Back to School: Making healthy habits for your student's return to the classroom

With schools across central Texas beginning the new school year in the coming weeks, many stress the importance of establishing healthy habits to ensure success in the classroom for your students.

FOX 7 Austin's Kelly Saberi spoke with multiple Austin-area health professionals about the ways that parents can ensure success for their kids through healthy habits.


Getting a good night's sleep

Dr. Edgar Navarro Garza is a pediatrician at Harbor Health in Round Rock. He recommends establishing a sleep routine before school begins. 

It helps if parents lead by example, even if they don’t plan to go to bed. They can act as role models for sleep hygiene by following their own routine. 

This includes putting down electronics an hour before bed and avoid over-scheduling so that you have time to unwind before snoozing. Then after the kids are asleep, they can continue on their evening as they please.

Safety on the way to school

Family nurse practitioner Diane Plas says it’s a good idea to practice your child’s route to school if they’re walking or biking. Don’t forget to stock them up with water during this dangerous heat.


Healthy eating habits

Harbor Health Coach Karla Jurado has advice for parents with picky eaters, who tend to do well with smaller, bite-sized items. Larger items may lead to them being overwhelmed. 

Many picky eaters have sensory issues. It can help to talk out what senses they are experiencing while making the food together. Have them touch the food during the preparation process and get used to the texture. It also gives them a sense of autonomy to know they’ve helped make it. 

Here are some ideas for foods for picky eaters:

  • Frozen Greek Yogurt Popsicles: In a bowl mix Greek yogurt, honey, mashed bananas, blueberries or the fruit of your choice, and granola or cheerios. Fill up some popsicle holders or silicone cupcake holders with the mix and freeze overnight.
  • Breakfast Burrito Bites: Whisk together eggs and your choice of veggie. Add to the skillet and cook, but do not scramble. Cook until you have a large fried egg. Place on tortilla then roll up and cut into small pieces.
  • Sushi Sandwich Roll-ups: Cut off the crust of pieces of loaf bread, spread with nut butter or cream cheese, and add lunch meat, cheese, or fruit fillings. Roll up each and cut small bites to resemble sushi. These are easy to make and let picky eaters choose the filling.
  • Cheese and Turkey Kebabs: Place cubes of turkey and cheese on wooden toothpicks and top each one with something the child chooses -- a cherry tomato, olive, grape, berry, etc.