Back to School Wellness | WJMN – UPMatters.com

Back to School Wellness |  WJMN – UPMatters.com

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) — With the new school year rush now underway, it can be easy to let things slip, like keeping up with your family’s health and wellness needs. Local 5 spoke to a family from Green Bay and their healthcare provider for some tips on keeping wellness at the top of your to-do list.

“We’ve just wrapped up all of our summer sports that we do, all of the football and softball,” said Green Bay’s Jamie McGowan. “We thought we were done, then the fall sports started.”

With three active kids in grade school, the McGowan family’s busy schedule doesn’t take a break from getting back to school.


“It’s kind of never ending. My husband and I both coach where we can, so that keeps us busy,” explains Jamie.

But working mom, Jamie, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I think it’s good for them to be outside, exercise and breathe the fresh air,” Jamie said.

Not just exercising for their physical health. Jamie says that other activities, like Molly’s sophomore scout troop…

“I was a Daisy last year,” Molly explained.

…also help support the emotional well-being of her children.

“Being with their friends and making new friends is very important to develop those social relationships,” Jamie said.

Molly agrees.

“I like being able to see my friends,” she said.

“So is her medical provider, Kathy Merrill, a pediatric nurse at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

“It’s very important for children to be involved both physically and socially,” says Kathy Merrill, pediatric nurse at Aurora BayCare Medical Center. Merrill is McGowan’s caregiver.

Jamie admits, with such a hectic schedule, their routine, like any other family’s, isn’t always perfect.

“Sometimes we forget homework and save it until the last minute when everyone is tired,” she said. “So this year we’re trying to be better at that.”

Merrill says the McGowans do a great job of balancing all activities and still ensuring they take care of their health and well-being. She says they are actually on track and prioritizing one thing that should be at the top of every family’s to-do list.

“It’s really important to get a good night’s sleep,” Merrill emphasized. “Kids don’t get enough sleep.”

Merrill recommends 9-12 hours of sleep per night for children ages 6-12, for teens ages 8-10. While she says she knows how hard that is with busy schedules, it’s really imperative for kids to function at their best.

“It helps with their focus during the day at school and it also helps reduce some anxiety and depression during the day,” Merrill said.

She says the same goes for nutrition, making sure your kids have a healthy breakfast for school and convenient snacks to grab on the go.

“Make sure there are healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, yogurt, cheese sticks,” Merrill recommended. “So when kids are out and about and need a quick snack, they don’t always turn to chips and candy, that sort of thing.”

The best way to do that?

“It’s really good to be a good role model and make good choices on your own,” Merrill advised.

That’s a lesson the McGowan family is fantastically teaching themselves.

“Having a soda and brownie for lunch makes you feel like you want to fall asleep at your desk,” Jamie explained. “So a healthy lunch is very important for children to keep them focused and able to pay attention to their teachers. Eating healthy is important for many reasons.”

For more information, visit: aurorabaycare.com or use their LiveWell app. You can also always just call them: 1-866-938-0035 or email: healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com


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