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finding a back to school routine for kids that works

Back to School…Back to Routine

Are you struggling with the thought of ending the seemingly endless summer and getting back to a routine for the kids when school is back in session?

With kids heading back to school in the next couple weeks, whether virtually or in the traditional sense, the list of things we have to get done for the new school year keeps getting longer and longer. We all have a lot on our plates.

As parents, we can quickly become overwhelmed with the stress of the transition back to school. Then anxiety sets in about how our children will adjust physically and emotionally to the challenges of a very different new school year for many kids.

But as we prepare our children for the end of summer and the start of a new school year, we often forget to prepare their immune systems as well. {One of my secret weapons for fighting off illness during the school year is Florida Orange Juice – but more on that in just a few!}

We know what you’re thinking – not another thing to worry about right now!

So today we wanted to make it easier on you and give you the perfect back to school routine for kids so you can keep them healthy during the new school year no matter where they’ll be doing their schoolwork.

5 Tips for Transitioning from Summer to a School Routine for Kids

An extremely important step in transitioning from summer days to school days is getting on a consistent morning and evening routine during the school week.

Let’s start with my morning routine for school.

1. Start the Day Off Right

With many children starting this school year at home, it’s extremely important to still wake up on the right side of the bed. A solid morning routine for kids is key to setting the right tone for your at-home school routine.

Always start with a healthy and delicious breakfast and a glass of sunshine (a.k.a. my favorite Florida Orange Juice)!

Choose superfoods, like Florida orange juice, that not only fuel your child’s body with the energy needed to get through the day but are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins needed to help support a well-balanced wellness routine.

Plus, breakfast time is the best time to support your child’s immunity! Starting their day out with a healthy, delicious, and immune supportive meal is easier than you think. I highly recommend elderberry syrup on our delicious Florida Orange Juice Pancakes! We love making these pancakes at home, and the kids actually have a blast making them with me.

So what is your child going to drink with this healthy breakfast?

One of the most important things to remember when trying to prevent illness is to encourage fluids! Your child’s hydration status will directly affect their immunity and their recovery process. But not all fluids are created equal.

My kids have always woken up with a glass of Florida Orange Juice. Citrus juices, such as 100% orange juice, are reportedly the largest contributor of vitamin C in the diet – a powerful antioxidant nutrient key in supporting immune health, iron absorption from plant-based foods, and skin and bone health. Vitamin C helps support our immune systems by protecting cells and promoting the production and function of immune cells. Vitamin C is also important in the formation of collagen, which is a vital component for the health of our bones, cartilage, and gums.

For adults, just one 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice provides more than 100% of your recommended Daily Value of vitamin C, making it a quick and easy source of this important nutrient. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that 100% juice be limited to no more than 4 ounces per day for toddlers age 1-3 years, 4-to-6 ounces per day for children age 4-6 years, and no more than 8 ounces per day for children age 7 years and older.*

Fortified Florida Orange Juice is also a good source of vitamin D*. Recently, vitamin D has gotten more media attention for its critical role in fighting infection and building immunity. Multiple studies have found an association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of infections, including influenza and other respiratory infections and sepsis.

Starting your morning routine for school with a delicious and nutritious breakfast is a must, and you can’t go wrong with Florida OJ and some must-have 100% orange juice recipes.

2. Teach Good Hand Washing Hygiene

Yes, your children should definitely practice good hand washing at home and outside the house. Research has shown the most effective way to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands. Good hand washing hygiene for kids starts at home.

Make sure your children wash their hands often and with soap!

Kids need to understand the purpose of handwashing before eating, after using the bathroom, and when arriving home from school (if you have chosen to send your children to school). And they will surely be practicing regular hand washing activities while at school as well.

Regularly washing hands can even be a fun and entertaining activity. It also provides a chance for kids to take an active role in their own self-care. Children should wash their hands for 20 seconds or about how long it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. You can also sing along to funny hand washing videos for kids or help them sing the “This is the way we wash our hands” stanza of the popular song a few times.

Make hand washing for children both fun AND educational!

3. Make Time for Recess and Exercise

Whether they’re having recess in school or recess at home, it’s so important to keep our kids moving! And it’s especially important if they’re missing out on P.E. or other kids fitness programs and exercise classes for kids.

Start with easy warm up exercises for kids. Then transition into some fun fitness games for kids to get their hearts pumping. For adults, exercise is very organized, but for kids, it’s all about having fun and staying active!

Why is exercise important for kids? Like with adults, fitness translates to all different aspects of life for kids. In addition to healthier bodies, kids tend to sleep better with more regular physical activity. They also seem to handle stress (both physical and mental) better.

While your kids are moving, don’t forget to have them hydrate! And our favorite post-workout drink is always Florida Orange Juice!

100% orange juice is naturally almost 90% water, which is perfect for staying hydrated while being active!

In fact, a clinical study reported that drinking 100% orange juice following exercise contributed to hydration equally as well as water or a sports drink, making 100% orange juice a viable and healthy option as a post-exercise beverage.

