3 Tips to make ‘back to school’ a Simple Transition
By Emily Potter
It’s that time of year again! The sound of zipping backpacks, a sack lunch thrown together at the last minute and a kiss out the door while scrambling to the bus. Sound familiar to anyone else? Here are my favorite go-to ideas and tips when it comes to creating a calm and enjoyable transition for yourself and the kiddos as they head back to school!
1) Create a fun and relaxing Breakfast Experience
This means waking up a few extra minutes earlier to be prepared for when your kids roll into the kitchen. I love the tradition of lighting a candle for breakfast just as a gentle reminder to sit down (even it its for 3 minutes) and enjoy some family time together.
Be sure your kiddos prioritize eating a healthy breakfast (which means you are modeling the same thing.) My favorite non-cereal quick and easy breakfast ideas are:
- Avocado toast. We use ‘On the Rise‘ sourdough bread, or you can use any bread of your choice. We top with hemp seeds or let the kids choose a fun and different topping.
- Smoothie. Quick and easy. Click here for lots of smoothie ideas
- Oats. Overnight oats are popular as you can make them the night before and it makes for a very easy morning. However, you can also thrown some oats on the stove top for 5 minutes and have a delicious meal. I create a topping bar including collagen, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, nuts, raisins etc so they can decorate their bowls and make them delicious!
2) Lunch Time
Pack the lunch the night before. This takes discipline to get into the habit of doing, however I strongly doing this right along side dinner clean up. The kitchen is already a mess with lots of food out on the counters so it’s simple to add in this step. I find it much easier before bed than trying to scramble something along side my morning cup of coffee.
When it comes to lunches made at home here is my formula for a gluten-free/dairy free lunch. (While my kids aren’t sensitive to these foods, I try to limit them in our home because they tend to get more of these foods out of the home.)
A) Protein. My go-to favorites include roasted chicken, deli turkey, salami, a grass fed hamburger patty.
B) Veggies. Kids love crunchy anything so I usually will add in some carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber or bell peppers. By adding in a fun dip like hummus or ranch it will make those veggies much more enticing.
C) Chips. There are so many healthy chip options so get creative! Our current favorites are cassava chips, simple mills crackers, rice crackers, apple chips or organic corn tortilla chips.
D) Sweet. My kids love apples so that tends to be a staple (sometimes with peanut butter) but other good sweet options are a fruit leather, ½ of a healthy protein bar ( I like Perfects Foods Bars or G2G bars.) Once a week they can choose a special treat like Annie’s bunnies or gummies so they feel like they are eating like the other kiddos.
E) Drink. WATER is a great option always. Kids don’t need any more sugar in their diets, especially when it comes to drinks. So skip the fancy Gatorade or sports drinks and stick to water. If you child is feeling left out you can make an electrolyte drink at home that tastes amazing with a noon tablet, or I will offer my kiddos homemade kombucha a few days each week to spice things up.
*If your kids are requesting hot lunch or in high school and wanting to eat out, try encouraging them to make their own lunch at least once a week. This gets them into the habit of making food for themselves which is an ESSENTIAL part of growing up. These skills are just as important to math and science for their life past high school!
3) After school snacks
This is one of my favorite childhood memories! Although usually an after school snack meant a microwaved s’more or cookies. I try to keep the fun but also keep the snacks healthy. My go-to is a huge plate of chopped veggies with a few different dip options. Ranch, hummus or my homemade almond hummus are fan favorites. You can also chop of some fruits to add to the veggie plate. When in doubt thing REAL WHOLE foods. Less packages, and more of the real stuff. And don’t be afraid to ask your kids to help you chop and make the snack.