Back-to-School Tips for a Healthy Year Ahead

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Back to school

When the calendar flips from summer to fall, and lazy sunshine-filled days transition into the organized chaos (well, hopefully organized) of back-to-school season, parents everywhere begin the important preparations to get their kids ready for the year ahead.

Of course, this usually means parents are being pulled in many different directions, all at once. Juggling new schedules, getting supplies and school clothes, planning activities… sound familiar?

In the frenzy of reestablishing morning routines, making lunches, sorting carpools, and after-school sports, oftentimes, one huge part of a successful year ahead can be overshadowed: the need to keep kids healthy and hearty so they can learn, grow, and thrive!

Thankfully, getting back into the swing of things may actually help your family stay healthy. Here are a few back-to-school health tips that can help as your child embarks on next year’s educational adventure.

Set (and stick to!) bedtimes

Bedtime may have slipped away in the long, unstructured days of summer, but children definitely need their Z’s – especially at this busy time of year. Sound sleep habits are important for everyone’s health, but children need more than adults to get the full benefit of a full night’s rest. The younger the child, the more sleep they need.

You don’t have to go from 0 to 100 on bedtime strictness. Instead, two weeks before school starts, you can “reset” bedtime by going to sleep earlier by 15 minutes every few nights.

Limiting screen time is also important for healthy sleep habits. (Studies show looking at electronics before bed can really mess with the body’s ability to fall asleep.) At least 2 hours before bedtime, put all devices “to bed” and incorporate good wind-down rituals like warm baths and reading to help get your kid in a restful state.

Girl writing on paper

Help with any back-to-school anxiety

Speaking of rest, does your child harbor any worries about going to school? They’re not alone.

If your child expresses apprehension about school, tell them that these concerns are completely normal. Then, instead of brushing their feelings aside or saying bad things won’t ever happen, work together to implement strategies to solve any problems that may arise. Walk your child through what’s concerning them with a solution-oriented mindset. “If something bad happens, what could you do?” and “Let’s think of ways to handle that situation” give you the opportunity to coach your child to cope with (and learn from) new and sometimes scary situations.

Have meals together as a family

Frequent family dinners are a good idea–not just for quality time, but for your child’s health.

Sharing meals as a family is actually connected to a reduction in symptoms of some medical disorders (like asthma) in children. Seriously! When children are able to have dedicated communication time (say, during dinner), they have more opportunities to share if they’re experiencing any changes in how they feel, making it that much easier to monitor and address any issues.

But it’s not just physical wellness that benefits from family meal times. Preparing and eating meals together also helps reduce social anxiety by providing time for the family to check-in on a regular basis.

Try to involve your children in the making of the meal, too. They’re more likely to consume food they’ve helped prepare, which can help you introduce new and diverse foods to their diet.

This isn’t just great for mealtimes, it helps set your child up for a healthy lifetime. Children who eat more nutrient-dense fresh foods like fruit and vegetables (which you can control much more easily at home!) tend to have a lower rate of childhood obesity and are more likely to make good food choices as adults.

family breakfast

Start with a healthy breakfast, too!

Just as dinners are a great time to wrap up the day together as a family, starting the day off right with a proper breakfast has a major effect on your child’s health and wellness. In recent studies, children who eat a healthy breakfast have been shown to work faster, make fewer math mistakes, be more alert, show better concentration, and have improved memory.

Most important meal of the day, indeed.

For the best breakfasts, go for plenty of in-season produce, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. These combinations can help your child focus on learning and social interactions by regulating blood-sugar and keeping hunger at bay until lunchtime.

Plus, having breakfast together also helps you set the tone for a positive day ahead!

kids playing outside

Stay active and spend time outdoors

Summer is often an easy time to be active outside for children. But once school starts, so does sitting at a desk inside most of the day. It’s important to keep that habit of movement up, even more so when there’s less opportunity for it.

Joining a sports team can make getting regular exercise a routine kids will look forward to. Plus, team sports also help kids get important socialization time with their peers.

But sports don’t have to be the only way to keep your family moving. Exercise can be a regular, easy-to-do part of your daily life by simply taking walks after dinner or going for family bike rides together.

Equally important? Getting out into nature! It’s crucial for mental and physical well-being and is a big part of staying healthy overall. Make sure to get out into the great outdoors often, even during the school year.

Avoid junk food

Junk foods, especially those heavily exposed to glyphosate, won’t do your child’s health any favors.

Make it easier for your child to avoid junk food altogether by packing them healthy lunches abundant in organic and local produce along with nutrient-rich snacks that will keep them satisfied throughout the day.

Help them stay hydrated

Hydration is just as important for your children as it is for you! Preventing fatigue, improving mood, aiding digestion, and even enhancing brain function are all connected to being properly hydrated.

But not all beverages are created equal. Skip the sugary drinks like sports drinks, concentrated fruit juice with added sugars, and soda. Opt for water, coconut water, or organic fruit juice with no added sweeteners.

ION* Gut Support

Support your child’s defenses with ION* Gut Support

Ultimately, staying well comes down to the body’s immune function – the better the body can protect itself, the better off your child will be.

ION* Gut Support is an all-natural liquid supplement that helps to fortify your child’s natural defenses and strengthen their unique microbiome—so their growing bodies can do what Mother Nature intended: thrive!

Derived from ancient soil and scientifically proven to strengthen the gut’s cellular junctions, ION* Gut Support is easy to incorporate into even the busiest routines and is gentle enough for the whole family. (It’s also a liquid wellness solution and very simple to take, even for little ones!) By sealing cells in the gut lining, ION* works at the foundation of health to defend from toxins, support healthy digestion, and boost immune function.

Back-to-school tip: Pack a non-toxic water bottle filled with dechlorinated water and ION*

Give ION* a try and experience the difference it can make for the whole family!

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