As school has started back up, most parents have found themselves in the all-too- familiar scenario of “what to make for lunch” or “how is my child adjusting to all of this change” for school-age kids. Making sure that our children have a balanced diet, mind, and attitude is pivotal in helping them to flourish while equipping them with the tools they will need to tackle life’s goals.

Balanced Diet

Whether your family has decided on in-person school or virtual learning, we support your decision to do what is best for your family. We all know that no matter where you are schooling, things like water, vegetables, protein, and fruits are all very important to a well-balanced diet for growing bodies. Did you also know that zinc, iron, and calcium are good nutrients to make sure we keep in our child’s diet?

Zinc is great for developmental growth and is also good in keeping a strong immune system in children.

You can find zinc in these foods:

  • beef
  • dried beans
  • whole grains
  • poultry

 Iron is a very important nutrient to keep your child’s energy level high. Every individual’s body needs iron to transport oxygen around your body. The healthier your blood transportation is, the more energy you will have.

You can find iron in these foods:

  • poultry
  • beef
  • green vegetables
  • legumes (particularly red)

As advertised, calcium is fantastic for bone growth and teeth development. Did you also know that calcium is essential to muscle and nerve stimulation and regulating blood pressure as well? Aside from milk, you can add calcium to your child’s diet through vegetables like okra, spinach, and kale. You can also add chia seeds, almonds, and figs. Cows get their calcium from grass so when you think of calcium think GREEN rather than white!

Balanced Mind

While all of these diet-related things are easier to discuss in passing, we also want to delve deeper into the well-being of our children. How are our children adjusting to all of the change that is going on in their world right now? As a result, many children may not fully understand or be able to process the scope of the changes that this year has thrust upon us. One day they are at school like normal, and then they got a six month time-out from all of their friends and the life they knew.

How are our families coping with all of the change they are now facing as school has restarted? Some children may need time to readjust and get their footing back. Some tools that may help in this are keeping a regular schedule, having an open line of communication within your family, and keeping a balanced diet. If you notice that your child has been pulling away, has had an increase in irritability, increased sensitivity to rejection or criticism, or has withdrawn from activities they used to enjoy, now may be a good time to talk to them about life changes and how depression can affect each of us in the short term and throughout our lives.

Being open with our children to let them know it’s ok to talk about feelings, changes around us, and reaching out to others is empowering them for good emotional health. Our kids need support systems in place and sometimes these systems need to be pointed out to them so they are aware throughout life.

Parents, that means you, too. Self-compassion goes a long way as we all navigate through this incredibly challenging year. We need to pass it on to our babies, young and old, then look at ourselves in the mirror and show that one some compassion, as well. That’s great emotional fortitude.

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