It is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and the beginning of a new school year is just around the corner. Taking time to plan a few days before school starts can help kids transition from relaxing summer days to busier school days. These tips can ease their transition.
- Go to sleep sooner. During the summer, most children have a less structured schedule, including later bedtimes. To avoid having very sleepy children the first week back to school, start moving their bedtime and wake-up time by half an hour earlier every day, starting a few days before school begins.
- Prepare a study area. This allows your child to concentrate away from distractions like TV or video games. Encourage your child to organize this area with items that will be needed for homework, like sharpeners, erasers, pencils, etc.
- Decrease screen time. Cut back the time your child spends playing video games or watching TV and encourage them to read instead. This allows an easier transition to start using other areas of the brain during the school year.
- Plan meals and snacks ahead of time. Include “brain foods” in meals and snacks to help boost your child’s brain function, memory and concentration. Examples are:
- Salmon – an excellent source of omega–3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. These are essential for brain growth and function. It has been proven that people that have these fatty acids in their diet have sharper minds and do better at mental skills tests.
- Eggs – well known overall for providing protein, but the egg yolk in particular is packed with choline, which improves memory development and intellect.
- Peanut butter and peanuts – a good source of vitamin E – a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes – and thiamine, which helps the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy more effectively.
- Berries – in general, these are a great source of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant to help prevent cancer. Studies have shown improved memory with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries. The more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries.
Going back to school can be a stressful time of the year, but with a little bit of planning and organization, it can also be exciting.
UF Health Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Nocatee is accepting new patients and offers multiple services such as annual checkups, sports physicals and more. Call 904-383-1053 to schedule an appointment.
Find a UF Health Family Medicine clinic near you at UFHealthJax.org/primary-care/family-medicine.