August for many means the start of the new school year. I remember being a kid and getting excited about going back-to-school shopping. Some of my favorite things to pick out were a new pencil case, notebooks, and colored pens each year. I still remember color coordinating my pens to my classes.

As a kid, back-to-school time is exciting! As an adult, it tends to be more on the stressful side. You have to make sure the kids have all the required school supplies, clothes that fit as they continuously are growing, and most important – food. Growing kids sure are hungry! The best way to combat stress is a good routine. I’m sharing 5 healthy habits for school season for the whole family, so you can feel prepared for another year!

1) Plan ahead

There’s the school day, sports practices and games, friend hangouts – it’s like something is always going on! When we don’t stay on top of things, we tend to grab fast options that may not be as good for us. Instead, keep a monthly or weekly calendar of all the events going on. If you know you have a night coming with not as much time, it’s easier to plan ahead. On those busier nights, you may want to make a crockpot meal or eat leftovers to not have to take the time to cook when you get home.

2) Eat breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Start the day off on the right foot with eating breakfast to provide energy. If you can, I recommend sitting down to enjoy breakfast! This supports digestion and overall health. Enjoy something like a breakfast scramble with hashbrowns, ham, and eggs on Sunday that gets reheated all week. If you do need a grab-and-go option, consider turning that scramble into a breakfast burrito!

3) Get enough protein

For kids especially, protein often gets left behind. Carbs are at the focus of our eating! Popular foods like pop-tarts, pizza, chips, mac n’ cheese, and even fruit are all carbs. While we need carbs, they don’t fill us up. Protein is important to stay full, plus, it’s required to grow! We want protein with every meal, and it can be included with snacking too. Enjoy protein in snacks by eating things like Greek yogurt, string cheese, or hard boiled eggs. Read more about healthy snacking here.

4) Establish a sleep routine

During summer, the sun is up later, and so is everyone else. Back to school means back to getting to bed at a decent time to get about 8 hours of sleep! It can be hard to adjust. While it’s still light out later, you may want to try using blackout curtains to simulate darkness. You can also turn down the lights in the house to help your brain realize it’s time to go to sleep. Another thing that can keep you up at night is screens. Try turning off the tv and staying off phones at least 30 minutes before bed to wind down.

5) Rest and enjoy time together

When you get asked how you’re doing, do you respond with “busy?” Busy can be good, but it should not define your life. Perhaps you want to take 1 night every week to spend as a family – make dinner together, play a board game, or watch a movie. Time goes by too fast, so don’t forget to take the time to enjoy it!

The school year can be overwhelming if we aren’t prepared for it. Healthy habits like planning ahead, eating breakfast, getting enough protein, establishing a sleep routine, and making time to rest and enjoy time together allow the whole family to find more joy in their days!

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