‘Back-to-School’ Tips

Stefanie Schlosser, FNP-C, Cucamonga Valley Medical Group

By Stefanie Schlosser, FNP-C

Focus on Healthy Study Habits, Nutrition, Dental and Vision

As parents, our greatest investment is our children. Love, time, energy, focus, and resources are invested over the lifetime of our children.

Dividends of this investment might not be evident for years, but the immediate cause and effect is reflected in children’s lives and is seen by those involved in their education.

Summer has just begun, but preparing for “back to school” should be continuous. There are some simple practices for parents/guardians to perform to ensure your child’s success.

Recipe for Health and Nutrition

The overall health of each child rests on the influence of parents. Health begins with good nutrition. Encourage your child to eat nutritious foods, minimize snacks out of a box or a bag, hydrate with water or milk.

Remember to minimize juice and sweet drinks to 6 oz daily and concentrate on having protein at each meal.

Look at the website MyPlate (2022) to make a personalized food plan for you and your children. The US Agriculture Department informs the public via MyPlate.gov with information for nutrition balance for percentages needed for fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

It is a great way to find current and accurate nutritional information to create a successful food plan.

Back to school also means early morning risings and the “I am not hungry before school” syndrome.

A few suggestions to prepare your child for a day of high energy output: healthy food, water hydration, and sleep.

Maintain good energy with protein-based foods in the morning. A few examples are a breakfast burrito, protein shake with frozen fruit added, a convenient prepared protein drink such as Premier Protein (does not have to be refrigerated), and protein bars with low sugar such as Atkins (any flavor/style). Purchase bars that have greater than 10gm protein to make it more sustainable energy.

Vaccinations

Vaccines are mandatory for each child to enter and continue in school.

Plan to ensure the continued health and well-being for your child. Make your CVMG appointment early to have all items taken care of prior to registration for the new school year. As your child nears 11 and 12 years old, booster vaccines are needed such as the Tdap.

Dental and Vision

Success in school can be affected if your child can not see the board because of poor vision. At each well-child-check with CVMG, a basic eye exam is completed as a screening for vision difficulties. If any deficit is discovered at this time, a thorough eye examination is recommended by an optometrist.

Overall health begins in the mouth. Parents should encourage their child to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Children follow by example, so make brushing teeth a family activity at night after dinner.

American Dental Association (2022) recommends a soft toothbrush with a pea size amount of fluoride infused toothpaste and twice-a-year oral check-ups.

Good practice is also to have children drink water after eating to thoroughly rinse food particles away from teeth.

Prepare healthy snacks like carrots to minimize sticky, sugary treats.

Prepare for Success

Find a quiet place to concentrate on your academics and a set routine to do homework/study after school each day.

Remember, a healthy snack and hydration help feed the brain for best learning and recoup from a long day at school.

Academics are challenging. Access to a private, “on call” tutor would ensure that your child has the best experience. Traditionally, many services are available through the school district you live in. Just ask.

Another hidden gem is Khan Academy (2022). Access the website, type in the subject specifically needed and a short 10-to-15 minutes video is available on almost all subject areas. This can be a game changer as the prerecorded tutor is basically on demand.

Hard work and Good Luck

Best of luck to all parents, guardians and students on a new academic year full of potential for learning. Remember that the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Parents help ensure the success of your children. Your investment will return to you in ways that are priceless.

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