August 8, 2011

Tip of the day—Back to school planning and prep-work

BACK_TO_SCHOOL-300x261 As I’ve told you, our daughter starts Kindergarten this year.  We’re all very excited, but I’m a little nervous as to how I’ll juggle the daily routine of getting her up, dressed, a healthy breakfast, a healthy packed lunch, and off to school on time. 

Yes, I know that I could let her eat at the cafeteria, but I’m not really keen on the idea of her eating a bunch of junk disguised as food.  And, yes, I also know that many school districts are trying to do better about the food options at school, and yes, I know how hard it is to feed a bunch of kids something that they will all eat, that is healthy, and that is inexpensive. 

I digress…

What do I do when I’m feeling a little anxious about something, other than pray?  I get out a pen and paper and do some planning. 

For the meals, I wrote down a list of options that vary between more time consuming and easy-peasy.  Then I decided to get to work on prepping what I could. I made a few trips to the grocery.  I stopped into Three Rivers Market and stocked up on organic popcorn at 99cts/lb.  I bought 5 boxes of Cascadian Farms granola bars (priced at $2.89 now) and used 5 $1/1 coupons from the Co-op Deals coupon booklet.  We also bought 2 Barbara’s Bakery fruit bars. They were priced at $3.50 and I stacked a $1/1 coupon from the Barbara’s Bakery website with a $1/1 Co-op Deals coupon, making them only $1.50.  I ran to Kroger and picked up some organic yogurt, marked down bananas (for whole wheat banana bread), and blocks of cheese.  I had already bought extra crackers, cereals, lunchmeat, and peanuts. 

Having the easy ingredients for meals available will make meal prep easier, but I decided to go a step further.  I grated zucchini for the freezer that can be added to some eggs with a little onion and cheese for a simple omelet for breakfast.  I baked a batch of zucchini bread and froze it to pull out for after school snacks and occasional desserts in her lunches.  Closer to time for school, I’ll make a habit of prepping a bunch of veggies for the fridge on Sunday evenings.  This will make pulling out some carrots, celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers a cinch.  

To help make getting dressed easier on school mornings, Daughter and I cleaned out and organized her closet.  Now we both have a better idea as to what clothes she has for the different seasons, and with the addition of a few new items from tax-free weekend, she’s set.  Next I plan to tackle my closet, since I’m probably the bigger challenge in the area of getting dressed on time.  I’ll give my closet and drawers a big overhaul and donate or resell the things that I no longer need. 

So, we’ll see how this works.  I suspect that it will be just like anything else—as we adjust to the new schedule, we’ll get in the groove of things.  Any additional tips or ideas on getting kids off to school on time would be great to hear!  Leave your tips in the comments section so that all might benefit. 

1 comment:

  1. It works best for us to get as many things as possible ready the night before. Lay out clothes, shoes, hair accessories. Put homework, show and tell, teacher notes, etc in backpack and have next to the front door along with your purse and car keys. Pick out breakfast and even have the dishes on the table. Crockpot breakfasts work great too, especially for the cold months when it's great to send them off with something warm in their tummies! We don't turn the TV on in the mornings, and have used songs or a timer to help with moving through tasks (i.e. dressing, brushing teeth, or finishing breakfast). Good luck, we're back to school this week :(