Coaching your child to a successful school year

Dr. Erik L. Johnson, from Amita Health, says that back to school means back to routine for everyone, and for parents that can be a real challenge for their children after a summer filled with sleeping in, later hours and nonstop fun.Getting children in the mindset for returning to the classroom starts long before the first school bell. Here are a few recommendations to help.

Discuss expectations

Begin the school year with a family meeting to establish a playbook for a successful year.

Everyone needs to understand their “job” in the family.

For your child, the job is going to school and learning. Consider privileges like screen time, weekend sleepovers, or other activities as a reward for your child for following the plan.

Your job is to be their coach to help them navigate the school year and cheer them on when they succeed. Let them come up with strategies, ideas, consequences and rewards.

A big part of a successful school year is everyone getting out of the house on time.

The first page in your playbook should be to avoid running around at the last minute, yelling from the sidelines for everyone to get dressed and hurry-up.

You don’t want to start your day stressed, so coach your kids to be ready to go.

Avoid morning madness

A good morning starts the night before.

To make an effective plan, start backward to determine the time your child needs to sleep and set a bedtime.

Now you know how much time you have left to prepare for the day ahead. Run through your pregame checklist as part of your cool down before bedtime.

• Homework done (before screen time)

• Clothes laid out

• Lunch made

• Permission slips signed

• Grab-and-go nutritious foods if you have a kid that does not like to eat first thing in the morning (yogurt, breakfast bar or PB&J)

Read more

Learning well: Plan for a healthy start to the school year

Laura Milani Alessio, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, shared that freshly sharpened pencils, glue sticks and other supplies top the back-to-school checklist for many families. Making sure children have everything they need to stay healthy and safe, however, also is essential to a successful year of learning.

“To thrive in school, every child needs a nutritious diet, enough exercise, sleep, and other basic building blocks of wellness,” said pediatrician Sandra Hassink, who leads the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight. “Study after study shows that healthy students are better able to learn,” she said.

  • Food for thought: Research shows that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have improved concentration and memory, get better grades and score higher on standardized tests. Healthy school lunches also are an important part of a child’s overall nutrition. To supply enough nutrients and energy to last the day, meals should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein and dairy foods. Limit highly processed products and sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda.
  • Active bodies, active brains: Building an hour’s worth of exercise into the daily routine helps keep children’s bodies — and brains — strong.  Physically active students tend to have better grades, school attendance, classroom behavior and cognitive function. Because the best exercise for younger children is active play, the AAP supports daily recess in schools.
  • Arriving Safely: Walking or riding a bicycle to school is a great way to get exercise, but make sure the route is safe, and teach your child traffic safety rules. Children should always wear a helmet while riding a bike or skateboard. If your child rides a bus to school, it should have seat belts.
  • ABCs and Zzz’s: Students need between 8 and 12 hours of sleep each night. Skimping on sleep can affect their health, behavior and academic performance. Because teens naturally fall asleep later, the AAP recommends middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Light from smartphones, TVs and devices can disrupt sleep, so turn them off at least an hour before bed. Read more

Have Fun – Win Prizes

Have you registered yet for Flat Apple 2017?  No?  There is still time to participate and earn raffle tickets to win some great prizes.

All you have to do is:

  1. Click on the Facebook link at the top of our website at www.healthylombard.com and then click “Sign Up” or use the link on the Flat Apple 2017 Page on our website. WHEN REGISTERING, PLEASE REMEMBER AFTER YOU FILL IN THE STUDENT INFORMATION TO COMPLETE THE PARENT/GUARDIAN INFORMATION. Once registered you will receive confirmation and a copy of the 2017 logo.
  2. Like us on our Facebook Healthy Lombard Selfies page (so that you can post your Selfies and Videos).
  1. Participate in any or all of the Flat Apple Activity. There are 4 ways to have fun:

 

