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Tips for a Healthier School Year

Article date: August 7, 2009

Whether you welcome it with glee (no more kids in the house!) or feel a twinge of dread (goodbye, lazy days by the pool), school is starting up again. We’ve compiled some tips to help you start the year off right.

Make sure your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date

Getting your kids vaccinated protects them against diseases, including common seasonal diseases such as influenza. To find out which ones they need and when they should get them, take a look at the schedule outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Encourage healthy eating habits

Eating right doesn’t mean putting your kids on a diet – just make some small changes. Pack lunches and plan menus around fruits, veggies, and whole grains; limit sugary, salty, and high-fat snacks; and tweak your favorite family recipes to make them a little healthier. For example, instead of serving fried chicken, try oven-fried chicken nuggets. Click here for the recipe.

Offer your kids a high protein breakfast that’ll keep them satisfied until lunchtime – a scrambled egg or peanut butter on toast, for example. Pack lunches with low-fat snacks such as fruit, low-fat string cheese, or applesauce. If your child has a favorite after-school treat, look for single-serving packages.

Help them stay active

The American Cancer Society recommends children and teens participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week, preferably daily.

Encourage your kids to try a new sport. Take walks and bike rides as a family. Plan family vacations around activities like hiking or swimming. Limit sedentary activities like computer games and TV.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your kids stay healthy is to set an example. If you’re eating right and exercising regularly, chances are they will too.

Looking for more ideas? See Eat Healthy and Get Active.


Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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