Photo Credit: Henry Hemming from Flickr
Winter can be a trying time for school-age children and parents alike. The weather is colder and there doesn’t seem to be as many fun options for time or energy to be spent. We often find ourselves stuck in the same routines, and to be honest, they can be boring. The winter blues are knocking on the door and so is cold and flu season. But don’t despair. There are ways to keep both of them away with these fun and healthy tips for your home and family!
Breakfast has long been known as the most important meal of the day. And for kids in school, it's even more essential. However, just as important as eating is what they are eating. Sugar-filled pop-tarts and cocoa puffs will not sustain them until lunchtime and are sure to create the wrong kind of energy needed for their demanding day.
Instead, whip up some eggs or for days when you are running a little late, make sure to have some hardboiled ones in the fridge already. Yogurt topped with fruit is another great source of vitamins and proteins. Add some whole grains or cottage cheese, and they are good to go for a full day of learning.
Just because it's colder outside doesn’t mean your child has an excuse to sit in front of a screen for long hours. Exercise is still a crucial part of their health and well-being. Not only does it keep them physically healthy but, according to many studies, it has a very positive effect on their emotional well-being and brain development.
Don’t be afraid to let your little ones enjoy the cold air outdoors. Spending time in nature, as long as they are bundled up, helps to prevent sleep deprivation, allows them to de-stress, and keeps up their immune system. A quick pre-dinner walk, ice skating, sledding, or a short trip to the park are all fun and safe outdoor activities for kids who need a little natural daylight and exercise.
Change up the lunches
At this point in the school year, it's common to find that your child is only eating about half of their lunches each day at school. This is most likely just because they are bored with their choices. If this is the case in your home, it may be time to switch some things up a bit. Instead of the normal PB&J, try some crackers with ham and cheese. Add in some healthy fruits and veggies and maybe a small treat for a well-rounded meal.
Kids also seem to love compartmentalized meals. This allows them to create their own sandwiches from the choices you send. Instead of being overwhelmed by one or two large objects, they are presented with five or six smaller items such as carrots, celery, yogurt, and even a cookie.
Practice these tips and you and your family will be on your way to shutting out the winter blues while welcoming the fun winter has to offer!