5 Strategies for Back-to-School Prep

Here are five strategies to make back-to-school prep easier.
545092388

545092388

Photo by: a_namenko ©a_namenko

a_namenko, a_namenko

Parents, you’ve made it through summer, and back-to-school season is upon us. Whether you’re shedding a tear or jumping for joy, it’s time to get organized for the unavoidable craziness of packing lunches and busy weeknight dinners. Here are five sanity-saving tips to kick off back-to-school on the right foot.

Make a Game Plan

Take a few minutes each week to chart out lunches and dinners. Let the kids take part in the brainstorming, to make it a family affair. Taking the guesswork out of each day will help the week run more smoothly.

Gear Up

Dig out those lunchboxes, bento containers and ice packs. If they’re scrappy and beat-up, consider investing in new ones — lunch vessels should be clean and functional. Bentology and EasyLunchBoxes have many fun and convenient options.

Batch Ahead

Set aside some time to make a few family-friendly meals for the freezer. Falling back on home-cooked dishes like lasagna and chili when pressed for time can turn a hectic weeknight into prime family time. And don’t forget about breakfast! Batches of muffins, granola bars and egg cups are terrific make-ahead recipes.

Recipes to Try:
Stock Up

There’s nothing worse than rifling through the fridge and pantry as the bus arrives or when the stampede of hungry kids rushes the kitchen after school. Stock up on healthy foods like yogurt pouches, cheese sticks, whole-grain cereal, unsweetened applesauce, nut butters and hummus to keep those kiddos fueled.

Keep Healthy Handy

Keep fresh foods like slices of whole grain bread, unsweetened nut butters, cut-up fruit and veggies sticks within arm’s reach. Try prepping these foods ahead for a week and you’ll see what a huge difference it makes.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of  Dana White Nutrition, Inc. , which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Giada's 5 Stay-Fit Strategies

Food Network Magazine reveals healthy secrets from Giada De Laurentiis' new cookbook, Giada's Feel Good Food.

Back-to-School Recipe Roundup

From speedy breakfast options to portable lunches, these kid-friendly recipes are perfect for back-to-school season.

Back-to-School Meal Planning

Set yourself up for success on busy weeknights by having vegetables ready to use. With some smart planning, you'll be enjoying the same home cooking, just a little earlier than our lazy days of summer.

The Energy Chef: Herb Mesa's Back-to-School Bites

As the first day approaches, I start to think about the age-old question: What should I make them for lunch? I look at lunchtime as an opportunity to introduce them to healthy, delicious food combinations. Here's a peek at what I'm packing up for them.

Load Up the Kids' Lunchboxes for Back-to-School

Food Network’s guide to kid-approved lunches and locker-friendly foods makes cafeteria glee an everyday affair.

Weekly Bits: Back-to-School Eats

We celebrated back-to-school week this week! (Could you tell?) You gave us lots of tips making back-to-school transitions easier at every time of day -- breakfast, lunch, even snack time

Ask the Experts: Top Back-To-School Tips

We asked nutrition experts from around the country to give their top back-to-school tip to help easy the stress of this busy time of year.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.