This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Sistema® ; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
As the end of summer approaches, our minds turn to prepping for back to school and the return of normal schedules. While I love the freedom and spontaneity of summertime, I crave the normalcy and routine of the school year. The beginning of the school year is a great time to start getting into healthier habits again for everyone in the family.
Below are some simple tips and hacks to make the transition back to school happier, healthier and the best one yet.
Good Nights Rest
For most parents, summer schedules mean that we all get a bit more relaxed about our sleep habits and bedtimes. Sleep is a must, especially for growing and learning brains (and for the health of mom and dad too!). Several weeks before school begins, start working towards getting into a bedtime routine (bath, teeth, book for younger children and no electronics 30 minutes before bed) to encourage your kids to get on a good sleep schedule to ensure that they are getting enough sleep. Consistency will help your kids adapt good nighttime habits and to fall asleep earlier and quicker to ensure they get enough sleep.
Meal Plan For The Week
When life gets busy, one of the things that we struggle with is continuing to eat healthy. With a new routine, I try to focus on meal planning. I take one day during the weekend to make my menu for the week and do our shopping. I focus on planning breakfast, lunches for my husband and I, packed lunches for school, dinner and snacks as well. Not only does this prevent us from spending extra money eating out, but we eat healthier and feel more prepared for the week.
I love using the Sistema® To Go Containers for when planning and packing our meals for school and work. I’ve been using these containers for years because I love the convenience of an all in one container for our meals. The compartments makes it super easy for packing lunch as they have different compartments for all foods (especially great if you have picky kids that don’t want their food to touch) and it’s a great way to keep portion sizes in check too.
For breakfasts, I lean towards meals that I can make in bulk and include a couple on-the-go options, such as breakfast burritos, oatmeal bakes, egg muffins, whole wheat pancakes with fruit, and smoothies!
For my husband and I, we prep a lot of salads for our weekday lunches. I mix up our main proteins, add lots of fresh veggies and fruits and switch up the dressings to add some variety through out the week. The Sistema® Collection Salad To Go Food Storage Containers are great because they are the perfect size and the compartment for dressings keeps everything fresh and crunchy until it’s time to eat (and then I never forget my dressing at home too!). They have separate compartments on the top for your proteins and even have a mini fork and knife so you aren’t stuck without utensils.
A few of my favorite main entree lunch options for the kiddos are:
- Crackers, meat and cheese
I prepare a few at a time so that I don’t have to worry about making them daily. Sistema® sandwich containers are great because they prevent everything from getting smashed, are super portable and easily stored. Another bonus, the kids can easily open them by themselves and it prevents waste from using plastic baggies.
With their main entree, I try to always focus on sides that have either fruits or veggies and another option that is fiber/protein dense to help keep them full the rest of the day.
Dinners are all about ease! Many times I’ll prepare a big batch of chicken on Sunday night and use it for the beginning of the week to incorporate into other healthy and quick meals, like tacos, casseroles, quesadilla, stir-fry’s and more. The addition of a salad makes this a well-rounded and nutritious meal for everyone. Late week, I prep a few crock-pot or Instant Pot meals that can be made by dumping and going.
For snacks, we stick to fresh fruit and veggies with dips, jerky, trail mix, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, nuts, and avoid too much processed foods. I love using Sistema® Klip It Collection Small Split Food Storage Containers, as they are perfect for pairing up healthy snack duos – like protein & carb combo’s – and you can prepare them ahead of time to easily grab when you need them. These are perfect for packing for your kids if they have afternoon programs or extracurriculars to help keep them full until they are home later in the day.
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Making things simple and take some time to plan ahead are key to staying on the path the healthy living and happiness for everyone in the family!
Pack Lunches The Night Before
Packing lunches the night before is so much less stressful and allows you focus on getting out the door and starting your day on the wrong foot. If you’ve meal planned and prepared food earlier in the week, this makes it even easier. I simply grab the kids lunch from the fridge, pop them in their bags and off we go. Our Sistema® containers are a major help when it comes to simplify the lunch packing process!
Start the day off right with a healthy breakfast for everyone. Aim to have a breakfast that has a combination of protein and fiber to help keep everyone full until lunch (especially children as they may not have snacks available during school hours). A few of my favorites are: eggs & whole grain toast topped with avocado, oatmeal bakes with a smear of nut butter, breakfast burritos (can make ahead of time and freeze separately), whole grain cereal with milk and fruit or a hearty smoothie full of fruit, veggies and a scoop of protein powder.
With school beginning, for some children this may lead to less physical activity. Aim to find ways to add physical activity into your kiddos routine. Add family walks or bike rides after dinner, get them involved in an after-school program, and school sports are all great options to keep kids moving. As a mom, back-to-school time usually means that I have a bit more time to focus on my own goals and health, so don’t forget to get active yourself. Try out a new class, grab a friend for a morning walk or simple do some stretching at home. Kids that see their parents being active are much more likely to be active themselves.
Talk About It
The beginning of the school can bring up anxiety and worry for some kids. Address their concerns and worries and be supportive. Talk to them about school and the new routines/things they may face and help them navigate these new situations. For some children, going to the school early to see everything can be extremely comforting.
Schedule Well Visits
Schedule well visits and physicals prior to school to make sure that everyone is up to date on immunizations and healthy. This not only protects and keeps your child healthy, but also ensures that their classmates stay healthy as well. Stress healthy hygiene habits, such as proper hand-washing, use of tissues when coughing and sneezing and keeping hands off of their face and out of their mouths.
Having areas in your home for tackling school essentials and products can be a lifesaver when it comes to avoiding clutter and mess. We have a cabinet in which we keep all our school homework essentials, as well as an area to keep forms and paperwork that are school associated. When it comes to school forms, I try to stick to fill them out immediately and sending them back so that we don’t get behind or misplace forms. For backpacks, lunch pails and sports stuff, having baskets and cubby spaces in a closet is a simple way to keep everything easily available, and avoids having to round-up everything in the morning or piles of “stuff” throughout your home.
Pick Out Clothes Night Before
Nix the morning power struggle and indecisiveness by choosing outfits the night before. Choose two outfits to choose from and let them decide which one they prefer in the morning. This will prevent dawdling and hopefully cross one more thing to have to navigate in the morning rush.
I hope that these tips and tools can help you make this school year the healthiest and happiest yet!
Are you looking forward to school starting again?
What’s your kiddos favorite packed lunch?