It’s That Time Again, Back to School

Posted: August 30, 2016  

A few observations…

In my house, the start of school means that the days will quickly become more and more filled with books, math, music, and swim and less and less with iPad’s, smartphones, Snapchat, or petty bickering.  Like most kids, mine thrive best when there is a balance between structure and free time and with the end of summer, we began our annual process of getting back into the routine of early starts and long days; days that are capped, more often than not, with a late dinner and a rush to finish homework before bedtime.  It is not until the latter half of the second week or sometime during the third that we all begin to feel like we have a decent handle on schedules and time requirements and that school has become, once again, the new norm.

While it may be true that school has already begun for most of us, here are a few reminders that could help you keep your children on the right track throughout the coming school year.

Healthy Foods:

This is a no-brainer. It is no secret to anyone at this point that a diet consisting of whole grains, fruits, nuts, and lean sources of protein plays an important role in the development and maintenance of both the mind and the body for all of us.  We also know that breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day and while it is unfortunate that it falls during what is the most hectic time of the day, it should not be short changed when possible. Check out Bobbi Bires, MS, RDN, CDE’s Healthy Hump Day blog with ideas for a healthy breakfast at


Sleep too, or the lack of it, will have a dramatic impact on the mental and physical health of each of us.  Review the chart at

However, we live in the real world. It’s a given that my kids won’t always hit the recommended levels of sleep throughout the coming school year.  Their schedules coupled with my wife’s and mine all but assure that there will be plenty of nights where we fall short.  The same will be for their diets.  We will not always get that just right either. I know there will be nights where I will scramble to get something in their bellies before 9:30 and that some mornings they will have to settle for a bowl of cereal.  I’m hoping for a 75% success rate in the sleep & diet categories.  I do know that the better they eat and the more sleep they are able to grab, the better they feel and perform and the less likely they will be to catch whatever is floating around their schools that day.  Now, I am going to wrap up dinner (filet of Mahi with basmati rice, braised Brussel sprouts, and peas) and then start homework.