Ease Into Back to School Meal Routines with a Little Planning, Tips, and Wholesome Pantry Snacks

Disclosure: My family and I received a complimentary box of ShopRite’s Wholesome Pantry Organic Products and Snacks to sample. All opinions are my own.


 

Although I love the idea of falling back into a routine, back to school schedules can certainly be hectic and stressful! Along with back to school comes the need to pack lunches and snacks for both in school and after school. Our schedules become rapidly filled with lots of extracurriculars including sports and school activities and of course plenty of practices and games! The last thing I want to do is not be prepared when it comes to meals and snacks.  Let’s face it – those quick stops at convenience stores and drive thru windows certainly add up quickly and in many cases we do not make the healthiest choices when presented with so many unhealthier ones at the same time.

Here are a few tips for healthier meal and snack planning during the hectic back to school season and throughout the school year:

      1. When possible, feed the family before they walk out the door in the morning or bring a meal on the go.  Breakfast is key to boosting their energy and keeping them satiated through the morning.  Their brains and bodies will function and feel better and they will have more energy to help them concentrate, focus and be at their best.
      2. Some students may qualify for free and/or reduced breakfast and/or lunches at school. If you qualify financially, be sure to fill out the forms from school to help assist with mealtime and assure you child is getting a good meal or two when away from home.
      3. Meal plan each week.  Make it a habit to take a few minutes to jot down meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week.  Have the kids sit down with you and incorporate some of their suggestions to offer variety and choices of which the whole family can agree.  Utilize Pinterest for ideas, tips, recipes and suggestions.  You will be surprised how many quick, easy and affordable recipes are out there! Try your best to stick to the meal plans and use your plans to create a shopping list for the week. Trust me – your budget will thank you.
      4. Purchase a variety of healthy, portable snacks to grab and go when schedules are hectic.  One of my new favorites are the Wholesome Pantry Organic Snacks from ShopRite.  This healthy, delicious, organic line of products includes sweet, salty and crunchy family friendly options that are perfect both home and away.  Options include dried Mango slices, Maple Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt and Oats & Honey Granola Squares, Cranberry Almond Fruit and Nut Bars, Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips and Cashews.  Whether in the car or at the ball field or packing daily snacks for the kids, I have realized that packing healthier snacks are not only a better choice for them, but they help me to stay on track as well.  These snacks also double as a quick and easy breakfast option.  The prepackaged Granola Squares and Fruit and Nut Bars are perfect for a breakfast on the go in a pinch. The key for me has been finding a variety of healthy options that we all enjoy and these Wholesome Pantry snacks have really filled that need.
      5. Choose water or low fat milk instead of sugary juices and soda.  Purchase a reusable water bottle for yourself and the kids and fill it with ice and keep it with you all day. Sipping on water throughout the day not only keeps you hydrated, it will keep you feeling full longer as well.
      6. Purchase small reusable containers or bento style boxes for lunches and snacks.  They enable you to add variety to the meals and reduce waste at the same time. You can also meal prep several meals for the week on the weekend if you have the proper containers, making for more time during the school and work week.
      7. Get out that crockpot and/or Instapot and let them do the cooking for you! If you plan ahead in the morning you can have dinner waiting for you in the crockpot when you get home.  And if you have an Instapot, you can quickly cook dinner in a short amount of time when you get home. Both can be lifesavers at the end of an otherwise hectic day.  Cooking meals in advance and reheating at dinnertime is also a smart choice when a slow cooker or Instapot is not an option.
      8. In addition to meal and snack planning, another key to good health and overall well being is to keep active.  Be sure to incorporate some activity and exercise into your daily routine. Kids follow their parents’ example so get out there and encourage them to be active with you. Whether it is trying a new sport, stopping by the playground for a bit of climbing and play, taking a spin on a bike or scooter or just taking a short walk as a family after dinner, exercise is good for the brain, mind, body, spirit and digestive tract.

    I hope your school year gets off to a great start! Feel free to leave a comment below sharing any tips, tricks or snack ideas that you have found to help make meal and snack planning easier for your family throughout the school year.  And remember – a Wholesome Pantry is a happy pantry!

     



Comments

  1. It is so important to start the school year off with a good routine. Our house always runs better with one in place.

  2. I’m looking forward to trying the sweet potato tortilla chips. I’ve never had them before and they look delicious.
    Alli Smith recently posted…Cheesy Artichoke Stuffed Italian BreadMy Profile

    • Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how yummy these are! They are the perfect combination of lightly salty and naturally sweet! If you get a chance to try them, I highly recommend!

  3. Having snacks around when the kids come home from school is so important. We always send the kids to school with reusable bento boxes to bring to school and use.

  4. Getting back into a routine after the summer holidays, it is good to know of some great snacks as well which are perfect for being tucked into after a long days learning.
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  5. I love WholePantry snacks. They always have such a great variety at a great price point.

  6. Yum, what great snacks! My kids are ALWAYS hungry when they get home from school, so I’ll have to pick these up.
    Amber Myers recently posted…Unboxing The September Tween PopGirl BoxMy Profile

  7. These are great tips. During the school year, I definitely meal plan and crockpot recipes are the best things invented lol. By the way, love your snack decor.

    • Yes, the crockpot is definitely my best buddy! I don’t know what I would do without mine. I do not have an Instapot but I hear they are pretty amazing too – as are air fryers!

  8. Sweet potato chips are so good! I just can’t get my kids to like them. That is fine, more for me!

  9. I have never heard of this brand before but we’re always looking for healthy snack options for our twins. They’ve started school and want then to continue to eat healthy.

  10. Thank you for sharing these tips. It’s really a must t have a healthy Back to School Meal Routines for our little ones

  11. A reusable water bottle is our best purchase before school. It’s a lot cheaper than buying water bottles or whatever.

    • What an excellent tip. I purchased reusable water bottles and insulated coffee mugs and we try to use them everyday to help eliminate unnecessary waste! I love that the insulated ones keep drinks cold (or hot) as well!

  12. These are really good tips! My niece loves eating snack after school so it’s a disaster when we have not prepared any yet. It’s really good to buy some healthy snack!

  13. Jeni Hawkins says:

    These are going to help a lot. The more organized the better the outcome would be. That is a lucky kid.

  14. I always have snacks ready for our son because he is always hungry when he gets home from school. We love to try new snacks too. Will have to check those snacks out.

  15. I just gotta try those Wholesome Pantry Organic Snacks. I try to purchase organic as much as possible and it’d be great to get these products for my family.

  16. wholesome pantry sounds like they have a lot of great snacks I wouldn’t mind trying myself! Sounds delicious!
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  17. My kids adore afternoon snacks! My kid will go crazy over these!

  18. This snacks should hold my kids over until dinner is ready. I can’t wait to try them out.

  19. We are in our first FULL week of Back to school. I am defiantly in the need of help trying to get things running smoothly.

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