And just like that summer is slowly winding down and back to school season is in full swing. If you are a parent, chances are your days have been jam-packed with shopping for school supplies, first day of school outfits, and all of those last-minute back to school must-haves. But as you run around getting your family prepared, make sure your own health needs, and the needs of your whole family, don’t get pushed to the side.
When life gets busy, and back to school time may be the busiest time of the year, it is easy to push self-care way down on the to-do list. With all the running around, you may find yourself ordering take-out more often than cooking at home, skipping your daily workout for a last-minute run to the mall, or just not getting enough sleep. But a lack of sleep and unbalanced nutrition can start to make you feel run down. And the last thing you want is to feel bad when your family needs you the most. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be time consuming to take care of your own health needs (and the needs of your entire family). Just use these three easy tips to help your entire household stay healthy during back to school season this year.
Schedule one day per week for meal preparation
Between school schedules and after school activities, finding the time to prepare healthy lunches for yourself and the kids as well as make a balanced dinner each night can seem exhausting. Instead of relying on ordering out and fast food, try scheduling just one hour per week for meal prep. This simple strategy can be a great way to save time on making meals all week long while allowing your whole family to eat more nutritious options. During your weekly meal prep hour, focus on washing and cutting up produce you will use in lunches and dinners throughout the week. Cook foods in advance that make easy snack and meal additions, such as hard-boiling eggs, grilling chicken breasts to be repurposed onto salads, or roasting your favorite vegetables. You can even prepare freezer bags of meals that can be tossed into a slow cooker later in the week. Spending just one hour on prepping meals can save you time and money all week long.
Make your multivitamin part of your morning routine
No matter how healthy you eat, it can be hard to meet all of your nutrient needs each day. Children especially, who often get into food ruts eating the same few foods over and over again, can find themselves missing out on getting enough of the vitamins and minerals essential to growth and development. To ensure you and your family are meeting your nutrient needs each and every day, start your morning off with a high-quality multivitamin to support a balanced diet. And then use my favorite tip- aim to eat a rainbow of colors each day. You can even keep a fun chart to track the colors you eat so everyone can get involved.
Put yourself on a schedule
With the longer days and more relaxed schedule in the summer, it’s easy to get out of the habit of having an established sleep routine. But getting adequate rest is essential for good health. Without a good night’s sleep, your mood, energy, and even your appetite and food cravings are all impacted. By putting yourself on a schedule where you go to sleep at the same time every night, you can help your body ease back into a natural sleep cycle that will have you feeling rested and rejuvenated in the morning.