  • Go to a designated site BETWEEN June 1 and August 10. (I.e. Guest Services Desk, Located Lower Level below The Eatery at Yorktown Mall, (the list can be found on both the Healthy Lombard’s Flat Apple 2017 webpage and Calendar Page), show the Flat Apple logo, participate in their activity, and then fill out a raffle ticket.
  • Find our Geocache sites. (The coordinates will be listed on our Flat Apple Page and emailed out to participants.) Take a selfie with the Flat Apple Geo Sign, post it on our Facebook Healthy Lombard Page. (We will fill out one raffle ticket for you per site/per day.)
  • Create a 1-minute or less video on a healthy topic using Facebook Live, Instagram, or similar app. (ideas are on the Healthy Lombard Flat Apple 2017 website). Post it to our Facebook Healthy Lombard Page (We will fill out one raffle ticket for you for each posting we approve.) Remember to add in your family password so we can find you!
  • Take a selfie of YOU doing something healthy (swimming, playing ball, etc.) using Instagram or a similar app. Post it to our Facebook Healthy Lombard Page. DON’T FORGET to add in your family password so we can fill out a raffle ticket for you. Limit – 1 photo per day.)

 

THE FINE PRINT:

The participant (preschool – high school age individual) MUST BE registered by a parent or guardian to win.

 

Although Flat Apple activities are open to children from preschool to high school, some events are age-specific so please check event information on the Flat Apple 2017 Page of the Healthy Lombard website.

 

Individuals participate in activities at their own risk.

 

Students may participate in more than 1 activity per day but cannot repeat an activity (i.e. student could do 1 geocache photo, 1 selfie photo, 1 video, and 1 site activity each day but cannot do 2 or more of the same type of activity each day.)

 

Registering grants permission for photo of participation (not name) to be posted on the Healthy Lombard Internet sites.

 

*Raffle drawing will be held at the August Healthy Lombard Partner Board Meeting. Winners will be notified by email or phone and their FIRST names will be posted on the Flat Apple 2017 page of the Healthy Lombard website.

 

Winners and their families will be invited to a prize reception in September.

 

Questions?    Check out the Flat Apple 2017

 

The Top 8 Worst Candies to Place in Your Child’s Easter Basket

College of DuPage Nursing Student McKenna Musich, shared that it’s almost that time of year again! Hopping bunnies, pastel eggs, fake grass, and sweet candies. Easter is just around the corner and most parents are planning just what to stash in those colorful baskets. According to Statistic Brain Research Group, in 2016 the United States spent 2.1 billion dollars on Easter candy. But which candy is the worst candy to place in the basket? Let’s take a look at the top 8 worst candies for Easter.

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – One serving is one piece. Each piece is 170 calories. There is 90 calories from fat and 16 grams of sugar.
  1. Cadbury Crème Eggs – Serving size is one egg. Calories per serving is 170, with 54 of those calories from fat. These eggs contain 25 grams of sugar.
  1. Almond Joy Egg – Serving size 1 egg. 277 calories, 12 g of fat. 1 gram of sugar. While 1 gram of sugar may not seem like much, note that there is 735 mg of sodium in one egg (about 30% of the daily value).
  1. M&Ms (Easter eggs) – Serving size is ¼ of a cup. Calories total to 203 (about 10% of the daily value), with 4 g of fat. Sugar rests at 1 gram.
  1. Peeps  – One serving (5 Peeps) contains 140 calories. None of these calories come from fat, but Peeps contain 34 grams of sugar.
  1. Jelly Beans – Serving size is 31 pieces. Calories per serving is 140, 0 from fat. There is 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  7.  Swedish Fish – These little fish come in limited edition “egg” form for Easter. The serving size is 9 pieces. There is 140 calories , 0 of those from fat. These have 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  1. Hersey’s Easter Eggs – Serving size is 8 pieces. 550 calories (nearly 30% of the daily value). 0 grams of fat or sugar.

So this Easter, take a second look at those nutrition facts and make the right call. A healthy Easter is a happy Easter!

References

All nutritional facts were found using MyFitnessPal.

“Easter Statistics-Statistic Brain.”2017 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. 23rd March, 2017. Http://www.statisticbrain.com/Easter-statistics

“Are we there yet?”

