You At Your Best

August 2017 • Back to School

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HEALTHY continued from pages 12 & 13 School entry may require documentation of immunization records. Find out what your child's school requires and bring any school forms for your healthcare provider to fill out and sign. Be sure to keep your own copy of any records. Failure to keep immunizations up- to-date could prevent your child from attending school. Diet A healthy, well-rounded diet is crucial in the learning process for children. Starting the day off with a wholesome, healthy breakfast can help children stay focused and alert. Breakfast should be rich in protein and fiber to help curb hunger pangs and ward them off until lunch. Whole grain toast, eggs, fruit, and yogurt are some great options for a satisfying breakfast. Cutting back on added sugars will also prove beneficial to a child's health. Added sugars are syrups and sugars that are added during the processing or preparation of foods or beverages. This doesn't include natural occurring sugars like the ones found in fruits and milk. In 2005-2008, the average percent of total daily calories from added sugars was 16 percent for boys (with average intake of 362 calories), and 16 percent for girls (with average intake of 282 calories) aged 2 to 19 years. Too many added sugars can lead to serious health problems including weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that children and teens ages 2-18 should limit added sugar to no more than 6 teaspoons per day. Added sugar has no nutritional benefits, yet it is found in many foods including ketchup, salad dressings, some cereals, smoothies, and even some sweetened yogurts. Instead of packing a sugary fruit drink in your child's lunch, opt for a healthier option such as water and a whole fruit. Soda and iced tea are also drinks you should avoid packing in their lunch due to the high sugar content. When packing snacks, try to include fresh fruits, yogurt (with no added sweeteners), carrots, or nuts. Sleep Getting the right amount and good quality of sleep is just as important to a child's success at school as their diet. Healthy sleep requires a sufficient amount of uninterrupted good quality sleep. Even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can cause fatigue in children, so it is important to maintain healthy sleep in order to ensure the child stays engaged with activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pre-school aged children (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours of sleep per 24 hours (including naps); school age children (6-12 years) need 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours; and teens (13-18 years) need 8-10 hours of sleep per 24 hours. The back-to-school routine can already be hectic with all the lists of school items to purchase and extracurricular activities to join, causing the importance of health to take a backseat. By following a few practical guidelines, this school year can be a more smooth and healthy one. "Starting the day off with a wholesome, healthy breakfast can help children stay focused and alert. " 14 | YOU AT YOUR BEST | nwAdg.cOm/YOUATYOURBEST AUgUST - BAck TO SchOOl | SATURdAY, JUlY 29, 2017

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