Do you get more worked up about BTSE (Back to School Eve) than New Year’s Eve? Approximately two thirds of Canadian parents say the first day of school is the time of year when their family’s routine and schedule changes the most, according to the recent Centrum Small Steps Survey. And for parents with children under 18 at home, back to school trumps the New Year as the biggest period of change.
But don’t let September changes sideline your family’s health goals. Leading nutrition expert Theresa Albert says there are small steps parents can take to support their health during the hectic fall season.
“It is not uncommon to fall off track with our healthy habits when we get busy – whether they’re related to nutrition, exercise or sleep,” she warns. “For many parents, getting back into the routine of things may mean skipping breakfast or grabbing takeout food between school activities. Developing the habit of taking a daily multivitamin can help parents support their energy and overall health needs, like immunity – a key to surviving the back to school season.”
Theresa recommends five ways parents can stay on track for a smoother back to school eve this year.
1. Make your own breakfast a priority. Parents often spend more time preparing kids’ lunches in the morning and forget to make time for their own meals. Set the right example by eating a nutritious breakfast that includes protein, fresh fruit and a multivitamin to support your daily health needs.
2. Pack a lunch. Take a few extra moments to make your own lunch while preparing them for your kids.
3. Make a meal plan you can recycle for the first month back. Pull out your slow cooker and make double batches of stews, soups and spaghetti sauce. Your freezer is your best friend.
4. Get everyone on a schedule. Making a plan with time for homework, activities, downtime and exercise can go a long way towards keeping stress low and smiles up. Get kids involved in making the schedule so they feel empowered and stick to it.
5. Turn in early. Staying up late can wreak havoc on your body. Make it a priority to finish up your to-do list early so that the night before school starts is less stressful.