Getting a Healthy Start to Back To School

My kids start school in exactly one week, and we’ve done all of our back to school shopping for school supplies, clothes and shoes. They have pristine new backpacks and lunch boxes, and they’ve even picked out their First Day of School outfits.

Now it’s time to start preparing their minds and bodies for a new school year and all the stress of activities and homework that come along with it.

first-day-of-school

First Day of School Circa 2011

I’ve already seen the posts coming in on Facebook, kids in school for just a few days and already home sick. This happens, for sure, no matter how healthy we try to be, so I’m using this last week to try to build their immune systems and get them as strong as possible so hopefully the back-to-school transition will go smoothly.

I’ve confessed, we are not structured people, so it’s really hard for me to start getting the kids on a school year sleep schedule when it’s still summertime, but we are trying to inch their bedtimes back little by little this week. I know this is an important step, especially since my son’s bus picks him up at 6:50AM!!!!!! I’m an early morning person, and even I think that’s an ungodly hour to have to be out the door. Fortunately he’s a boy, and he can roll out of bed at 6:40 and be on the bus at 6:50. Seriously.

Lord help me when my girls are in middle school.

We eat pretty well, but my kids don’t care for breakfast. I’m trying to find some recipes and ideas that they will eat. I once put together this list of Healthy Breakfast Ideas. Maybe it will be useful to you.

healthy breakfast recipes

My son’s usually good for one of my chocolate banana smoothies. Or he will eat oatmeal. But I have to make them. If I don’t have something to shove under his nose, he will go without. The girls are harder. They like boxed cereal, and I would prefer to give them something more nutritious. I do choose organic brands that are lower in sugar. Then I drown it in whole milk, hoping that some of those good fats will offset the sugar in the cereal. My older daughter actually prefers having leftover dinner for breakfast, which, actually, is much healthier than most “breakfast food” so I’m planning to encourage that habit this fall. My younger daughter will sometimes eat a fried egg if I’m having one, so I try to do that a lot.

And of course there is the school lunch battle. I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I tell you that I’ve written a post about healthy lunch ideas too?

healthy lunch ideas

My son is happy to bring PB&J with an apple every day. The girls don’t care for salads, but they are starting to get into salads, which makes my heart sing! “Salad in a Jar” is a great way to transport a salad to school, and it doesn’t get soggy that way. WINNING!!!

As you probably know, I plan our dinner menu out a week at a time in an effort to be prepared for whatever might arise during the week. I don’t always follow it to a T, but if I’m in a bind, it’s nice to have that to fall back on.

We do our best to eat at home every night, at least on weeknights, and I cook from scratch most of the time. Not only is it important for our health, but that family time is crucial to keeping us all connected because we are going in so many different directions.

Even though we eat well, it’s really hard to get all the nutrients we need from diet alone, so I’ve been experimenting with some new supplements, thanks to my partnership with Puritan’s Pride.

Getting-a-Healthy-Start-to-Back-To-School

Immune health is super important, and it begins in the gut. That’s why probiotics are becoming so popular now. You can try to get healthy probiotics from foods such as yogurt and kefir, but I find that I feel better when I’m taking an additional supplement, such as Puritan’s Pride Probiotic 10. This is particularly good for those struggling with digestive health (hello!) and they are non-GMO and free of artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, sugar, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast and sodium. They DO contain milk ingredients.

Vitamin D is another biggie. Your body must have Vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone health During the summer, we are in the sunshine a lot so I don’t worry about it too much, but I always take a Vitamin D supplement in the wintertime and give one to our kids. This year we will be taking Puritan’s Pride Vitamin D3 2000 IU. In addition, I take this 3-in-1 Calcium/Magnesium/D3 supplement because I don’t drink milk and I like to make sure I’m getting enough calcium.

If you want to take a multivitamin to further supplement your diet, check out Puritan’s Pride One™ Multivitamins Timed Release for adults or Puritan’s Pride Children’s Multivitamins & Minerals Gummies.

Finally, sleep! Sleep is SO key. Everything I read seems to suggest that getting adequate sleep is every bit as important as diet and exercise to achieving a healthy lifestyle. I have no problem sleeping, and I get plenty. I highly recommend going to bed earlier at night and getting up earlier in the morning, if you can swing it. My mom always said that you get the best sleep before midnight, and I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I can personally attest to the benefits of a good, regular sleep schedule. I know I need to get my kids going to bed earlier so they can start to adjust their sleep schedule and wake up refreshed and rested in the mornings for school.

If you do struggle with sleep or have a child who does, consider trying a melatonin supplement like Puritan’s Pride Melatonin 5 mg. I’ve seen melatonin recommended by many natural and health-conscious resources, and if I ever struggle with getting to sleep, that will be the first thing I try.

Thank you, Puritan’s Pride, for sponsoring this post. Puritan’s Pride® began over 40 years ago, with the mission of making the finest quality nutritional supplements available at the best value to their customers. Today, the company remains true to its original commitment and serves millions of loyal customers. Puritan’s Pride manufactures thousands of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutritional supplements in their state-of-the art facilities located throughout the U.S. As part of the company’s commitment to quality, Puritan’s Pride only uses ingredients from suppliers worldwide that meet their Quality Assurance Standards, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices food quality standards.