Christina Scirica, MD, a MassGeneral Hospital for Children pulmonologist and weight expert, shares tips on how parents can help their kids kick off the new school year with healthy eating and activity habits.
A Healthy Start Back to School
Back to school is a great time for resolutions and fresh starts. With a little preparation and minimal effort, it is possible to set the stage for a healthy year. Here are some small steps that will get you moving in the right direction.
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Pack healthy school lunches
Despite recent nutrition guidelines, school lunches are not always the most nutritious, so try packing your child’s lunch whenever possible. Having a few of the following items on hand can make the process easier and more efficient.
Keep kids fit
Sign your child up for after-school activities that will keep him active. If your child likes sports, sign her up for a team, club, class or lessons. If your child is not a sports fan, think outside the box and explore the many alternatives. Kids who are nervous about playing a team sport may do better with something less competitive or more independent. While some sports programs are more costly than others, there are ways to keep your child active without breaking your budget. Check out your local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club, and ask about cost adjustments if you need one.
If clothes are on your back-to-school shopping list, make them clothes your child can move freely in. Resist the temptation to send your child to school in ballet flats, crocs, flip flops or anything else that isn’t easy or safe to run in. Your best bet? Sneakers!
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