As we quickly head towards September, our thoughts turn towards the hectic schedules that include lunch prep, after-school activities and making sure junior gets his homework done on time. We have put together some tips to help you survive the chaos.
LUNCH PREP TIPS TO MAKE YOUR MORNINGS LESS STRESSFUL:
- Plan Weekly Menus. This helps you organize ingredients and avoid last minute decisions or shopping.
- Cook Extra Dinner. Prepare larger portions of food so that there are leftovers for lunches throughout the week.
- Invest in Reusable Containers. Invest in good quality, leak-proof containers of various sizes. Create a bento style lunchbox to keep different food items separate.
- Consider Theme Days. Designate specific days for certain types of meals. For example, “Pasta Mondays” or “Wrap Wednesdays”. This will streamline your lunch planning so you are not reinventing the wheel each morning.
- Pre-pack Snacks: Portion out snacks like pretzels, nuts and dried fruits in advance so it is an easy grab and go in the morning.
- Label Everything. If you have a picky-eater or allergies to consider, labeling lunch containers with your child’s name prevents mix-ups.
Remember, the goal is to make lunch prep efficient and enjoyable. By planning ahead and incorporating these tips, you can save time and ensure that your child enjoys nutritious and tasty lunches every day.
HOW TO GO A LITTLE GREENER THIS SCHOOL YEAR:
Creating sustainable and green lunches for back-to-school is a fantastic initiative that not only benefits the environment but also promotes healthy eating habits. Here are some ideas for sustainable green lunches:
- Reusable Snack Pouches or Food Jars: These can be used for Cut-up Fruit with yogurt or veggie sticks with dip.
- Zero-waste Drinks: Opt for a reuseable water bottle and avoid single-use juice boxes.
- Sustainable Packaging: Instead of plastic cling wrap use beeswax wraps or cloth sandwich bags.
- Gardening: If you have a green thumb, involve kids in growing lunch ingredients in your own backyard.
Remember, the key to creating sustainable and green lunches is to minimize single-use plastics, focus on whole and minimally processed foods, and make use of reusable containers and utensils. Encourage your kids to get involved in preparing their lunches and make it a fun and educational experience!
HOW TO MAKE THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL TRANSITION LESS CHALLENGING:
- Create a family calendar. Use a shared calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules, including school events, extracurricular activities, and appointments.
- Establish Consistent Bedtimes. We know this is easier said than done, but a consistent sleep schedule ensures your child gets enough rest. A good night’s sleep is crucial to academic performance and overall well-being.
- Plan lunches ahead of time. Prepare lunches the night before to save time in the morning.
- Set outfits out the night before. Choose outfits for the next day to avoid morning rushes and indecisions.
- Delegate Responsibilities. Share household chores among family members. This not only lightens your load but also teaches children responsibility and teamwork.
- Set realistic expectations. Avoid overloading your child’s schedule with too many activities. Strive for a balance between academics, extracurriculars and downtime.
- Use backpack Organization. Help your child organize their backpacks the night before, ensuring all necessary materials are packed and ready to go at the front door.
The key is to create a well-structured routine that fits your family's unique needs and priorities. Open communication, flexibility, and a positive attitude will help you and your family navigate the back-to-school period successfully.
MAKE HOMEWORK A SMOOTHER AND LESS STRESSFUL EXPERIENCE FOR BOTH PARENTS AND KIDS:
- Establish a consistent routine. Set a regular homework schedule that aligns with your child’s natural energy levels. Consistency helps kids anticipate and mentally prepare for homework time.
- Create a dedicated homework space. Designate a quiet, well-let, and clutter-free area for homework. A consistent workspace can help your child focus and get into a productive mindset.
- Make it fun. Breaking from the routine and building a “homework fort” out of blankets will add a certain element of fun to getting that reading assignment done! Pitching a tent and reading by flashlight or camp light will have them reading on to the next chapter (or two).
- Provide a healthy snack. A nutritious snack before homework time to boost your child’s energy and concentration levels.
- Set realistic expectations. Encourage effort rather than perfection. Make sure your child understands that mistakes are part of the learning process and should not be a source of anxiety.
- Limit distractions. Minimize distractions by turning off the TV, keeping phones away, and notifying other family members that this is homework time.
- Encourage outdoor activity. After a long day at school and doing homework, encourage your child to engage in physical activities outside to unwind and recharge.
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- Be flexible. While routines are important, it’s also important to be flexible. Some days a breakaway from the day to day is needed.
- Stay positive. A positive attitude towards learning and your child’s efforts go a long way. Acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments, whether it’s completing a challenging assignment or achieving a good grade.
Every child is unique, so experiment with these tips to find out what works for your child’s learning style and personality. The goal is to create an environment that fosters a positive attitude toward learning and encourages your child’s independence.
Finally, don’t forget to take time for yourself. If all else fails, drop the kids off at the grandparents and head for the trails to clear your head!