Back To School Tips for Parents

August 14, 2014 in Parenting

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It’s the time of the year to start thinking about school days again. Here are a few tips for parents to make those first days of school easier – especially for the little ones, who are just starting their educational journey!

First day of school can be quite stressful – for the child and for parents. Especially if we are talking about a younger child changing schools. Here are a few simple tips that are easy to follow and will for sure help to avoid uncomfortable and stressful situations:

  1. If the school is new to your child, make arrangements to take a tour before the school starts
  2. Meet the child’s teacher – if you can’t do it in person, schedule at least a telephone conversation
  3. If your child has any medical conditions – and that includes allergies, finalize them with the school nurse
  4. The night before first day of school pack your child’s backpack with his help – then there are no questions locating important items
  5. Put your child to bed early the day before school – if he or she has a tendency to be anxious and stress, fatigue will aggravate the situation
  6. On the first day of school make sure your child wakes up early enough to allow plenty of time to get ready and have a good breakfast
  7. Pack a nutritious lunch and sneak in a little love note – especially for the younger child
  8. You may want to consider driving your child to school for the first day – even if plan is to use alternative transportation later
  9. Walk into the classroom with the younger child, gtreet the teacher and introduce your child and yourself
  10. Remind your child what time you will be back to pick him or her up
  11. If there are other parents present, introduce yourself to them
  12. And whatever you do – do not be late!
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Teaching Your Child to Eat in a School Cafeteria

September 10, 2012 in Parenting

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This just may be the first time your child will decide what he or she will eat. And yes – school cafeterias have improved over the years, but there are still some options available to your child, which are less than healthy. Consider the potential access to vending machine or the fact that the child can actually decide to eat a hot dog day after day – unless you do some preliminary work and some serious training.

  • You can continuously steer your child toward healthy choice – and if you start at a younger age, the results will be that much more positive. Explaining that nutritious lunch is the fuel they need to have a good school day and have fun with after school activities is a start.
  • You can look over the school cafeteria menu together, pointing out items that are healthier than other while letting your child to choose their favourite item occasionally – even if it is a hot dog.
  • Check out on availability of things like chips, sodas and ice cream – if they are readily available, you will need to discuss this with your child to make sure these items are not a daily habit.
  • Do your best to continuously encourage cafeteria meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and avoiding fried foods when possible.
  • Also – as far as drinks go, encourage low-fat milk and water, definitely not sodas or juices which are full of sugar.
  • It will help to add healthy snacks that you children can take to school with them. Having them be a part of choosing and making snacks, that way you will be sure it will be eaten.
  • Work on encouraging packed lunch – at least sometimes. Your child can participate in choosing foods for it and help to pack it as well – make it theirs.

Here are some changes you can make when planning and preparing packed lunches:

  • Instead of higher fat lunch meats, consider lower fat meats – like turkey
  • Replace white bread with whole grain bread
  • Eliminate  fried chips with baked chips, popcorn, trail mix or veggies with dip
  • Forget about fruit cups with sugar syrup – replace them with fresh fruit or fruit in natural juices
  • Don’t include snack cakes – replace them with trail mix, yogurt or homemade baked goods

About Pre-packaged Lunches – They are very convenient and quite popular with kids and with parents. But they are also expensive and often less than nutritious. You will really be much better off creating packable lunches using plastic containers, re-sealable plastic bags or colourful plastic wrap.

When packing lunches, please check with your school to make sure that you are aware of any restrictions on what kids can bring with them. Most school now forbid items like peanut butter, so if you are planning to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…. don’t!

The bottom line is that you need to be in the driving seat when it comes to what your child eats – whether it is in the school cafeteria or with packed lunches from home – and you most definitely can be, because in a long run, it is for the health of your child.

For more helpful tips for making healthy school lunches, check out:

Healthy School Lunch Strategies

Hope you have enjoyed this information – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and much appreciated!


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