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Back to school health

September 15th, 2010

After a break of blogging for a couple of months in the summer, now it’s back to school, and back to routine for me, and back to blogging.

My high school daughter is already loaded down with schoolwork.  Are your children staying afloat?

I read a few good health tips from Kaiser Permanente. Some of these are easier said then done (“Set a regular bedtime for your child, and follow it on weekends as well as weekdays.”  Seriously??) But still, good reminders here for us, especially #4:

1. Practice backpack safety.

* A backpack should never hold more than what’s equal to 10 to 20 percent of your child’s total weight. If your child has more to carry, consider a rolling backpack instead.
* Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps that are well-padded.
* Teach your child to use both shoulder straps and tighten the pack so it’s close to his or her body.

2. Make time for rest.

* Don’t over schedule your child’s day. Allow for unstructured playtime.
* Set a regular bedtime for your child, and follow it on weekends as well as weekdays.
* Create a calming bedtime routine, such as reading or listening to soft music.

3. Limit screen time.

* Keep the TV off during meals.
* Don’t allow video games, TVs, or computers in your child’s bedroom.
* Choose a day for the whole family to go screen-free and do something active together instead, such as playing tag or taking a walk.
* Learn more about how to limit screen time and how to help your kids find creative ways to be active.

4. Choose healthy foods.

* Keep your kitchen and the kids’ lunchboxes stocked with healthy foods. Low-fat yogurt, whole-grain bread, fresh fruit, hummus, peanut butter, carrot sticks, string cheese, and air-popped popcorn are great options.
* Limit junk food, including soft drinks, chips, and baked goods.
* Find healthy lunchbox recipes and learn more about healthy eating.

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