As the school year has started, now is a great time to evaluate how the first couple weeks have gone and if there are any changes to be made. It is also a good time to observe for any behavior changes and get ready for extracurricular activities.

  • Healthy snacks
    • Finding healthy alternatives to high sugar and high carbohydrate snacks for before, during, and after school allow for a more productive day. Snacks high in sugar have been associated with disruptive behavior, increased distraction, poor sleep as well as other health concerns. Alternatively, finding snacks containing more protein and or fruits and vegetables offer a healthier option to give kids more energy, allowing them to focus during school and get the best out of their education.

  • Mental health
    • It is no secret that mental health among our children is a growing concern. Being aware is the first step. Talking with your kids about their friends, teachers and interactions while at school is a great way to stay involved daily. Watching for behavioral changes or sudden changes in grades, may be an initial cause for concern. These can also be a sign for substance abuse. It can be difficult to talk to a counselor but there are many options in our community for children as well as adults to ask for help.

  • Sports physicals
    • With extracurricular activities starting, don’t forget to make sure your child has an up to date sports physical. These should be able to be done easily in your doctor’s office independently or possibly combined with your child’s annual well child check.

  • Screen Time
    • Limiting screen time helps has been associated with less behavioral issues at school and home, better socialization and improved sleep. As devices are required for school, they are already on screens during their school day and limiting them after school can be a big benefit even though tough to do. Specific limits are good for younger children, but as kids get older, they are harder to impose based again on school, homework, social life and relaxation. Defining your family goals around screen time will help in setting appropriate limits.