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Building A Healthy Foundation

There is a lot of research suggesting the effects of diet, exercise, sleep and screen time limitations on a child’s mood and behavior.
I strongly encourage all families I work with to examine these facets and make modifications when they can.  No household is perfect, and any positive changes you make in your family are great changes  Set goals for your family and make changes one step at a time.

Sleep– The National Sleep Foundation recommends school age children get in between 9-11 hours of sleep. A consistent, structured bed time routine can help children go to bed at the same time every night. Your child may be an early riser, so pay attention to the time they are naturally waking up, or the time they need to be up for school and count backwards.  Provide yourself with 45min-1 hour for bedtime routine.

Diet-Limit sugar, processed foods and be on the alert for any possible food sensitivities.  Try to increase the consumption of whole, real foods. Any change you make in this area is a great change for your child’s overall health, brain functioning, and body.

Screen time– The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest 1-2 hours of screen time a day.  Try to make these adjustments, as well as encouraging your child to “power down” 2 hours before bed.

Exercise- Children today are in their seats at school longer, and live more sedentary lifestyles than ever before.  Look at getting them into activities that encourage physical play, schedule outdoor time, or stay after school to play on the playground before heading home.  This will help your child’s focus, increase their positive brain chemicals and make for a calmer child later on in the day.

Take these recommendations one step at a time, and remember any change is a positive change!

Let me know how you’re doing.  Contact me for a family consultation.

Katie Gately
The Behaved Brain
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents