Homework assignments, extracurricular activities, meal prep, and bedtime routines – the four key ingredients for stressful school nights as parents.
Navigating through the hustle-and-bustle of back-to-school routines can be a hair-pulling experience for parents as they try to juggle too many family responsibilities, and moving through the motions without a plan is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, these five simple time-saving tips will help make your routines run a little smoother, so you can spare your sanity and enjoy a little more me-time once the kids are in bed.
Freeze the squeeze
Yogurt is a great lunch staple for filling the bellies of busy kids on the go. Try adding a frozen yogurt tube to your child’s lunch. This will help to avoid the burden of lost utensils, and will chill cold lunch items until the lunch bells rings.
Buy in bulk
Buy a range of snack items in bulk, such as dried apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt covered raisins or yogurt chips. These nibblies make a great snack, both separately or packed together as a DIY trail mix. Perfect for mess-free recess snacks, or a pre-game pick-me-up.
Kids are more likely to eat what you pack if they are invited to participate in the picking process. I ask my kids to choose a fruit, a sandwich type, and a yogurt flavour before I pack their lunches. They feel as though they’ve been given the independence to choose what they like, which leads to fewer returned lunch items at the end of the day.
Pre-packaged for perfection
Store some pre-packaged snacks in an easy-to-reach cupboard for grab-and-go eats after school, or for easy access when heading out to after-school activities. Try rice cakes, crackers, dried fruits, or granola bars.
Pour pre-measured glasses of milk and have them ready in the fridge, and set the table with pre-poured bowls of cereal and spoons before you hit the hay. For older kids, keep some frozen waffles in the freezer and an assortment of pre-cut fruit in the fridge. When your kids wake up, they can help themselves to breakfast, and clear their dishes once they’ve finished. Fewer steps for you will make your mornings a whole lot easier!
Plan ahead and order these items through online (most grocery stores offer this service now from Save On Foods to SuperStore), where you can pre-purchase your groceries while watching your favourite Netflix flick in your PJs once the kids have gone to bed. Your order will be delivered right to your door the next day, or you can drive through and pick it up on your way home from work or after-school pickup. Save time with these life hacks, and enjoy a more stress-free weeknight.