By Cameron Barrios
It’s that time of year again. Summer is over, kids are back in school, and it’s time to get back into a routine for fall. During the summer months, parents struggle to keep their kids busy and out of trouble. From the very first day of summer, parents are already counting down the seconds until the first day of school. But, once fall hits, getting back into a routine can be quite challenging. Whether you’re starting a new school year or if you just want to help your family to de-stress as the holiday season approaches, here are five great tips for kicking off the fall season in a healthy and un-stressful way!
- Get the kids to bed early at the same time every night. According to the Family Literacy Foundation, reading with your children can boost self-esteem and imagination while improving communication, listening, vocabulary, memory, and language skills. Try starting a bedtime ritual like reading a book as a family before lights out. This will help to wind down and adjust more quickly to a new routine, while also developing their core learning skills.
- Establish a consistent family dinner time. Research has shown that consistent family dinners have been linked to lower risks of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, while helping to optimize learning. With work, school, and extra-curricular activities, it can be hard to find bonding time for the whole family. To get the most out of your family dinner time, have everyone share the best and worst part of their day. This is a great way for family members to bond and stay connected throughout the school year.
- Dedicate time during the weekend to prepare for the week ahead. Once Monday rolls around finding time to prepare for the week can be difficult (or non-existent)! Do the laundry, plan the week’s meals, get the grocery shopping out of the way, and ask your family members to participate in the week’s preparation. (More bonding time!) This way you’ll have more time during the week to focus on the needs of your family instead of those weekly chores.
- Get the family outdoors! In today’s world we spend too much time being sedentary: computers, television, cell phones, school work, office work, etc. After the school work and chores are done get outside to enjoy the last few hours of daylight. Encourage your family to use up the last of their energy so dinner and bed time are a breeze! Walk the dog. Play catch. Visit a park. Go on a bike ride. Rejuvenate the whole family with some fresh air and sunshine EVERY day! Life is too short to be wasted in front of a digital screen.
- Make nutritious foods a part of every meal. This might be the most important tip of all. You are what you eat! If you feed your family junk, they will look, feel, and act like junk! If you want a healthy, focused, and energetic family, offer nutritious foods to support that. Foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and breads, nuts and nut butters, hummus spreads, and unprocessed foods are great to keep your family healthy and strong! Not sure how or what to feed your family for optimal health? Shop the outer edges of the grocery store and avoid the packaged processed foods in the middle aisles. The healthier foods can usually be found in the outer sections of a grocery store and will give your family boundless energy for their long school and work days!
Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Burritos
With just 4 simple ingredients, you can have a breakfast that is tasty, healthy, and satisfying!
Coming up with new breakfast choices can be challenging. Especially if you’re constantly on-the-go, even eating breakfast can be a challenge! But, as we all know, skipping breakfast is never a good idea. So, here is a quick and easy recipe for those of you that are on-the-go and need something that can be made the night before!
Eating breakfast really is so important. Think about this for a second: At night time when you are fast asleep your body is busy fasting (gathering toxins from your tissues and using your stored fat cells as energy). This process takes a lot of work and uses a lot of your stored energy! So, when you wake up in the morning it’s important to hydrate and nourish your body. The simple practice of starting your day with water (instead of coffee!) and a good hearty breakfast will give you tons of energy for the day ahead!
I love using cinnamon in my breakfasts. I am generally a sweet eater in the morning and cinnamon is great for stabilizing blood sugar and will also help prevent a drastic spike in your blood sugar levels. I especially like to add it to my smoothies! Because smoothies are generally higher in sugar (good natural sugar from fruit is still sugar!) it helps to prevent the blood sugar spike and adds a great depth of flavor.
The tortillas I used in this recipe are the Ezekiel brand Sprouted Grain Tortillas. These are my favorite because they are 100% organic, most of the grains are sprouted, and they consist of a variety of whole grains that most people don’t usually eat on a regular basis like barley, millet, and spelt. These tortillas can be found at most natural food stores.
1 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla
1-2 tbsp. almond butter or other nut butter of your choice
1 banana, sliced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Spread nut butter over tortilla, sprinkle with cinnamon, and place banana slices on top.
- Gently roll up tortilla and enjoy!
- If taking with you on-the-go,then place burrito in a plastic bag and take with you, or store in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Note: If I am eating this on the spot, I like to heat the tortilla in a dry skillet and then assemble the burrito. But it can be eaten cold as well!
Cameron Barrios is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor who offers group and individual coaching. For more great tips for a healthy thriving family, visit HealthCoachCameron.com.