven hours of sleep a night, but sometimes this is easier said than done. With more sugar and caffeine becoming present in pre-packaged foods, routines that include watching TV too close to bedtime and artificial lights (from technology) in their bedrooms, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for kids to achieve a good night’s sleep. We’ve got some tips that could help your kids get into an ideal sleep pattern here, giving them the foundations to thrive at school during the week.
If you’re finding that a good wind-down routine and an early bedtime simply aren’t doing the trick, you could have a magnesium deficiency on your hands. Here are a few signs that can help you to determine whether this is the case, and if it is, it’s easily resolved. Magnesium is a relaxing mineral that can be absorbed through the skin, which is often easier on the digestive system. Applying magnesium cream to your child’s skin can be a great way to ensure they’re getting enough of this wonder mineral and enough sleep to keep them functioning at school.
It’s not easy getting your kids into a routine, particularly when you’re juggling your own commitments. Doing what you can to ensure they’re eating well and getting enough sleep goes a very long way. Involve your kids along the way, letting them help where they can, and before you know it, your little Einstein will be fully equipped to tackle school head on.
Good Health is a proudly New Zealand operated business, started over a quarter of a century ago by John Blanchard. At Good Health, we understand how the power of nature can boost your body’s natural immunity and support systems, enhancing your health and vitality.