Back-to-School: Healthy sleep and eating habits

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Doctors say starting the school year off with the right routine will keep your kids healthy throughout the year.

Dr. Rebekka Levis, pediatrician with Boston Children's Health Physicians in Hawthorne, says if you have the proper amount of sleep, you'll pay attention and have more energy throughout the day.

Levis say that now, coming off summer vacation, is the best time to get children on an appropriate sleep schedule.

"School-aged children should get anywhere between 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night, where adolescents - somewhere between eight to 10 hours should be sufficient for them," she says.

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Dr. Levis says once you've come up with a sleep routine, you want to develop healthy eating habits you can share as a family, even if it means planning meals a week or a day in advance - starting with breakfast.

“Studies have shown that the kids who have breakfast tend to have better concentration throughout the day, tend to have more energy throughout the day. Kids should have a breakfast with different food groups. They should have complex carbohydrates, as well as proteins, to help them get through the morning,” she says.

These nutrients throughout the day will pay off when it comes time to exercise.

“If kids aren't involved in sports, what I try to tell them to do is try to make it family time, make it a routine for the whole family to get out and do something physically active at least three times a week,” she says.

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