Back-to-school can be a welcome change with the return to a schedule but for children with learning and behaviour difficulties, it can present changes that both parents and kids dread.
Minimize the stresses of back-to-school by ensuring your child’s brain is being optimally nourished and supported. This may help to create resilience and set them up for a more successful school year.
1. Feed the Brain – Start the morning with a diet high in protein and healthy fats with less of focus on grains. Protein and fat helps to stabilize blood sugar and the stress hormone cortisol. Reducing or eliminating sugar has made a world of difference for countless children I have worked with as does removing foods that are laden with additives and food colouring. Include protein and at least 1 tbsp. of healthy fats at every meal, increase nutrient rich veggies and decrease excess carb consumption for a brain-building diet.
2. Movement – Many parents tell me their child’s ADHD improves in the summer and on less medication. Many of these kids are involved in swimming lessons, baseball and soccer; summer means more opportunity to be active. Returning to school can result in up to two hours of daily bus rides and countless hours sitting at desks. Start the morning with movement. You’d be surprised how many kids are happy to get moving before school. Movement doesn’t have to be in the form of organized sports—a simple walk at the end of the day, cross country skiing or jumping on the trampoline can create an outlet for excess energy and can help focus the brain.
3. Routine – Routine helps to organize and calm the brain for both adults and children. A checklist on a whiteboard for the morning and evening routines can be a game changer. Schedule in time for free-play, movement as well as homework, supper and a regular bedtime with story time and low lights. This can help to cue the brain to relax and fall asleep at the same time every evening.
To learn more schedule a free 20-minute Star Student Breakthrough session.