Whether it’s your child’s first year in Prep or their last year of high school, follow these simple steps to prepare for a great school year:

  1.  Start every day with a healthy breakfast:A healthy breakfast ensures your child has the fuel to concentrate and perform in school and not be too hungry before the first break.Eggs, fruit with yoghurt or a healthy cereal always makes for a great start to the day.Also, skipping breakfast has been shown to contribute to weight gain causing problems later in life.

2.  Walk, ride or do the scoot commute:Starting the day with some exercise on the way to school is a great way to keep the whole family in shape and develop long lasting healthy habits for children, which can help prevent health problems later in life.

3.  Get enough sleep:Sleep is important for your child’s health, growth and development.Children aged three to five need between 10 and 13 hours’ sleep per night, while children aged six to 13 need between nine and 11 hours’ sleep per night.Have your child turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.Enforce regular bedtime routines to ensure your children receive enough sleep during the week and on weekends. Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in high school.

4.  Prepare a healthy lunchbox and snacks:A nutritious lunchbox is a must!Pack a healthy lunchbox by including: sandwiches or pita bread filled with lean meat, salad or cheese.For snacks pack cheese slices with crackers, sliced vegetables, fresh or dried fruit.Always include a water bottle, freeze it overnight to chill the rest of the lunchbox during the day.Try to avoid processed meats, fruit bars or straps, chips, cordials or soft drinks and sweet biscuits.Of course, the occasional treat is always OK in moderation.Let your children help with food preparation so they feel involved and there’s a greater chance they’ll eat it!

5.  Overcome back to school anxiety:Starting school for the first time or heading back to school can be an anxious time.Talk with your child about what to expect with the new school year and any concerns they might have. Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children. Sometimes the more details they have the better.

6.  Get into the daily routine early: Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time and test out the daily commute so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.

7.  Hygiene:This is important at any stage of life, especially at school.Chat to your child about basic hygiene, emphasise washing hands before eating or even pack a hand sanitiser.  Ensure your children’s vaccinations are up to date.Head lice can be an issue at school, so chat with your local Ramsay Pharmacist for a solution should your child be affected.

8.  Stay Sunsmart:Make sure your child is sun smart by providing a 30+ sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.See your Ramsay Pharmacist for advice on the best sunscreen for your child’s needs, especially if they have sensitive or allergy-prone skin.