MVBC It's that time of the year again as we prepare for a new school year. A new year that is often filled with anguish, uncertainty, and for some fear for our children's safety, health and well-being. For this, I suggest that you take it to the Lord in prayer and trust in Him (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
School can put pressure on children and parents. As a parent, you may worry about things like your child’s academic performance, health and relationships with other students and teachers. But we have to trust that we have taught our children to discern right and wrong and have brought them up to know and trust in Almighty God, through his son Christ Jesus for their every need and protection (Proverbs 22:6). And while you can’t keep an eye on your child at school, you can encourage healthy habits starting at a young age.
Click on the link to explore this infographic to learn important tips you can adopt to support your child’s health from
preschool to graduation day. Download infographic as a PDF.
Tip One: Focus on Your Child’s Nutrition
17% of all youth 17% of youth aged two to 19 in the United States are obese
40% of total daily calories for two to 18 year olds are empty calories from added sugars and solid fats.
Packing a healthy lunch with foods that are rich in protein and nutrient and choosing wholesome, processed foods that balance proteins, fats, carbs, and sugars. IF YOU HAVE A PICKY EATER: Continue introducing new foods, be a role model for a healthy diet and don’t use food as a reward. For your adolescent: discuss healthy eating recommendations with your adolescent to ensure he or she is following a healthy eating plan:
Eat 3 balanced meals a day, with healthy snacks.
Increase fiber in the diet and decrease the use of salt.
Drink water. Try to avoid drinks that are high in sugar. Fruit juice can have a lot of calories, so limit your adolescent's intake. Whole fruit is always a better choice.
When cooking for your adolescent, try to bake or broil instead of fry.
Make sure your adolescent watches (and decreases) his or her sugar intake.
Encourage eating fruit or vegetables for a snack.
Decrease the use of butter and heavy gravies.
Eat more chicken and fish. Limit red meat intake and choose lean cuts when possible.
Tip Two: Know the Risks Your School-Aged Child May Face
HEAD LICE The most common way to get head lice is by head-to-head contact that often happens during play time, sport activities and sleepovers.
SCOLIOSIS Watch for uneven shoulders or hips, and make sure your child gets regular scoliosis checkups. Early diagnosis is key.
BULLYING Only 17% of children seek help after being bullied. Don’t miss the early signs: changes in behavior, academic problems, anxiety, depression and self-harm.
POOR VISION Squinting, tilting the head and holding handheld devices too closely are just some of the signs your child may have a vision problem.
Tip Three: Make Sleep a Priority
Children (and adults!) lose sleep due to OVERUSE of digital devices.
Sleep is EQUALLY as important as diet and exercise.
Most healthy children need EIGHT TO 10 HOURS of sleep each night
ESTABLISH A SLEEP RITUAL: Put away electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.
Encourage children to read a book before bedtime. Avoid exercise, a warm bath or a hot shower shortly before bed.
A light snack before bed can be beneficial but avoid caffeine.
Tip Four: Be a Partner in Your Child’s Education, Health and Wellness
Start the conversation by talking to teachers about your child’s:
Likes and dislikes
Strengths and struggles
Preferred learning styles
Any other issues that may affect them at school
Additional health tips for children includes:
practicing hand hygiene, getting vaccinated for COVID-19, keeping distance from people who are sick, getting annual physicals, dental exams, and addressing any healthcare needs with the school staff.
SOURCES Johns Hopkins Medicine Back-to-School Health: Tips for Parents Infographic | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Director of Health Ministry
Mountain View Baptist Church