Parents can often get caught up in the hectic chaos of the first day back to school for their children. Everyone wakes up early and has a great breakfast to start their day. Once breakfast is over then the kids get dressed in their back to school clothes and pose outside for some fun first day back photos. The bus stop is another emotional and photo-documented spot before the day goes on as normal. Stay at home parents have a bit more time to prep for the end of the school day than working parents, but regardless of the day to day activities, some things should still occur:
- Talk about how the first day back went
- Have a healthy snack ready
- Start on homework
Talk About How the First Day Back Went
It is important to ask your child how their first day back to school went for them. They can tell you all about the kids in their classroom, their teacher, and even the decorations in the room. Be sure to ask about lunch and snack time and whether or not they ate a good lunch.
Have a Healthy Snack Ready
When your kids get home from school you will want to have an easy and simple snack ready for them. Smoothies are one of the easiest snacks that you can even prepare in advance if you will be working during the afternoon. Black cherry puree is an easy add-in ingredient to add a lot of flavor to a basic yogurt-based smoothie. There are also other flavor varieties to entice your children into a quick delicious smoothie that won’t completely ruin their appetite for dinner. Smoothies are a great snack that are healthy and just filling enough to bridge the gap from arrival to dinner time.
As far as dinner is concerned, stop sweating over complex meals that are time-consuming. The air fryer and the crockpot are fantastic kitchen appliances that can take a lot of the busy work out of cooking. These time savers will allow you to prepare a healthy snack, socialize, and work with homework expectations for your kids.
Meal prepping is also a great way to save time during a busy week. You can purchase meal prep containers for each family member for the entire week right from your favorite big box store or online store. You’ll spend a day over the weekend with all the prep work, but you will save yourself a lot of time and guesswork during the week. You can also meal prep snacks. You obviously cannot make healthy parfaits and smoothies to far in advance but you can purchase the produce fresh. Take time to wash, slice, and freeze it so that it will be ready to add when you need it for healthy snacks.
Start On Homework
Your child may not come home with homework on the first day of school, but rest assured, homework is coming. Take time to sit down and discuss homework expectations with your child. If your student is in sports, you may need to adjust their homework schedule to fit in appropriately between sports and dinner time or dinner time and bedtime. Have realistic expectations and make it clear that homework is essential and sports are extra-curricular.
Stay Flexible Parents
It is important to stay flexible with your expectations of your children and yourself. Keeping healthy snacks on hand is important, but we all have those weeks where work is a little bit overwhelming and we have to make do with what we have and the grocery shopping will wait until the weekend.
Your children will also experience weeks where they have more homework than others. This is especially true when projects are due. You may witness them coming home a bit more tired due to higher expectations from teachers. This is the ideal time to back off a little bit at home and become a bit more flexible with your home life schedule. Everything is about balance, after all. Once you find your groove, you will be able to make these food and scheduling adjustments as necessary.