Simple Back-to-School Recipes & Plan Ahead Ideas

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Summer is winding down but that doesn’t stop the fun! These tips will help you send your kids back-to-school with smiles on their faces, all while saving you time.

Whole grain rolled oats are healthy and versatile.

Making the Most of Oats

Getting everyone out of bed, packed for school and ready to go on-time is a daily feat. Don’t skip breakfast in the rush! Even though they won’t want hot oatmeal when they first go back to school, you can use oats in other ways. These recipes will suit mom and dad too.

  • Overnight Oats: The base of this recipe is milk, oats and chia seeds. SimplyNature Chia Seeds expand in liquid which causes the oats to thicken, almost like a pudding or porridge. You can make it either the night before, or the weekend before, and leave it in the fridge. If this particular recipe doesn’t match your kid’s taste, use any ingredients you’d like and follow step two to ensure the correct consistency. You can scoop into a bowl in the morning or keep inside mini jars/containers for your kids to eat on the ride to school.
  • Oatmeal Bites: Another make-it-ahead option is oatmeal bites. This recipe uses SimplyNature Flax Seeds and Millville Old Fashioned Oats to give these bites texture and sustenance. Make them when you have a free moment and place them in the fridge for when you want them.
  • PB & J Oatmeal Bar: A twist on the classic PB & J sandwich, these bars are easily portable. They use our Peanut Delight Creamy Peanut Butter which has a new low price for the back-to-school season. Price varies by region. Applies to 40 oz. size.

Mix-and-match snacks to make lunchtime exciting!

Lunchbox Love

  • Pack Plenty of Snacks – Gather a variety of snacks that are mom or dad-approved and invite your child to select which he/she wants to bring in their lunch. This is an empowering exercise that ensures your picky eater won’t trade or toss half of their food away. You can be the “final say” to make sure the lunch is well-balanced. Here are some items we recommend adding to your snack cabinet:
    • SimplyNature Fruit Squeezies: Kids will love the playfulness of the squishy packaging. You’ll love that they are getting a dose of organic fruit.
    • Millville Honey Nut Crispy Oats: We love to eat this as a snack just as much as we like it for breakfast. The cereal meets the Essential Goodness claim; it is free from artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, certified synthetic colors and synthetic preservatives.
    • Fresh fruit: Grapes, bananas, berries and apples are nature’s self-preserved snacks!
    • Happy Farms String Cheese: Another snack that lets kids play with their food. Peel away!
    • Lunch Buddies Tropical or Strawberry Fruit Flavored Snacks: Shaped like little pieces of fruit, these gummies are juicy and delicious with no artificial flavors.
    • Southern Grove On The Go Trail Mix: Your kid will go nuts over these!
  • Add Some Surprise – Show your child some love this season with occasional surprises. Change the shape of their sandwich by using cookie cutters to carve out a new design for the bread. Arrange food into a smiley face. This Hummus Caterpillar is a cute way to greet your child when they come home from their busy day.

Our favorite surprise is to place a post-it note inside their lunchbox to show you care. They won’t expect it and it works double-duty for you. You can write a sweet note and use it as a reminder if needed.

Keep your kitchen stocked with items you can grab on the go.

Be At the Ready

The key to not feeling overwhelmed during back-to-school is to plan ahead as much as you can. You’ll already be in a good place with the premade breakfasts and snack stash, but keep that momentum alive as the months progress. Here are more tips to keep you on your toes:

  • If you have a magnetic dry-erase board, use it to keep a running tally of items you have by category. When you first go grocery shopping, list items in each category that you purchased. Categories could include protein, dairy, fruits/vegetables, grains or healthy fats. Use these to brainstorm school meals. Cross off items as you start to run out.
  • Freeze ahead. Items like our Nature’s Nectar 100% Juice Boxes, Friendly Farms Moo Tubes and Lunch Buddies Applesauce Cups can be used as makeshift ice packs. Keep them frozen until packing and they will keep the rest of the lunch cool.
  • Visit our blog again on 8/16 for more back to school inspiration from Skinny Taste and The Small Things!
  • Visit last year’s back-to-school blog post to read recommendations from our Corporate Dietitian Jessica Patel.

Share how you use our products to prepare for back-to-school!

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