Back to school is in full swing, and relaxed summer days are being replaced with stressful morning routines and rushed dinners. This school year, wake up worry-free and ready to send the kids to the bus stop with these helpful hacks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Want to start the day off on the right foot? Serve your kids a healthy breakfast that is rich in fiber, whole grains, and protein. Studies show kids who eat breakfast have fewer absences, and higher math, reading, and standardized test scores. Cereal that is low in sugar is great in a hurry, but can become tiresome day in and day out. Thankfully, with a little planning the night before, you can serve up a hearty breakfast in the morning without eating up too much time — a quick zap in the microwave oven, and you’re good to go! Here are some suggestions:
- Homemade breakfast burritos stuffed with ham, egg and cheese
- Whole-wheat waffles or pancakes served sandwich-style with peanut butter and bananas
- Leftover chicken tenders in a biscuit with a drizzle of honey
- Baked oatmeal casserole with walnuts and raisins
- Pumpkin muffins
- Breakfast Egg Cups with spinach and red bell peppers
- Pre-cooked bacon or sausage and hard-boiled eggs
- Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruit
- Make-ahead Baked French Toast
Don’t wait until morning to pack lunch for your kids — do it the night before! Better yet, set up an assembly line on your kitchen island countertop, and let kids help prepare lunches for the week on Sunday. First, look at the school menu and decide which days the kids will buy lunch. For bagged lunch days, switch up your sandwiches with nut butters, and a variety of cheeses and lunchmeats. Include some chips or pretzels, and fruit. Other options include wraps, hummus and cut up veggies, cheese and wheat crackers, a kid-friendly Chef salad, or yogurt and graham crackers. And don’t forget water or a 100% juice box!
Parents want to serve their children a healthy dinner at the end of the day. But with busy work and after-school schedules, plus homework, there is little time for cooking a hot meal. While ordering a pizza might be tempting, families cannot live on take-out alone. Keep your kitchen cabinets stocked with a few essentials like pasta and jarred tomato sauce, rice and beans, canned soup, and taco shells, and you have the makings of a quick and easy dinner. And don’t forget the slow cooker! Pile ingredients for pulled pork, stew, or even lasagna first thing in the morning, and come home to a delicious hot meal.
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