Summer is over and the kids are back in school. It’s time to get your nutrition back on track.
Yes moms, it’s that time of year. Summer is over, vacations have come to an end, the kids are back in school, and somehow we have to force ourselves to remember what day it is. We have to start setting alarm clocks, cooking dinner, making lunches, and doing homework. I have many clients who say they crave this time of year so they can go back to a routine and have some type of normalcy.
As a mom with 5 kids of my own I agree it’s extremely essential for our kids to have structure and routine as well. I’m sure there are some moms out there who can keep it together all summer, but I am definitely not one of them. That is why back to school is a great time to refocus and regroup to get my life and health goals back in order. Here’s a few of my thoughts about getting back into a good routine.
Start with the basics
1. Get your sleep back on schedule
Summer calls for late nights, junk food, and lazy days. It’s so easy to get out of a routine, but much harder to get back in one! So, start with the basics by making sleep a priority for everyone. Having a good nighttime routine that fits your families schedule will get everyone their much needed zzz’s.
- Adults: 7-9 hours
- Teenagers: 8-10 hours
- children:10-13 hours
2. Stock the pantry with healthy foods
Stock your fridge and pantry up with a balance of foods your family enjoys but also the foods they need. They will eat what you buy, so keep it well rounded.
My goal is to keep my fridge stocked with plenty of fruits, vegetable and protein sources (cottage cheese, string cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, and meat). My pantry has its fair share of chips, crackers, nuts, and dried fruit, and granola bars. I keep sugar to a minimum but always try and get something sweet so the kids don’t feel deprived and go crazy at the neighbors.
3. Get into the routine of meal prepping
Meal prep is important. This might mean you get everything ready on Sunday, you pack lunches the night before, or you just have a menu prepared for the week so there’s no second guessing when dinner time comes.
4. Plan it out for no surprises!
Lastly, have a plan for when the kids walk through the door. Does homework come first? Do you have snacks ready? When is their playtime and screen time? These are all things to think about and knowing what the plan is will mean there are zero surprises.
It Doesn’t Have to be Boring
Our kids love it when things are fun. They love games and being silly. They love rewards and incentives. They will respond better when things are kept light. So Tap into their interests! Put a finger on what makes them tick and incorporate this into your daily routine.
Here are some things I do to make things fun:
- My kids love to help plan the process. Make sure to keep them involved.
- I bring my kids to the store and let them pick their favorite healthy foods.
- I have them make me a list of dinners they want me to cook.
- My kids love to cook with me, involve them in cooking and they will learn to love cooking themselves.
- We plan fun treats and aren’t afraid to bake them. It doesn’t have to be so cut and dried, there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat!
Lead by Example
Our kids watch what we do. They may not like what we like but they watch us. We are their example. When it comes to routine especially with healthy habits they will learn from us. If we can incorporate specific habits into our own lives, our kids will be curious and wonder what we are doing and why. If they see you make breakfast a priority they will remember it. If they see you meditating they will ask why. If they know you make exercise part of your day, it will become ingrained in them that it’s important. Kids are sponges and will soak up whatever they observe, so make it count.
You Do You
We often focus too much on external sources. What is everyone else doing? How are others doing so well and we feel like we are barely keeping our heads above water. We look around and spend too much time comparing ourselves to others. Each of our families are unique and have different circumstances. What works for others, won’t work the same for us. Focus on your family’s needs and create a routine that works best for them. Keep it simple but try and be consistent. Focus on progress not perfection.
Establishing routines in your homes can make life less chaotic and things will run smoother. When everyone knows what to expect you’ll see a difference in the way your day plays out. Kids will thrive in an environment when they know exactly what to do! Not to mention how much easier it will make life for us moms and dads.