School is well underway for most children and families are trying to balance work, school, extra curricullar activities and all other daily chores. During this chaotic daily routine it’s very important to make sure that your children are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet. Doing so will not only keep everyone from getting sick during the winter, but it will also boost learning for the younger members of the family. The education program in most parts of the world is very demanding and learning is a tiring task. Especially when homework, expectations and after school activities are also increasing.

Providing your kids with a balanced diet, physical activity and free times for them to play and be creative can be a challenge. So we have summed up the 7 most important things you could do for your kids during the school year to keep them healthy, happy, and smart.


children's education development healthy lifestyle


#1 Prepare a healthy balanced breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day. It will increase your childs focus during class as well as their productivity. If they have a long day ahead with after school activities they will have the energy to pull through and still be able to get their homework done in the evening.

Just like with other meals, try to include a variety of foods:

  • Fruit: Smoothies are a great idea and you can incorporate other items on this list in them.
  • Vegetables
  • Grains (at least half the grains should be whole grains)
  • Protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, nuts, and seeds): Try to include less “cold cuts” and processed meats and more nuts and eggs.
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt)


#2 Snacks

Snacks are great for the smaller breaks that your child will have available during the day. 4 to 5 meals a day are key for a balanced and healthy diet so your child should have more than just their lunch packed for the day. This doesnt mean your kid should have something available to eat whenever they want to snack. A child that has something available to snack on all day will have a smaller appetite during meals and experiment less with new food.

  • Cereal bars (whole grain with nuts, honey, dried fruit etc).
  • Whole fruit (or fruit salads)
  • Veggies (cucumber and carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes etc)
  • Nuts and seeds


#3 Lunch

In some schools a full healthy meal is provided. If you’re required to prepare lunch, make sure you include a little bit of everything needed in a balanced meal. If the school has a canteen that offers a lot of items that are high in sugar you will want your kid to have a healthier alternative and avoid such options.

  • Vegetable variety. Mix things up and make it fun by adding colourful vegetables in every meal. The benefits are countless, more fiber, antioxidant protection, and numerous vitamins will empower your child’s health and learning abilities.
  • Lean protein. Hot dogs and processed meats should be avoided, instead opt for a chicken salad or a grilled turkey fillet with rice. Eggs are also a great way to include more protein in a meal. Fish should be included twice per week in your childs lunch or dinner.


#4 Naps

Naps are a very important part of a child’s development. Children require more sleep than adults. Therefore, plan for a nap right after school or after a study session to provide that much needed extra rest. This shouldnt be seen as a waste of study time, but a way to help your kids absorb what they were focused on. Furthermore, they will be more receptive when they get back to reading.


#5 Physical activity

Between studying and playing their favourite game on the computer or game console, children are increasingly missing out on outdoor physical activity. School offers phyisical education but in some cases it may not be sufficient. Also your kid may enjoy doing something that isnt offered in school and allowing them to do it will help keep their body and mind healthier and more active. On weekends you could encourage physical activity by joining in yourself (it could be a bikeride, game of catch or something more exciting like paintball).


#6 Time to shut down phones, tablets and laptops

Staring at a screen before you go to sleep is probably the worste way to put yourself to sleep. The light of the screen confuses your mind into thinking its a different time of day. Additionally it reduces the amount of time you sleep in total. Ideally everyone would switch their phone off and leave it on the dinner table before going to sleep. Leading by example is the best way (cough, cough).


#7 Sleep!

Getting the right amount of sleep is absolutely crucial to your kids development. Between the ages of 7 and 12 kids should be getting 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Between the ages of 12 to 18, 8 to 9 hours are usually sufficient. Many times due to increased social, family and school activities bedtime is pushed further forward as children grow older. In such cases, napping after school can provide the extra rest and tip #6 becomes more and more important.