Back-to-School Tips

Begin the school year off on a healthy note for your children with these health tips.

Back-to-School Tips: Sleep

Jennifer Davis, manager of Chambersburg Hospital’s Sleep Center recommends the following for better sleep:

  • Children ages 5-12 need 10 to 11 hours
  • Teens ages 13-18 need 8 to 9 hours
  • Consistent bed time & wake up time
  • Relaxing 20-30 minute bedtime routine
  • Bedrooms should be quiet, comfortable, and dark
  • Weekends are ok for 'sleep in' - make sure teens wake up within 2 hours of their typical wake up time to ensure their body clock is not disrupted too much by Monday morning


“More research is showing that sleep is imperative to academic performance,” Davis said. “However, with large portions of the day spent on school, homework, extra-curricular activities and spending time with friends and family, getting adequate sleep can be difficult.”

Find more better sleep tips >

Back-to-School Tips: Lunches

Jennifer Ruby, licensed dietitian nutritionist with Summit Endocrinology recommends the following for tasty and healthy food alternatives:

  • Choose 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread over white bread
  • Make sandwiches with protein-packed peanut butter or lean meats, such as turkey, ham or roast beef
  • Add fruits and vegetables to satisfy sweet or crunchy cravings
  • Quench thirst with beverages such as flavored water, low-fat chocolate milk or 100 percent fruit juice, which all have less sugar than sodas. Juice servings should be limited to four ounces per day


Jennifer Ruby also recommends:

  • Choose pre-packaged products for your child’s lunch
  • Beat the morning rush, plan ahead for the week by dividing food into smaller bags or containers
  • Have your child be your helper planning lunches, which will also give you both quality time and reinforce the idea of choosing healthy options


| Find more healthy eating tips >

Back-to-School Tips: Fitness

Julie Morgan, licensed practical nurse with Summit Weight Management Services, recommends the following for keeping kids motivated to move more during the school year:

  • Joining an extra-curricular activity 
  • Making physical activities part of a daily routine
  • Making physical activities part of family time by doing something everyone can enjoy


Also, families can improve physical activity levels by making time for it and making it a habit.

Julie Morgan also notes exercising to be extremely important for children to succeed in school.  

Exercise improves:

  • Sleep
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces depression
  • Self-esteem 
  • Concentration 


| Find more weight management tips >

Find more fitness tips

| Find fitness fun for kids - Get Moving More! Program



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