10 Back to School Tips to get your family started on the happiest and healthiest school year yet.
If you haven’t had the chance to pick up the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens yet, you should! You will see my face and my back to school tips. It’s pretty exciting seeing yourself in a magazine you have subscribed to for over 15 years!
Back to school is a very special time at my house. I get the same sort of excitement and energy that I do around the actual new year. It is a time to clean out, organize, and make some changes towards a healthier lifestyle. The kids get involved and it’s a fun way to end the summer. (They really do enjoy cleaning out their closets, I swear.)
I think that back to school is a good time to also make some healthy lifestyle changes. Having a new routine makes these changes doable and sustainable. We trade twice weekly ice cream runs for healthier lunch choices, better breakfasts, bedtime routines, and more physical activity.
Here are my 10 best back to school tips:
1. Plan out outfits for the week on Sunday evening – Avoid wardrobe disputes by setting out the clothes for the week. Your little one can just grab the outfit for that day. We use closet organizers with 5 pockets, they are perfect for this. Instantly – you have a less stressful morning. Make sure to pick something appropriate for the school day. If you have PE on Tuesdays, pick out play clothes instead of a dress.
2. With school being in session, life can get busy. Long school days and fall sports. To ensure that we are not getting pizza every night, I keep a well-stocked fridge and pantry for healthy and fast breakfast and dinners. When there are choices to be had, we tend to make better ones.
3. Every September, I buy all of my children new socks and underwear. It is nice to start off a school year with fresh and new underthings. And for just a little while all of the socks have a mate. A HUGE parent win.
4. I’m not a big meal planner, but I usually have a plan. Stock up on lean proteins and lots of fruits and veggies. Dinner can be made on the fly and be healthy. (More on my no meal plan planning here.)
5. Breakfast is the hardest for me (i.e. I’m so not a morning person) so prepping ahead when I do have some time is so helpful. Freeze some muffins, breakfast burritos, or whole wheat waffles when you are making them over the weekend to reheat on a busy school morning.
6. Layer, Layer, Layer! – New England late summer/fall weather is unpredictable at best. Dressing the kids in layers is the way to go. If they get too warm, they can take off their shirt or sweatshirt and have a tee shirt underneath. Just make sure to label so it all makes it home!
7. Designate a spot for school communication. My middle schooler is notorious for losing important papers that the school sends home. Pick one spot in your house where all of the paper goes. (Mine is a bright yellow magazine holder in my kitchen.) All of the paper goes in there. I sort through it regularly so that nothing gets lost and it doesn’t overflow.
8. Keep a lot of healthy snacks around. In your house and in your car. The kids come home from school hungry and we are usually not headed home. Keeping healthy snack options in the car helps keep everyone’s blood sugar stable and out of the convenience store after school.
9. Get lots of sleep. Kids need far more sleep than you think they do. It is essential for growth, managing stress, and overall health. Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it. My middle schoolers are in bed by 8:30 on a school night. I know that seems early, but they need 9 to 11 hours of sleep for their age.
10. Have a back to school tradition. Starting a new school year is a big deal. At our house, we have a back to school dinner the night before school starts. We always have a cake and blow out the candles with our intention for the new school year. It sets the tone for the upcoming year and one of my favorite family traditions.
Pick up the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens to check the rest of the back to school tips and ideas.
A big thank you to Better Homes and Gardens, Gymboree, and Odwalla for having me in this issue.
Gymboree – Gymboree wrote the book on mix-and-match outfits kids love. For back-to-school this season, there’s more to choose from than ever. Cute tunics and leggings for her. Comfy pull-on pants and shirts for him. Plus the new Gymgo Active Collection for everywhere from the classroom to the soccer field.
Odwalla – Offering a variety of great-tasting flavors, Odwalla smoothies and protein shakes are taste-bud tantalizing, seriously substantial satisfaction for on-the-go, go-getters. So grab a bottle today and start sipping.
Odwalla. It’s a Mouthful.
William, Ava, and Clay are all wearing outfits from Gymboree. And how lucky am I to have stumbled upon all of these school buses right behind my house?