We spoke with Jamelah D. Tucker, MD, a pediatrician and co-founder of EasyPeasie Veggie Blends recently about her company and were so excited by her work and passions for kids and health that we decided to have her back with some tips perfect for the back-to-school season, and all year!
Kids thrive on routine. As we prepare to embark on a new school year, let’s make three easy adjustments to the morning routine to ensure our kids are ready to learn.
Sleep. A great morning starts the night before with a good night’s sleep. Everyone’s body is a little different in terms of how much sleep is needed. Kids at the extremes of childhood tend to have the highest sleep needs: 14-16 hours per day for newborns and infants and 8-10 hours per day for teenagers. Teens also have different circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycles) than other children and adults, with wakefulness into late night hours being normal for many teens. Give the kids (and yourself) a regular bedtime and wake-time. As much as we all love to sleep in, sleep experts encourage waking up at the same time every day – even on days off and weekends. It’s also very important to give our brains a chance to fully “shut down” by ceasing use of electronics (including mobile phones!) at least a full hour before bedtime.
Water. Offer a glass of water along with or instead of milk in the morning. Water is a great and calorie-free way to tell your body that you’re awake and ready to take on the day. Think about how little water your kids probably drink throughout the day. Give them a hydration kick-start with a big tall glass.
Breakfast. Stack their breakfast with proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates – foods that take the body longer to digest. These foods will keep your kids fuller longer and bridge them to the next most important meal of the day – lunch.
|eggs, nuts, legumes, cheese||butter, creams, cheese||whole grains, fiber, vegetables|
Easy foods from these categories that you can add to breakfast are: a slice of cheese, peanut or almond butter, boiled or scrambled eggs, yogurt and granola, or oatmeal. And of course, who says veggies are just for lunch and dinner? Add some veggies (or EasyPeasie) to breakfast!
Help your kid put her best foot forward and be ready for the day with a great morning routine. Happy new school year, families!
The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, always consult your pediatrician.