Summer is a time to relax, go to bed to late, eat what you want, and travel, but as we get closer to summer ending and school beginning, we must start thinking of getting our kids back in a routine, eating healthy, and prepping meals. Between homework, work, and sports, this can be stressful, but it does not have to be! If you plan everything out and you don’t wait until the last minute, you will be well prepared and less stressed. Ms. Tracy shared the follow tips on The Rhode Show. Here are some tips and tricks to get started.

Back to the basics and routines:

  • - It is true that children adapt to any situation and go with the flow. It is also true that children do a lot better when there are routines and when they know what to expect. They are more likely to eat healthier and sleep better when they are comfortable and in a routine, which helps establish lifelong habits and routines as they grow.
  • - Toward the end of the summer, start sending your child to bed 15 minute earlier. (For example: Monday, instead of 9 pm, send them to bed at 8:45 and do this for a couple of days. Then, send them to bed at 8:30 pm and so on until you are at the desire time you would like your child to go to bed.) Doing it in small doses doesn’t make them feel like they are going to bed earlier and gives their bodies time to adjust.
  • - Again, toward the end of the summer, ask your child to lay out the clothes that they want to wear the next day. If they are not old enough to do this, help them. This will get them back into a routine of getting ready the night before and prepared for the next day.

Mealtime:

  • - Eating healthy starts with family meals. It can be difficult to sit down together from time to time. Make sure that your children know that family time is important. One way to do this is to label your meals. If your child has a sport that they need to go to a couple of times a week, prepare and label a meal you can bring out that day and heat up. Establish Family Dinner nights where everything can be put aside for an hour to enjoy each other’s company and talk about each family member’s day.
  • - Another routine time saver is prepping your meals ahead of time.
    • You can make pasta and rice ahead of time. This will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator.  Cook chicken and shred it, prepare crockpot meals in gallon bags. All you need to do is pour in the morning and turn on and it’s good to go by the time you get home. 
  • - You can make soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles ahead of time and freeze them. Just thaw them the night before you want to eat them and it’s that easy!

No fuss lunches easy prep and healthy.

  • - Grapes, boiled egg, cucumber slices, drink, small sandwich.
  • - Pita bread, hummus, carrot sticks, berries, and drink
  • - Mini bagel, cream cheese, fruit, vegetable, drink.
  • - Use zip lock bags to freeze right portion soup, meatballs, stews, refried beans. You take out the night before to thaw in fridge. This only takes minutes to prepare.

Trying to get back into routines can be difficult, but preparing your meals ahead of time helps with portion sizes, eating healthier, and it is less stressful.

Posted by Mel Cline