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The Ultimate Back-to-School Guide for Parents

August 19, 2015 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Family households across British Columbia have started stirring with the back-to-school buzz. The alarm clocks that need setting, lunches that need packing, buses that need catching...In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, stay calm with a little planning and organization. Follow our top tips to make the transition from summer to school a breeze:

  1. Ease back into early morning wake-ups
    Kids may have gotten out of a regular sleep routine with all the camping trips, sleepovers, and summer vacations. Get them back into going to bed and getting up around the same time every day. Plenty of rest will help them be alert and ready to learn at school. Use these suggestions for making good sleep habits.TIP! Reduce computer use in your child’s bedroom. Choose a central place in your home – away from bedrooms – where phones, tablets and other handheld devices can be routinely charged each night.
  2. Get a good fitting backpack
    You may be starting a long list of school supplies. It’s important to have a good backpack to carry it all in. Go for lightweight packs that have two wide, adjustable and padded shoulder straps. Learn tips and tricks for packing backpacks properly to prevent injuries and discomfort.
  3. Stock up on healthy school lunch ideas
    Preparing healthy lunches that your kids will like can be a challenge when you’re strapped for time. Involve them in planning the week's meals and snacks before the week begins. Get inspired by these nutritious recipes and tips for packing school lunches.
  4. Prepare the night before school starts
    Take pressure off of the first day back at school by getting ready ahead of time. Pack backpacks, make lunches, lay out clothes, and talk about anything your child might be worried about the night before. Read more on how to make school mornings go smoothly.
  5. Make breakfast a necessity
    A healthy breakfast gives kids the energy they need to handle the busy day ahead. Make time to sit and eat breakfast together. Being a good example is a powerful way to help them develop healthy habits. If your morning is too rushed, get the next day’s breakfast ready the night before. Try these ideas to get your child to eat this important morning meal.
  6. Walk or ride to school
    Make the commute to school active. Canada’s physical activity guidelines recommend that children aged five to 17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Walking, biking, scooting or rollerblading (wearing the right safety gear) to or from school helps kids achieve this. If you live too far away for active commuting, try dropping kids off a few blocks from school and walk with them the rest of the way or have them walk with friends. Find more ideas to keep kids active as they head back to school.
  7. Keep family relationships strong
    It can feel like your little ones are all grown up as they head off to school, but your family relationships remain the biggest factor in their development. You can help them navigate the wider social world that school offers by helping them develop social skills, understand rules, and find their own sense of self. Learn how with these tips on staying connected with school-age children.
  8. Help kids explore interests and hobbies
    Talk to your child about any extracurricular activities they might like to try. Whether they’re interested in sports, music, or drama, trying a range of activities can help them explore where their strengths are, build confidence and self-esteem, and learn to handle responsibility.  Read more about the importance of extracurricular activities, interests and hobbies.

Related blogs

Walking to School, One Step Closer to Healthier Kids
Back to School…Selecting, Packing and Wearing a BackPack

Recommended resources

Family Routines
Problem-Solving Strategies for Parents and Teachers
Healthy Schools BC: Active & Safe Routes to School
Healthy Schools BC: Healthy Living for Families booklets
Government of British Columbia: Back-to-school Tips
ERASE Bullying

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