Sleep, fitness and nutrition are the keys to a healthy start this school year.It’s that time of year again. Soon begins the car pools, PTA meetings, after school sports,  report cards—enough to send even the most organized of parents into frenzy. Our team is ready to meet the pediatric health care needs of your family. Here are few general tips to keep your children well as you approach this year’s fun-filled learning adventure!

  1. To be your best, get your rest! One of the most import things you can do for your child to ensure that they are functioning at their best during the school day is having them get enough sleep. Don’t underestimate it! Lack of sleep can contribute to decreased immunity and increased susceptibility to infections. Also, your child’s ability to focus in the classroom becomes diminished without adequate sleep. Each night, preschool age children need an average of 10-12 hours of sleep, 7-12 year olds around 10-11 hours, and your teenager needs at least 8-9 hours of sleep. A good rule of thumb is to set 10 hours as the goal. Keep bedtime routines consistent, and avoid screen time at least two hours prior to bedtime. The light from these devices can interfere with REM sleep and production of melatonin, a hormone that assists the body in regulating sleep cycles. Time outdoors during the day is also beneficial to promoting a good night’s sleep.If your child is having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consider making an appointment so we can help you get their sleep on track. It can make a world of a difference in both behavior and focus!
  2. Good food for good mood! A second measure that is critical in the success of your child during the school year is appropriate nutrition. Kids these days are bombarded everywhere with unhealthful choices. Our goal is to continually educate them about which unhealthful foods can affect the way they feel—but more importantly, we focus on how the nutritious foods can be of great benefit.A well-balanced whole foods diet not only keeps their growth and development moving in the right direction, but impacts their brain function, immunity, and mood. Teach your children to avoid processed foods and sugar-laden snacks in the lunch line. These foods can rapidly elevate blood sugar and result in irritability and decreased concentration.  Starting the day with protein and complex carbohydrates (eggs, turkey sausage, yogurt/oatmeal) will help to increase energy and focus. Remind your children to hydrate throughout the day.We know that preparing nutritious meal plans can be daunting when you are busy—especially if your child has food allergies or other unique nutritional needs. Some children may also need a boost in particular nutrients with supplementation.

    For new patients with Stephanie Finn, CPNP, in the month of July, we are offering a free 30-minute phone consult with Landria Voight, our in-house nutritional consultant.

  3. Fill each day with active play! While many schools have a designated time for physical exercise, often children spend much of their day sitting in the classroom. Not only can physical exercise promote healthy weight alongside a well-balanced, whole-foods diet, it is needed to help reduce stress that can accumulate during the school day. Outdoor physical activity is an excellent way to reduce tension, increase strength, and overall boost immunity.Remember to keep a balance as you juggle extracurricular sporting activities.  Too much resistance training or rigid sports training schedules in addition to academic assignments can be physically and mentally draining. This can decrease immune function, making your child more susceptible when around children who may be ill.  Present your child with several options for exercise; allow them to choose the activities that will feel less like a chore and will bring them joy. In general 60 minutes of physical activity three days a week is a great goal. Childhood is a critical time to develop healthy attitudes surrounding exercise that will overall reduce their health risks in the future.

At the Center, we are geared up and ready to address all of your child’s healthcare needs prior to and throughout the school year. Our back-to-school physical moves beyond the basics—we look into your child’s nutritional status, brain health, disease risk, and utilize cutting-edge functional medicine testing to create both short- and long-term health plans. We offer safe and effective treatments for boosting immunity, nutritional status, ADHD, and other complex health issues. We incorporate cutting-edge technology, such as Biopulsar, a specialized biofeedback tool that allows us to assess the vitality of organ systems throughout the body and create tailored plans for improving physical and mental balance.

Your child’s long-term health is of utmost importance to us! We will always take a holistic, mind-body approach when working with you to keep your child thriving.

Dr. Taz MDStephanie Finn, CPNP

For more information, join us on Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to noon for our Back-to-School Health Bash! There will be healthy snacks, yoga for kids, a smoothie bar and Q & A with Dr. Taz MD and Stephanie Finn, CPNP.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Health Tips, pediatric wellness