Be organized – prepare lunches, backpacks and clothes the night before so you don’t need to rush in the morning. This has been a huge help for me since going back teaching. During the school year I leave the house well before the kids do so having those things already done is a huge stress reducer for me.
Start with a Healthy Breakfast – The best thing you can do for your child is give them a healthy breakfast before school. We might not always have time to make a homemade breakfast during the week so take time on the weekends. Make big batches of pancakes, waffles or french toast using this time saving homemade mix so we can whip them up in a snap. Oatmeal is another healthy option which you can prepare the night before. Check out this baked oatmeal or try out crock pot oats, you will never make traditional oatmeal again after trying these recipes.
Read Labels – If you don’t have time to make everything homemade make sure you read the labels so the foods you purchase don’t have added sugars, artificial ingredients or contain high fructose corn syrup. Here is a great check list that will help you keep everything straight when shopping.
Invest in Reusable Lunch Containers – Pack lunches in a thermal lunchbox and foods in reusable containers such as ECOlunchbox. Not only is the lunch fresher but you are friendlier on the environment.
Make Snacks – By making healthy snacks for your kids such as fruit leather, muffins or granola bars you are saving a ton of money and giving your child the healthiest foods possible. I love to make big batches and freeze them.
Get Children Involved – If you have a picky eater don’t stress. Take your child with you to the grocery store and work together on picking out healthy choices that you both can agree with. If your children are old enough they can even help pack their lunches. Here are some fun lunch ideas that the kiddos can make themselves.
Use Leftovers – There is no need to pack something new every day. Use those leftovers in the fridge from the previous night’s dinner. Make sure if you are sending a food that needs to be hot pack it in a insulted container.
My friends over at Healthy Child Healthy World just published a fantastic Back to School Kit which gives you tips on which common school materials have the most toxins and how we can take practical steps to reduce the risks for our children.