For many of us, September means back to school. While that can add to our already busy schedules, it also provides us with a great opportunity to implement new routines to help minimise the stress of everyday life and keep you and your family healthy.
It can be a tough transition getting back into a routine of early mornings, after-school activities, and homework after a long, lazy summer. But the new school year is a fantastic opportunity to establish new daily habits that keep your kids healthy and happy, and yourself sane! Below, we’ve put together some tried-and-true back-to-school tips to help you settle into your new rhythm.
Find a good spot in your home – be it in the kitchen, or by the front door - to create a family command centre where you can organise your family members’ schedules, notices, bills, meal plans, and anything else you need to help bring order to the busyness of everyday life.
Add a magnetic board to pin schedules and reminders on, magazine files with each child’s name for homework assignments, and a charging station for mobile phones, iPads and smartwatches.
Make a weekly schedule for each of your children with homework days, afternoon activities, chores, and checklists for what to pack for each day. If you laminate the schedule, it’s easy to add one-time events and then erase them at the end of the week.
Wake up ready to go - Prepare everything the night before
Avoid stressful mornings by preparing everything you can the night before. For example, lay out tomorrow’s outfits for the kids and yourself, pack school backpacks and prepare equipment and clothes for after-school activities.
You can even prepare breakfast the night before:
- Overnight oats, chia puddings, and breakfast smoothies can be prepared in the evening and stored in the fridge
- Healthy oat pancakes can be made and popped into the toaster in the morning
- Baked oatmeal can be made the night before
And for the busiest mornings, a healthy breakfast muffin is quick and easy to pop into your bag to enjoy on the way to school or work.
Be ready for the afternoon snack-attacks
Busy school days and afternoon activities require lots of energy. But when blood sugar levels suddenly dip, it can be tempting to reach for a quick fix on the go. Unfortunately, many snack options are full of sugar, heavily processed, and lack fibre, protein, and slow carbohydrates that will fuel you and your kids until dinnertime.
Pave the way for better snacking by preparing delicious, energy-boosting snacks in advance. Smoothies, yoghurt parfaits, homemade granola bars, trail mix, breakfast muffins, veggies and hummus, fruit, and nut or seed butter sandwiches are all great options for snacks to bring when you pick the kids up from school.
Stave off the otherwise inevitable back-to-school bugs
No matter how careful you are, there’s no way to avoid all the bugs and germs once school is back in session. Still, there are plenty of ways to boost your immune system and give your whole family the best defence possible. Spend time outdoors in nature, get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and support your gut health with a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Here’s to a happy and healthy school year ahead!
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