Keeping children’s energy going strong – especially after school

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The school year contains so many activities for children that it can be a struggle for parents to keep energy levels going strong at all times of the day. Between school itself, homework, and after-school activities like sports, music practice or theater rehearsals, students of all ages can start to feel the wear and tear of maintaining such a pace.

Establishing a routine complete with wholesome and quick snacks is the best way to help students keep their energy levels going strong throughout the crazy scheduling of the school year. Here are some tips to make it work:

* Maintain a schedule – No matter if you have one child or five, a schedule is a necessity to ensure your family will be able to participate in all activities. You may discover that your children will have to pick and choose between a couple of interests, especially if those activities have overlapping times, or eat into valuable after-school homework time. Be sure to include homework time in the schedule, and that your child will be able to work on homework in a quality learning environment in your home, rather than facing distractions trying to do homework in the car between activities or during meals.

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* Communicate weekly – Hold a family meeting once a week to discuss the upcoming week’s schedule. If you are able, connect all your electronic calendars into one unit so all family members can see where everyone is at what time. But still be sure to sit down and discuss the schedule as well. As your children get older and busier in their teen years, this communication will also include who is driving what vehicle to what activity.

* Keep snacking foods handy – The hours between lunch at school and dinnertime can stretch for an eternity, especially for active students. Nutritious snacking can help your child curb hunger throughout the day, as well as provide energy and important nutrients, reports the Mayo Clinic. Maintaining high energy levels is essential to keeping your children’s hectic schedules going. Have wholesome and filling snacks with zero grams of trans fats per serving available like Farm Rich Queso Cheese Bites, which are a good source of calcium and contain a bit of spice to entertain your mouth, or Farm Rich Mozzarella Bites – delicious bite-sized pizzaria style crust filled with real mozzarella cheese. Serve these hot snacks along with fresh fruit to your children coming home from school after a long day so they are able to focus on their homework with energy. If you have older children in the house, keep a supply handy that they can heat up in the oven or microwave for a quick snack. Visit for a coupon for any Farm Rich products.

* Save a little downtime – Going at breakneck speed all the time is exhausting, even for today’s youths. Encourage your children to pick up a downtime hobby like reading or a crafting project they can enjoy for a few minutes every day just to help reset the mental batteries. You may discover scheduling the downtime immediately after they get home from school or their after-school activity can help your kids focus better on homework problems, especially when paired with an energy-boosting snack.

Staying well-rounded and active helps children and teens grow as individuals, so encourage them to add after-school projects and activities into their schedules. And by maintaining a good family schedule, and providing energy-boosting after-school snacks, your children will be able to keep busy throughout the school year.