Has your child headed back to school yet? My kids ave around three weeks left before they go back to school. In a way I’m ready for them to go back. At the same time it’s somewhat bittersweet since my oldest is going into 10th grade this year. I can still remember her first day of Kindergarten like it was yesterday. Sigh…
Another reason why I am ready for the kids to go back to school is to get back on a schedule. During the summer there is structure or schedules for the kids to follow. They go to bed and get up whenever they want for the most part (both of my kids are teens). Plus they are always coming and going (mostly my daughter). Just today I was asked to pick up here friend and take them to the mall.
We’re TRYING to get the kids back on a normal sleeping schedule. That is our #1 priority right now. They are so used to being up to 2 or 3 in the morning and then sleeping to noon. We’ve been gradually trying to get them to go to bed a littler earlier each night and getting them up earlier in the morning so that they are tired come bedtime.
If your child is still on their summer sleeping/waking schedule I would strongly suggest you start working on that right now. Don’t wait until the last minute. Gradually get them to bed earlier and wake them up earlier each day until they are back on their normal bedtime schedule. It’s easier to do it gradually then expect them to go to bed at 9:00 on the night before school starts.
My kids also attend two different schools. This year my daughter is going into the high school and my son is going into the junior high. It’s going to take some time to figure out the bathroom “schedule” (one bathroom with four people trying to get ready at the same time is NOT easy), plus my husband and I need to coordinate who takes the kids to the bus in the morning (the kids either walk or I pick them up in the afternoon). I also have to get used to the new schedule. Last year my daughter’s bus arrived at 3:05. This year it’s at 2:35 and my son arrives home at 3:05.
Another suggestion would be to sit down with your child and go over some lunch menu ideas. If you have recipe books or if you’ve saved lunch ideas from magazines, sit down with your child and go over them. See if you can come up with some new lunch time ideas. That way your child is not bored with their lunch. Also, ask your child if there is a food or beverage product they have seen or tried over the summer that they would like incorporated into their school lunch.
I send my kids to school with a reusable water bottle. I fill it up the night before and pop it in the freezer. By the time they have lunch the next day the water is ice cold. After all, no one wants to quench their thirst with warm or luke warm water.
I also try and pre-pack some items the night before to make it easier for me in the morning to pack lunches. For example, I’ll put baby carrots in a container the night before, and their treat, such as Chips Ahoy cookies, in a separate container or baggy too. That way the only thing I need to do the next day is whip up a sandwich and grab and apple and they are all set to go.
It’s a good idea to keep some lunches ready to go, just in case you get up late in the morning and are too busy rushing around not to miss the bus, let alone make lunch. Lunchables are a great product to have on hand. They make great “grab-and-go” lunches.
I also need to make sure that I have plenty of healthy snack options on hand when they get home from school. I usually keep things like fresh fruits, raw veggies, yogurts and other healthier-for-you snack options on hand. However my kids are only human and sometimes like “junk” foods like chips, cookies and candies, so I have to make sure to keep some of those on hand too. A sweet treat like JELL-O is not only a family favorite but also low in calories and with no fat. JELL-O pudding is also a great after school treat idea, especially when your kids are craving chocolate. Mmm… I could go for some chocolate pudding right now.
Speaking of food, getting back into our dinner time routine is also going to be something I need to work on. With the kids home all day and my husband taking vacation time throughout the summer, our regular dinner time has been all over the place. One day we’ll eat at 5:00 PM, the next day at 6:00 PM.
There are also so many different recipes I have been anxious to try out with my family. Most of them are for the cooler weather so I haven’t tried them yet. I also need to come up with some different last minute meal options for those days when the kids stay after school for a sport or activity, or my husband is delayed at work. We have our usual “standby” options, but this year I’m looking for something a bit different.
Kraft Foods understands how crazy back to school time can be. That is why they created a fabulous kit to help simply the first week back to school. The kit is valued at $100!
