How To Keep Your Family Active & Healthy This School Year

Disclosure 1

The summer is officially winding down and kids are headed back to school. Lucas actually started the 2nd grade a few weeks ago and already things are super busy. It’s back to early mornings, getting breakfast on the table, rushing out the door to get Lucas to school on time, homework, after school activities, dinner, etc.¬†Craziness! When things get busy, it’s so easy for some of the important things like eating healthy and leading an active lifestyle to fall by the wayside. It’s definitely easier and quicker to skip breakfast or go through a drive-thru for dinner! So today I thought I’d share with you a few tips on how to keep your family active and healthy even when things get busy this school year.

Active Family Checklist

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. This is important for EVERYONE in the family. Yes, including YOU. A healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Fresh fruit, whole grain cereal, and milk is easy, delicious and quick!

Have easy and nutritious snacks ready for kids to choose from after school. A few ideas include: fresh fruit that’s set out in a bowl, string cheese, milk, yogurt, and whole grain crackers. The key is to let your kids know what they can and can’t have and have these snacks easily accessible to them.

Enroll your kids in active after school activities. Sports are always great, of course! Lucas plays baseball so three nights out of the week, we are at the ball park for practice or games. I even use part of this time to be active myself by taking the baby for a walk around the park in her stroller or hitting the playground while Lucas is at practice.

Even if it’s only for 20 minutes – go outside as a family! This could be a trip to the local park or a walk around your neighborhood or even head out to your backyard to throw a ball, play hopscotch, or jump rope. Not only is it good for you to be active, but the entire family gets to unwind after a long day at school and work and you get to spend quality time together. It’s a win-win!

Limit screen time. This includes TV, iPads, iPods, video games, computers…all of it. If kids have limits set on their electronic usage then they WILL find other, more active things to do. I like to keep a list of activity ideas for Lucas so that when he says “I’m borrrred. I don’t know what to dooooooo” – I can just hand him the list of ideas. The list includes everything from ride your bike to build a fort to chores.

Plan your dinner menu ahead of time. This way you can plan around after school activities and ensure that even on those nights you can still have a healthy, home cooked meal. For example, we try to plan meals that will have leftovers during the week. Then on nights that Lucas has baseball we can eat leftovers. Many times we will repurpose leftovers meaning that last night’s roast will turn into hot roast beef sandwiches and a salad tonight. Keeps leftovers from getting boring!

Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is important for all of us. We need to refuel our bodies every night with the proper amount of sleep so that the next day we have the energy to make healthy and active choices.

This conversation is sponsored by Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.