Keeping Kids in a Healthy Holiday Routine

The holidays are here – the house is decorated, cookies are in the oven, family is in town, and the kids are super excited about no school for two whole weeks! While the holidays are always an exciting time, it is important to keep kids on a regular schedule.

Routine is important for children as they grow into young adults that are prepared to take on the world. Learning, organization, and development are all important skills that are enhanced with a regular schedule. Additionally, routines and discipline help children learn how to safely control themselves in public, while also fostering creativity and self-expression.

Check out these 5 helpful tips to help stick to a healthy routine during the holidays:

  1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
    • Research shows that a regular sleep schedule helps children fall asleep quicker, and that children who are familiar with their sleep schedule fight less when it’s time for bed. Often during school breaks kids sleep in too much, which breaks their normal sleep schedule and can make getting back into school mode more difficult. This winter break, keeping a routine sleep schedule (as best you can) will help maintain a healthy routine for your kids.
  2. Keep Good Eating Habits
    1. The holidays are packed with over-eating and sugary-sweets. Mealtime is critical to concentration, strength, and performance in children. Always make sure your kids are eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.  While it’s ok to indulge every once in a while, use this time to instill good eating habits and remind your kids that healthy options can be just as flavorful.
  3. Make Traveling Easier
    1. Traveling can be stressful for children. To reduce this anxiety, bring an item that helps your child feel safe such as a blanket or stuffed animal. Often times, travel plans do not follow the routine you prepare for. Having an item that helps your child feel comfortable will make it easier to adapt to unexpected changes.
  4. Plan Fun Activities
    1. It is very common for kids to watch TV and movies all day during break. Try planning fun activities ahead of time to reduce restlessness and screen time. Anything from a family outing to building a fort outside will help keep their minds engaged during the break.
  5. Get Them Ready For Back To School
    1. As the break comes to an end, be sure to prepare your children to get back into the school routine. If sleep schedules and meal times have changed, start adjusting them a few days before school starts. These simple changes will get your kids right back into the swings of things as they head back to school after winter break.

The holidays are an exciting time, but they can also bring stress to children when their routines change. A regular schedule helps to reduce these anxieties in children, and keeps them on track to be successful academic achievers. We hope you have a wonderful Holiday season, and remember, should illness or injury arise unexpectedly, our offices are open during the holidays!

  • Christmas Eve: 11am – 3pm
  • Christmas Day: Closed
  • New Year’s Eve: 11am – 3pm
  • New Year’s Day: 10am – 2pm

For more information on hours and services, call the Your Kid’s Urgent Care office nearest you.

Resource: https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx?id=899c0e33-0fa5-4754-9e95-18a049e9d2fd