Here is what the kit contains:
- Capri Sun Super V Fruit & Vegetable Juice Drink (Fruit Punch). This new ready-to-drink beverage, which comes in the popular CAPRI SUN pouch, contains a combined serving of fruits and vegetables (3/4 from fruit juice and 1/4 from vegetable juice) and is a good source of fiber, offering a perfect blend of nutrition, great taste and “kid cool.” I’m not much of a fruit drinker myself. Sometimes I find juices too sweet for my tastes, however I enjoyed the Capri Sun Super V Fruit & Vegetable Fruit Punch drink. It does not taste like it’s made with veggies either. It tastes like fruit punch. And it’s not too sweet.
- Lunchables with Smoothie. Lunchables now has a new Turkey and Cheddar Sub Sandwich with Chiquita Strawberry Banana Smoothie and Double Stuff OREO cookies. You can also try the new Chicken Strips and Deep Dish Pizza options to add some variety to lunchtime. I looked for the new Turkey & Cheddar Sub variety with the smoothie but my local grocery store didn’t have any. I’m anxious to see what the smoothie is like. I also enjoy Lunchables for myself. My favorite is the pepporoni pizza Lunchable. Lunchables are great “grab-and-go” lunches for those mornings where you are too busy to make a regular lunch.
- JELL-O with Mix-Ins Pudding Packs. JELL-O has a new variety called Mix-Ins. You can mix your favorite toppings into your favorite pudding flavors to create your new favorite dessert. Kids will love trying the six fun flavors like Strawberry Shortcake, OREO Dirt Cup, Birthday Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Turtle Sundae and Banana Caramel Pie. Best of all they are made with real milk. Once again my local grocery store didn’t have what I was looking for. I REALLY want to try the Turtle Sundae!
- Chips Ahoy cookies. Chips Ahoy has two new varieties now and let me tell you they are SO GOOD!!! Sinfully good. But I must warn you, once your kids get a taste to try them (even your “big kid”, aks hubby), they will be gone before you know it. The new flavors are Chewy Gooey Caramel (infused with soft caramel on the inside) and Chewy Chips Ahoy which is made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (packed with Reese’s Peanut Butter cup pieces). If you read my blog on a regular basis I’m sure you’ve read me professing my love of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
- New Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Dinner Kits in Creamy Beef Strogranoff and Lasagna. Now you can give your family a quick and easy Lasagna or you can wield your skillet with a pound of ground beef to feast on the new Creamy Beef Stroganoff, made with premium seasonings, curly ribbon pasta, and creamy Velveeta cheese sauce. My husband is hesitant to try the Striking because he’s never had it before (he can be pickier than the kids!). We have tried the lasagna. It’s actually pretty good. There was enough for my family of four but we did supplement the meal with Italian bread and salad.
Also included in the Simplify your first week back with Kraft kit are …
- Meal planner pad - I am already starting to use this. I am a scatterbrain and something mean to make something during the week but totally forget. This will keep me on track with what to make and what I need to pick up from the grocery story.
- Calendar stickers - These work great with both a regular calendar and the Meal Planner pad.
- Backpack - You can always use a backpack. Even if you already purchased one it’s always great to have a spare on hand. I’m sure many parents have had to replace backpacks mid-year. Having another one on hand is great.
- Memo pad - Great for keeping track of your kids parent-teacher conferences, sports games, appointments and more.
- Sweat-free ice pack – This is super handy to have to keep your child’s lunch cold. It’s a pretty green design and would work well for a boy or a girl (or even a man or woman).
- Crazy straws - They always make meal time or snack time more fun.
- Hand sanitizer - With back-to-school time also comes colds, flues and other nasty stuff. Protect your family with a bottle of hand sanitizer. I also keep one by my sink if to use on my hands after I’ve handled raw meat.
To learn more about these products either click on the embedded links or visit www.KraftRecipes.com. While you are there make sure to check out the recipes. You can find some great dinner ideas as well as lunch recipes too. There are even delicious breakfast recipes to get your family up and going and to start their day off with a good meal. Also check out their recipe ideas on Pinterest, www.Pinterest.com/KraftRecipes.
One lucky reader will win ALL of the products listed above ($100 value), compliments of Kraft.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on August 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.
To enter please comment on this post and tell me which product you are most anxious to win or try AND share with me a back to school tip that helps to make things simpler.
For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you MUST complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries will not qualify.
*I received free sample products in order to do this review from Kraft. Any opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way. Kraft provided the prize package.