New Research Examines Back To School Routine

Almost two thirds of parents (62%) struggle to get their children settled back into a regular routine after the summer holidays according to new research.

The survey of 412* parents was carried out as part of a new campaign by Fruit Juice Matters which aims to highlight the benefits of drinking a small glass of 100% pure fruit juice as part of a morning routine. A 150ml portion of 100% pure fruit contributes to one of your recommended seven a day and is a fantastic source of Vitamin C which is vital for sustaining a healthy immune system.

Ruined Routines

A resounding 94% of parents surveyed say their children ditch their regular routine during the summer holidays, with 85% stating that bedtime encounters the most disruption. Discipline around screen time is also something that goes by the wayside. Over half (57%) say their children spend more time in front of the TV, tablets or laptops during the summer break. Healthy eating habits also become disturbed with 45% of respondents noticing their children’s eating habits fall out of sync during the summer.

With the summer holidays taking such a toll on daily routines, it’s no surprise that parents struggle to help their children get back to reality. In the first few weeks of back to school, 80% say they struggle to get their children to go to bed on time and 41% claim that their children have difficulty focussing on school work.

Healthy Morning Habits

As part of any routine healthy eating habits are essential. While breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, almost half of Irish parents (42%) admit it is a challenge to convince their children to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Especially after the summer holidays!

Just over a third (37%) of parents questioned say their children’s reluctance to eat breakfast is because they do not enjoy eating early in the morning, while a further 11% put it down to spending more time in bed and not having enough time to eat.

7 a day? No way!

The survey also finds that Irish families are not getting enough fruit and vegetables into their diet every day. While 78% of parents say their family eats fruit and veg daily, just under two thirds (62%) are eating three portions or less per day- four less than the recommended daily amount.

Given the lack of fruit and veg intake, it’s no surprise that over half of parents (53%) polled say their children pick up a cough or cold almost every year within the first 8 weeks back at school.

Commenting on the research, dietitian Sarah Keogh says “In today’s busy world, it’s important that we try to give ourselves time in the mornings to set up for the day and eat a good, balanced breakfast. Fruit is a very important part of breakfast and one of the easiest ways to add fruit is drinking a small glass of 100% pure orange juice each morning. It’s packed with Vitamin C and is a quick and simple way to get one of your seven a day before you leave the house in the morning.”

She continued, “One of the most difficult things about the back to school period is facing the routine, and fitting a balanced breakfast in to that routine can be tricky. I’m always amazed at how many people don’t take the time to have a good breakfast – or any breakfast. It makes such a difference to your metabolism and concentration, not to mention giving you the essential vitamins your body system needs to help fight colds and bugs.”

As part of the campaign, Sarah Keogh has given her top tips for parents to get a balance breakfast, complete with all the right vitamins and minerals.


  1. Vitamin C is vital for sustaining a functional immune system and helping to fight off the colds and bugs that are so common when children go back to school. Drinking a small glass of 100% pure orange juice each day as part of breakfast is a brilliant way to kick start the day and can be included as one of your seven a day.


  1. Using small glasses for fruit juice in the morning is a fool proof way of making sure your family gets the right number of nutrients they need, without over doing it. A single 150ml glass of 100% pure fruit juice is the recommended portion size, and having small juice glasses is a great way to keep the portions right.


  1. Adding fresh fruit to your cereal or porridge is another way to make sure you are getting all the necessary vitamins your body needs to fight infections and keep energy levels up. It also brightens up breakfast which sometimes can become a bit dull.
  2. Preparation the night before is a useful habit to get in to, whether this means chopping up fresh fruit and keeping it in the fridge, or making smoothies with pure fruit juice, frozen fruit and yogurt. Having some of the work done the night before minimises the time it takes in the morning and you are more likely to start the healthy way.


‘Fruit Juice Matters’ encourages families to make drinking a small glass of 100% pure fruit juice a part of the morning routine. By drinking 150ml portion of 100% pure fruit juice every day, you are getting one of your recommended seven a day as well as ensuring you have the necessary vitamins and minerals to help avoid illnesses and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


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