A Naturopathic Back to School Survival Guide:  Back to the Basics

 Get your snooze on:   Ensure both kids and adults get to sleep on time, in particular in the days leading up to school and the first few weeks of school.  The younger the child the longer the adjustment time to the new curriculum and class, the day can be especially overwhelming and exhausting.  Children may act out, cry more easily, and become more irritable in the first few weeks of transition if they are not getting enough rest.  “We know that sleep deprivation can affect memory, creativity, verbal creativity and even things like judgment and motivation and being (engaged) in the classroom,” explains Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington1. “When you’re sleepy, (being engaged) isn’t going to happen.”  Help your kids out by encouraging adequate rest and restoration for the next day.  Kids in elementary school require 10-11 hours of sleep nightly and kids in middle school (still!) require 9-11 hours of sleep nightly.  The adults in the home should set a good example and aim for 7-8 hours nightly.

Fueling Up:  A Power Breakfast for your little super heroes: Give yourself and your child a boost by starting the day with a power breakfast to support energy, blood sugar and mood.

Examples include:

  • Eggs and whole wheat or GF toast with nut butter topper
  • Vegetable Omelet or frittata (dice the veggies the night before to have everything ready to go!)
  • Lean chicken or turkey sausages + side of fruit/granola.  Kids microwave fave: Wellshire!

  • Thick rolled oats with “GORP”:  nuts/seeds/fruit/cinnamon and a bit of syrup for those who need additional sweetness

  • Whole wheat or GF waffles dipped in yogurt or kefir

  • Rice/Pea protein smoothie with fruit and green vegetables

  • Soups!  Who knew, an easy, and great warm-up to the day:  broth/meat/vegetables

  • Breakfast burrito: beans/rice or eggs/vegetables

  • Homemade Egg ”McMuffin” with avocado slices

  • Whole grain carrot or potato or GF pancake or whole grain or GF French toast dipped into nut butter

Most stores carry ready to go versions for waffles/pancakes, or make your own and freeze.

Give yourself a break.  Plan an extra 15 minutes in the morning for those last minute challenges, spills, outfit changes and missing homework.  This will help de-stress the morning routine, and reduce cortisol panic elevations which overtime can contribute to weight gain, depression and blood sugar imbalances.

  • Plan the next day’s weather appropriate outfit and lay out the night before.  If your kiddo can’t choose, select two outfits and have them choose in the morning

  • Pack up homework and backpacks and have ready to go

  • Prepare snacks and lunches and have ready to go the night before

  • Keep your kids umbrella in the car for those unexpected rainy days

 

The next test is in cold and flu season, and prevention is really the best answer.

  • Vitamin D3:  Don’t forget to stock up on Vitamin D3 for yourselves and your children.  Most adults should be taking 2000 IU daily and children 400 IU daily.  Research suggests that serum concentrations of 38 ng/ml or more were associated with a significant (p<0.0001) two-fold reduction in the risk of developing acute respiratory tract infections and with a marked reduction in the percentages of days ill2.
  • Hand washing, frequent hand washing, and avoid touching your face/nose and eyes to reduce transmission of virus and bacteria.  Wash hands for 20 seconds (duration of Happy Birthday Song) using mild soap.  Repeat often.  A paraben-free moisturizer may be applied to reduce risk of skin drying out from frequent washing.

 

We at Evergreen Integrative Medicine wish you a very healthy, happy and relaxing fall transition.  We are available in office Monday-Friday to assist you with this season’s transition, stress-management, and for your families acute health care needs.  Please contact the scheduling desk at 425-999-4503 for appointments.

 

In health,

Carol M. Bobovski, N.D.

 

1.    http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/15/kids-who-sleep-more-cope-better/

2.    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0011088

 

NEXT TOPIC:  Healthy Everyday Lunches!

 

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Philosophy of Natural Medicine

- Do no harm
- Find and treat the cause
- Treat the whole person
- Doctor as teacher
- The healing power of nature
- Promote wellness


Remember:

- Preventive care may result in fewer sick days.
- Improved overall health and well-being (establishing a healthy diet and lifestyle program).
- Natural, non-invasive approach to illness (may reduce medication use).

Holiday Hours

The office will be closed Dec 31 - Jan 4, 2018 and will resume normal business hours on Jan 7, 2018.