With school in full swing for most of the US, most of my clients with school-aged children are thinking, “Oh my goodness! How in the world am I going to keep my family healthy while I am running a million miles an hour trying to keep all of the balls in the air?”
Of course, the same panic pops up every year, and every year, we make it through. But sometimes, if we fail to prioritize our health (and the health of our families), the school year can pass in a whirlwind, and we are left with a sense of regret that we thought we would “start tomorrow” and never did. We can solve this, but it takes a bit of planning, because honestly, keeping your family healthy during the school year doesn’t happen without effort. Now is your time to set healthy intentions for the school year!
During the school year, our kids deal with often-questionable quality of food at school cafeterias and busy afternoons of activities and homework. All of a sudden, they are in a whirlwind of school celebrations and birthday parties, and (dare I even say it?), the holiday season will creep up on us before we know it.
We certainly don’t have to be perfect, but a bit of strategy and planning will go a long way towards ensuring that you are set up for success going into the school year. One of my favorite quotes reads, “Dreams become reality when intentions become action.” If we don’t take the time to set those intentions, the chances of success are slim.
So, this week, commit to setting at least one healthy intention for the school year. If possible, I recommend doing this as a family, and helping your children set their own intentions (with a bit of guidance!).
Here are several intentions you may choose to make:
- Start each day with a healthy breakfast. Come up with a list of 3-5 healthy options that your children enjoy. Decide who will prepare breakfast each morning, and teach them about the benefits of starting their day with high-quality nutrition.
- Have a vegetable with every lunch. So many children in my office look at me blankly when I ask about vegetables at school lunch. Many don’t even realize that they are offered, or are so in the habit of skipping over that portion of the line that the thought of putting a portion on their tray never crosses their mind. If you encourage your children to add a vegetable to every lunch (bought or brought) that they eat, they will be getting the extra nutrients their bodies so badly need, and the vegetables will naturally crowd out some of the less healthy options, eventually.
- Cook at home 2 nights per week. Maybe you can do more, maybe you can only commit to one night per week, but I highly encourage you to try cooking at home as much as possible. It will save money, it will be healthier, and it may even become fun after a while! Again, come up with a list of 3-5 healthy options that the entire family enjoys, so you have go-to choices when your brain is on overdrive.
- Limit splurges to once per week. Chips and a cookie at lunch, an after-school Slurpee, a Gatorade after sports practice, and run through the drive through on a busy evening may not seem like big deals on their own, but all of these treats add up when enjoyed day after day. I recommend limiting your kids to one dessert at school per week, choosing one day per week to get frozen yogurt or another treat after school, and choosing a less-healthy dinner only once per week. This cadence isn’t too restrictive, but helps our kids realize that these items are treats rather than everyday occurrences.
You may have noticed that I have been posting (a lot!) less frequently. While blogging was an incredible outlet and hobby for me for so long, the busy business is leaving so little time for the blog! I will still post from time to time, but I offer much more frequent content on Facebook (especially Facebook Live videos!), and through my newsletter (sign up and get your free gift here). I look forward to seeing you there!
Now it’s your turn … If you live with school-aged children, what intention can your family make this year? Even if you don’t have children, now is a great time to set a healthy intention!