4. Healthy Back to School Snacks Are Important

Don’t forget to take some brain breaks throughout the day, including at the end of the school day, for snacks! Snacking can help kids maintain better focus throughout the day or reenergize at the end of a long school day.

If your child is home for school, these Florida Orange Juice Creamsicles are a great nutritious and hydrating mid-day snack.

If you’re looking for dairy free snacks for kids, try our Florida Orange Juice smoothie recipe for healthy after school snacks.

Energizing Florida Orange Juice Smoothie

Combine the following ingredients, blend, and enjoy!

  • 1 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks

5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is extremely important for maintaining good health and strong immunity. When our children are run down and tired, they become more vulnerable to becoming sick. There have been multiple studies linking irregular bedtimes with behavioral issues in the classroom. In addition to the cycle of behavioral challenges and lack of sleep, insufficient sleep in children can also lead to weight issues, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and decreased performance at school.

So how much sleep should kids get? School aged children need up to 11 hours of sleep. Preschoolers need a total of 13 hours of sleep per day. The summer months of late-night bedtimes and no schedules can make going back to school a difficult transition, especially for toddlers and preschoolers.

What time should children go to bed? For many of us, we spend the last few weeks of summer with last minute getaways and late-night fun. But getting a good schedule and routine for kids going after all the hectic days of summer is so important and actually easier than you may think. Think about what time your child will need to wake up each morning. Then start bedtime preparation for the kids 15 minutes earlier each week until you have reached an appropriate bedtime for them to get the needed total hours of sleep. This gradual change will help to accomplish a more seamless transition.

The bottom line is that consistent sleep routines lead to positive outcomes, such as improved attention, better behavior, improved emotional regulation, and overall good health. A nightly school routine is a must!drinking healthy orange juice while doing virtual school

Final Thoughts on Getting Back Into a Routine for Kids

Whether your children are going back to a traditional classroom this year or starting a new home school routine with you, having a daily routine for kids to follow is key to a smooth transition back to school.

At Forever Freckled, we are honored and excited to collaborate with the Florida Department of Citrus to spread the word on the amazing health and nutritional benefits of Florida Orange Juice!

With help from Florida Orange Juice, you can give back to the amazing teachers in your life. Nominate your favorite teacher HERE to give them the chance to win a surprise FLOJ Teacher Kit!

~Dr. Katie


*Nutrient content claims provided herein are based on an 8-ounce serving. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that 100% juice be limited to no more than 4 ounces per day for toddlers age 1-3 years, 4-to-6 ounces per day for children age 4-6 years, and no more than 8 ounces per day for children age 7 years and older.
This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.


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  1. This is so important especially right now. Thank you so much for sharing this and keeping it on the forefront of my mind.

  2. Huh, I had no idea OJ was that powerful in keeping colds away! I’m going to have to include that in my routine and tell my mom friends!

  3. Truly said kids need specific schedule and routine and exercise is very important for them specially in these quarantine days. And your Florida Orange smoothie seems to be yummy, will surely try.

  4. Preparing your children to go back to school after summer break can affect a variety of behaviors that become habits during long-days full of sunshine and family time. Thank you for these tips!

  5. My kids are big OJ fans I love these tips! I always make sure they get some breakfast before they leave the house, doesn’t matter if the school provides it either.

  6. Thank you for sharing. I know a lot of mothers will be finding ‘Back to School’ routine difficult. So this was very helpful.

  7. Great tips! I agree with them all, especially starting the day off right… so important for us here. Really sets the tone for the rest of the day when my son gets a healthy satisfying breakfast

  8. Omg the orange juice smoothie sounds heavenly! These are all great suggestions. I’m saving this recipe and I may even add a little rum!

  9. I don’t know why putting orange juice in a smoothie has never occurred to me – great way to add vitamin C and flavor! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Consistent sleep routine is so important. Everyone feels so much better with a good night’s sleep. And with good food in their tummies 🙂 Thanks for these tips.

  11. Great share! Definitely keeping all these in mind once my little toddler girl starts school, will still try that smoothie mix though. She loves smoothies!

  12. It is really going to be difficult to get back to normal school routine once the schools start, these are some very helpful tips, saving for future reference. TIA

  13. These are excellent tips! We’re going to be homeschool and each of these still apply! I’m definitely bookmarking this post as I will need some reminders for the first little while. thank you!

  14. So great that this orange juice is 90% water. It is so important for kids to stay hydrated throughout their school routine!

  15. Great tips. My sister was very excited about going back to school. I feel my mum was feeling very excited about it too. However, she’s still finding it difficult to get back to the routine.

  16. It is good to start a transition early. This isn’t just for young kids either – my kids are in their teens and got into a habit of staying up super late and sleeping late. My 13 year old was sleeping until 11 some days!

  17. These are great tips on on getting back into a routine. I definitely think starting the day off right is the most important.

  18. Starting the day off right has been so important here. And, admittedly that’s the biggest struggle as we’re not naturally morning people. We’ve found smoothies work well on mornings when we need to get moving quickly. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe for the orange juice smoothie. It looks fantastic!

  19. I was dreading the end of summer. My kids have transitioned well though. Their school has a really great remote learning schedule that has worked out so nicely with my kids.