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    Back-to-School Time

    Getting back into the swing of the school season is no easy task for any parent, let alone their children. A summer of late bedtimes and alarm clock-less mornings are quickly replaced by routines shaped by years of stringent school schedules. As a parent myself, I know each of us can set up our children for success in the classroom, and it starts this week.

    The schools ensure our children undergo physicals and receive immunizations, but it’s up to us to take it from there.

    For starters, set a clear bed time and wake-up time, to build a consistent schedule that is easy for everyone to follow. The National Sleep Foundation reports the average student (three to 18 years of age) needs eight to 13 hours of sleep a night.

    The food we provide our children fuels them throughout the school day. Try and limit their sugar consumption and replace those sugary snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables. Rather than reaching for the soda, fill up a reusable bottle with ice cold water, and keep your student properly hydrated. Click on www.liveamorecolorfullife.org for an assortment of resources and recipes that will help you fill their bellies with healthy options.

    It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of screen time your students get. Put away the smart phones and tablets, and turn off the television as much as possible. Encourage your kids to read a book, or play a board game that focuses on learning.

    Lastly, schedule time for your kids to participate in some form of physical activity after school and on the weekends. The Mayo Clinic reports that regular exercise improves a person’s mood, boosts their energy and promotes better sleep. It also can prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss.

    Following these simple steps will help the entire family get out the door every morning on time, and with enough energy to succeed all semester.

    Sincerely,

    Veerinder (Vinny) Taneja

    Tarrant County Public Health Director