Back to School
School's back and there is so much more to consider besides school supplies and back to school clothes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all, you’re not alone – we can help!! We have put together some helpful tips as well as recipes for school or work lunches to get you through this challenging time.
Switching around the seeds, nuts and fruit is a great way to make these cookies all your own.
Sneak some extra veg into your family. For best quality, store these cookies in the fridge.
Haystack cookies are like bite-sized chocolate granola bars. This recipe doubles and freezes well.
A great breakfast on the go and an anytime snack. If you have leftover cooked bacon, use it in place of the ham.
Adding fruit and vegetables to muffins adds a lot of flavour, nutrition and moisture. Keep in the refrigerator as the extra moisture can cause mould to grow.
This great recipe makes a large batch so you can freeze for when you need them. Or, you can half the recipe, if you don’t want to make a large amount.
Like two bite granola bars!
A quick blitz in the food processor is all you need to make these bites. Likely someone will pop one in their mouth thinking it’s a doughnut hole.
No bake bars are great for summer snacking on the go. Wrap individually before storing in an airtight container.
Back to School Parent Tips
- When making your monthly budget, keep in mind any school fees you will need to pay.
- Wait to see what types of shoes your kids need instead of what they want. The school may ask for specific footwear.
- Styles change from year to year so buy one or two new outfits but not a new wardrobe each year.
- Prepare your kids for school. Start a week before school starts so you can work out any issues around bed times, get up times, and other routines they will need to follow. Make sure they are comfortable with how they get to and from school.
- Set up a morning routine with your kids. This makes them responsible for their own time.
- Set out clothes in the evening to speed up the morning routine for your kids and for you.
- Label as much of your kids’ supplies and clothing as possible. Acrylic paints are great for labelling metal containers and fabric markers will last on clothing
- Your kids won’t need all their school supplies on the first day of class. Save yourself and your kids the backache by sending them with no more than half of what’s on their supply list. The rest can go in the next day, if needed.
- Check your kids' bags every day for notices from the school. Many kids will ignore those papers and you will be out of the loop about school news.
- Expect to help your kids with their homework for about 30 minutes each night per child.
- Try to visit the lost and found in the school once a month, or your budget will go to lunch bags, water bottles, shoes and gloves.
Lunch and Snack Tips
- Many schools have zero waste policies and healthy lunch initiatives. Check if your school is part of these before you buy lunch supplies.
- Many schools are “Nut-Free Zones”. If your kids love peanut butter sandwiches, consider looking for a soy-based substitute instead.
- Chocolate-covered or yogurt-covered raisins can be a great snack option. The chocolate and yogurt give quick energy and the dried fruit energy will last longer.
- Dip can be a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables. Many stores sell individual-sized dips, or you can make a half batch on Sunday and package it directly into small containers to throw into lunches on the run. Most dips can be kept for up to 3 days.
- Many younger kids like the visual appeal of small foods and having a variety of smaller items can help get a greater mixture of foods in their diets. Recipes like our Lunch Box Mini Baglewiches, Mini Sausage Quiches and Cornbread Minis are great to pop into a lunchbox and are easy to modify for your family’s taste.
- Make and freeze meals that you know your kids will eat. Leftover pizza, waffles, and cheesy bread can all be taken out of the freezer in the morning and will be good to eat by lunch.
- If your kids don’t like different foods touching, buy a reusable bento-style lunch box or use tin foil to help divide spaces in the containers you have.
- Prep some lunch ingredients, like fruit, vegetables, muffins, cheese and sausage meats, ahead of time so the kids can grab what they want for their lunches. This can help teach the importance of choosing from different food groups
- After school snacks are just as important as school snacks. Have something on hand your kids can grab or make when they walk in. Popcorn, nachos with salsa and guacamole or hummus are all quick, easy options.
- Get your kids to tell you what they want for the first week of lunches but be ready for it to change the following week once they see what their friends have for lunch.
Water Bottles, Backpacks and Lunch Bag Tips
Did you know: when most of us were kids, having water bottles at our desks was not a thing? We had to ask the teacher to get a drink. Times have changed!
A reusable water bottle is now found on most school supply lists. Some teachers will send them home at the end of each day, others will send them home at the end of the week. Regardless of when they come home, water bottles should be thoroughly washed every time they come home.
Besides your kids’ binders, backpacks get most of the daily wear and tear. Not only do they take books back and forth, but they also can act like a garbage bag and a clothes hamper.
To avoid finding questionable food items, do a thorough cleaning of backpacks every one to two weeks. Start by taking out the binders and the papers; look over the papers to see if they are notices from the school. If there are pens, markers and toys, take them out and wipe them down with a disinfecting wipe.
Once everything is out, vacuum out the bottom of the bag and spot clean anything that is more questionable in nature. Allow it to fully dry before replacing books. Some backpacks can go through the laundry but bags with holographics and glitter may lose their quality.
As most parents see their kids’ lunch bags daily, they don’t tend to get overly dirty. On the last day of the school week, give lunch bags a quick wipe with a disinfecting wipe. This can help prevent the need to buy new ones. If the bags are washable, put them through the washing machine and dry well so they are ready for the next week.