We are close to the beginning of September, which for many of us means back to school, routine, lunches and programs. All of my email and social media feeds have been filled with products and ideas for back to school. One of my favourite emails I received this week was from Lisa Borden. It contains so much information and resources for healthy back to school tips (click here to read the post)
In our house, we like to keep it simple. Here are our top five back to school or routine tips:
Make a new meal plan with fresh ideas. This can be for dinners, lunch or even snacks.
In our house, we eat seasonally not just because it tastes so much better but also because it helps to save money! So every year at this time we look at what’s in season, bring out our cookbooks, bring back old late summer favourites and get inspired for new recipes to try. By keeping your meal plan seasonal, it also helps to keep from recipes getting stale.
For kid’s lunches, you can go back to my blog from last year for a refresher but at this time of year I grab a new kids cookbook and sit down with my daughter, and we make a list of old favourites and new recipes to try. I try to make a list of 10 recipes so that it keeps her lunches fresh and exciting.
Clean out the closets/lunch container cupboards. To prep for the fall take stock of what you have and what needs to be replaced.
It can be so tempting to go shopping for back to school right now. Kids may want new outfits and you may be tempted to buy the cutest new things. Instead of buying a bunch of clothes you don’t need or won’t use, start by cleaning up the closet. An organized closet helps so kids can get dressed quickly in mornings too (and also prevent the morning insanity). Then go out and buy the clothes you need and maybe one particular outfit for that exciting first day.
The lunch container cupboard: Does anyone else hate the storage containers cupboard? It’s essential for lunches to make sure you have a wide variety of sizes for lunches and doubles in case something is in the dishwasher. It’s also a time to make sure you have a thermos, a clean lunch bag and water bottles (I like to have many water bottles because they tend to get lost during the school year and now is a natural time to find containers and bottles).
What are the best containers seems to be the question asked at this time of year; bento boxes, glass, stainless steel etc.? The most important thing to remember especially with young kids is can they open it and is it durable. From a health perspective, most people agree on stainless steel, while expensive is the best for health and durability. I love the ones with latches for the younger kids. Amazon and Well.ca have many options for every budget. Costco also has lots of glass containers in sizes that can work for lunches or leftovers.
DON’T FORGET WHEN GOING THROUGH CLOTHES AND CONTAINERS TO LABEL EVERYTHING!
Tip 3: Organize files, schoolwork, desks or school supplies and see what you need to replace.
Like spring-cleaning, this is a great time not just for kids but for adults to clean out desk drawers, file away papers and start fresh. Check supplies or pencils, if markers work etc., and make a list of staples for the whole house, printer paper, ink, pens, staples, envelopes etc.
Tip 4: Look at your supplement cupboard and stock up on healthy supplements to keep your and your families’ immune system healthy during the transition to school and colder weather.
Just like cleaning out a pantry, go through your supplements and see what has expired or is running low. It's never fun once you are sick to have to make the run to the health food store or order oils at the last minute. It’s also a great time of year to look at supplements for focus, anxiety, stress and sleep (This fall I will write more on this). Last November I posted a blog for colds and flu’s read here for a refresher.
Tip 5: PAUSE, as it takes much planning and effort it to gear up for this time of year.
In my classes this week we looked at the pause in the breath, in life, to be present and savour the moments. This time of year has everyone feeling a sense of sadness, as we wait for summer all year and soon it will be coming to an end (remember though it doesn’t end until Sept 21 so we still have 1/3 left). Enjoy these last few weeks and moments. Hopefully, this weather will keep up until late October, so make the most of it. Plan hikes, picnics, family time and adventures with friends.
For more information on happy & healthy families for the fall, my colleague and I are running a workshop in September for more info click here