Schar, producers of gluten-free products shared that long car journeys with children are often exhausting, boring and take their toll on your nerves. But this does not have to be the case. With a bit of preparation and our ideas and suggestions, which are guaranteed to be gluten free, bad moods need never be an issue when you are on the way to your holiday destination.

  • Small children in particular often react sensitively if you disturb their routine. You should therefore consider your little ones’ sleeping and eating habits even when you are en route. On no account should you take the children out of their car seats when they are asleep; your offspring should never be in the car without their seat belts on.
  • Even though you have air conditioning, consider that the little ones need protection from the sun: The sun shades that can be attached to the windows using a suction cup are amusing to look at and keep the worst of the heat at bay.
  • One thing that is really important is provisions. Fruit is great to take on a trip because it is easy to digest and does not sit heavily in the stomach. Lovingly prepared gluten free bread rolls, such as Ciabatta or Deli Style from Schar, which can be filled with all kinds of delicious ingredients, are also ideal.
  • In order to ensure that things are not too “healthy”, think about taking something sweet as well – which, of course, can be gluten free; unfilled biscuits such as Shortbread cookies may be crumbly, but they do not leave behind any greasy marks so they are safe to take with you in the car. Lightly salted gluten free snacks such as Schar Table Crackers also work well.

Read more

Girls and autism: It can be subtle, or absent

sad-girlThink autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. And some girls are born without autism despite the same genetic mutations seen in boys with the condition, The Associated Press reports.

The gender effect is a hot topic in autism research and one that could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating a condition that affects at least 1 in 68 U.S. children.

Better understanding of gender’s role is key to helping the most people, said Kevin Pelphrey, an autism researcher at George Washington University. “Autism may not be the same thing in boys and girls.”

Brain imaging suggests there may be an additional explanation for why many girls with autism have more subtle symptoms, Pelphrey said.

“The surprising thing we are finding is that even in girls who clearly have autism,” brain regions involved in social behavior that are normally affected are less severely impaired, he said. Read more

Remember: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

FORWARD-LogoAnn Marchetti, FORWARD Director shared that FORWARD places a high priority on reducing the rates of childhood obesity in DuPage County, as highlighted in the annual FORWARD BMI report.
Over the next 3 years, FORWARD will work with community leaders and key stakeholders to improve nutrition and physical activity within schools, worksites, and for children in the early childhood years. This work needs your helps and Ann invite each one of you to become familiar with the three-year goals below, and to partner with FORWARD to help  meet or exceed the objectives.  
Check out resources and next steps here: for worksites, for early childhood centers, and for schools.

Teens and Drugs- Important Insights

 

ParentsMatterToo is dedicated to connecting parents and caregivers to educational parenting resources, conversation circles and support programs. Our goal is to empower parents and caregivers with expert knowledge to challenge our children’s choices about social issues, drugs and alcohol to ultimately strengthen the fabric of our families and community in a nonjudgmental environment.

You can find more information about Parents Matter Too at:

Twitter   Facebook    Website      Youtube

Exercise Before the Bell May Improve Young Children’s Focus

kidss exercisingAnn Lukits, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, shared that sitting still and listening to the teacher can be a challenge for young children, especially after a long vacation. Scheduling a physical-education class before the morning bell could improve their focus, suggests a small study in Preventive Medicine Reports.

Researchers found that children spent more time following instructions and working quietly at their desk—so-called on-task behaviors—on days they participated in a school-run physical-activity program before the start of morning classes. On days they didn’t exercise, the children were more likely to interrupt, make noise and stare into space, known as off-task behaviors.

Gym classes are traditionally held during school hours but many schools have reduced the time allotted for physical activity in favor of academic subjects, the researchers said. Before-school programs may improve students’ in-class behavior and readiness to learn without taking time away from academics, the study suggested.

Previous studies have shown that bouts of high-intensity physical activity can enhance students’ cognition, especially executive function, which involves processes that make it possible to stay focused, the researchers noted. Read more