Switching to and from daylight savings time is hard for all of us, but even more so for children. Establishing a few routines building up to and immediately after the change can help make that adjustment period easier. The routine of getting up early every day and sending the kids out the door as the sun rises feels so good. But what can we do to help the reluctant early risers have the best daylight savings routine they can?
The focus for almost two years now is how not to spread germs, but maybe it’s time to start the new season with a new focus: building good health. Let’s face it; chances are we are all going to get some type of virus (or three) this year. Good health and a strong immune system go hand-in-hand, so let’s get our kids ready to fight the germs, strengthen body and mind, and have the best routines yet.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep sounds so easy—until bedtime. The recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep for elementary school kids is nine to 11 hours a night. If your child needs to get up at 7 am, they need to hit the hay around eight! Teenagers need eight to ten hours. Children who do not get enough sleep may:
- Have difficulty focusing and learning
- Have decreased problem-solving abilities
- Show more signs of anger, aggression, and inappropriate behavior
Start a bedtime routine—even with teenagers. To do this, have a very clear and expected lights-out time. Make a routine—something like bath, brush, books, phone off, and lights out—and be consistent.
2. Hydrate children
Be sure that the water bottle is filled up the night before! Kids have higher water requirements than adults and need anywhere from 7 to 14 cups of water a day. Water is incredibly important!
How water helps
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Maintains a balanced body temperature
- Regulates digestion and bowel movements
- Maintains healthy metabolism and body weight
- Improves memory, attention, and mood
3. Eat healthy meals, including a great breakfast
Healthy bodies depend on healthy foods. If you feed your child refined, sugary, processed foods, their bodies won’t have the necessary nutrients to build a strong cellular foundation. If you feed them good, nourishing foods, their health starts to improve from the inside out.
Start with a good breakfast. Whole grain cereals, boiled eggs, fruit smoothies, or whole-wheat toast with peanut butter are some great foods to start the day.
When kids (and adults) are hungry, they have a harder time maintaining their mood. One of the most challenging times to teach is right before lunch. Providing a balanced school lunch is the perfect way to pack nutrients into children. Look for foods that are easy for kids to eat, nutrient-rich, and tasty. Here are some great options:
- Berries, grapes, grape tomatoes, or apple slices
- Unsweetened applesauce or mandarin oranges
- Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or other sliced veggies
- Cheese sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Whole-grain crackers, breads, or tortillas
- Nuts or nut butters
- Unsweetened juice or milk
4. Manage stress
Adjusting to daylight savings is tough. Children, from kindergarteners to seniors in high school, experience many different kinds of stress. They may worry about having friends, wearing the right thing, following the rules, or wondering if they’ll be able to do the required math or reading.
Establishing healthy school year routines helps kids manage school stress. Here are some simple things a parent can do:
- Have a practical wake-up time and establish a morning routine (that includes a healthy breakfast)
- Set aside time after school for daily homework
- Spend a few minutes before bedtime making sure items (like a healthy lunch, a jacket, and library books that are due) are ready to go
- Have a set, consistent bedtime
Being a kid can be tough, and as parents, the best thing we can do is give them a happy and loving home foundation to survive in an ever-changing world. Be patient with your kids. Choose things today to help them establish healthy habits to carry them through their whole lives.
ASEA knows cells, and they know cells are where true health begins. Take time today to learn more about their cellular wellness products that are safe for the entire family.