Lunchbox Makeovers for Back to School

Its that time again…Back to School time!

Here at TreatWellness I am heading back to school too!

It is a very exciting transition and something totally new to me, I am becoming a middle school teacher! I will be teaching a wellness class at a local private school for grades 5th-8th and I couldn’t be more excited! With the start of the school year upon us, the abrupt change in routine can evoke a bit of a bumpy road as we get into our back to school routine. I know it has definitely stirred up some nerves for me! 

The best way to work with those knocking knees and release those belly butterflies is to take the time to prepare for the changes ahead.

Sometimes the most challenging adjustment can be our meal routine. With the start of endless after school activities and obligations, our time and energy can be spread pretty thin. So help yourself and ask yourself ahead of time…

What, when & how are you going to feed your little one?

Depending on your little ones school and schedule, you may be a full time caterer preparing breakfast, lunch and snacks galore or maybe your role is after school snacks or breakfast. Be it any combination of meal preparations, it can be a daunting task to get packed up tight and out the door on-time…not to mention making sure that everything your sending along is nutritious for your little one! Whew!

But rest assured and have faith, with a little forethought your will be seamlessly transitioning into school mode before you know it!

Pre-Planning: Pick one day a week, maybe its over the weekend or a slower weekday while the kids are at school, whenever you can find time set aside 30 minutes to an hour each week to sit down and plan the week ahead.

- What you will serve for each meal/snack? Write in out on a separate “meal time” calendar to stay organized.

- Create a grocery list. As you write the menu, make your grocery list along side to ensure you don’t miss anything when you head to the grocery store.

- Here is a link to a helpful & simple menu planner & grocery list: Weekly Menu Planner. There are so many version available if you do a google search, so it this one doesn’t work for you try conducting your own search or even make you own and I am sure you will have great success!

Build a repertoire of easy-quick-simple recipes: This may sound like the most daunting part of menu planning, but it can be really simple I swear! There are so many databases of recipes online that its almost recipe overload and I can understand a sense of overwhelm from the sheer number of options. But I assure you, if you choose the options that incorporate a greater amount of fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds (if not allergic), whole unrefined grains and generally all foods that are grown from the earth, you will be serving your little one up the most healthful options available!

- Start building your recipe warehouse. I encourage you to save them to a separate file in your computer, print them out or make a bookmark folder or pinterest category for them all each time you find one that works with your little ones likes and dislikes. Once you get enough to have a week or two of rotations, your options will seem endless and so easy!

Here are a couple great resources to kick off your recipe hunt!

EatWell Healthy Lunches

Parents Magazine Healthy Lunch & Snacks

Invest in Reliable Lunch Ware: The last and final ingredient in school food preparations is ensuring that it gets to the lunchroom in working fashion. Be it tupperware, glad ware, pyrex, plastic baggies or reusable cotton bags (Graze Organic has machine washable & eco-friendly bags!)

Rest assured, you are not alone in what feels like a marathon to get ready for the back to school race. But just as everything does, it will get easier & better with practice! I wish you the smoothest back to school transition with loads of healthy & quick eats!

Do you have a tried & true back to school routine? Share it with us!

In happiness & health,

Abby

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