Archive for school lunches

Back to school organization for your household

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The fall season is here! For many households, now’s the time to prepare for the new pace of life. Back to school and back to the office routines bring a whole lot of stress to the household. If you and your child are heading back respectively to the office and school after several months of remote working from home, you may find it overwhelming at first. How can you manage to run your household when your routine is changing again? The truth is that for a lot of people, remote working has introduced new time management habits. So, you will need some time to find your ground when you need to commute again. But thankfully, here are some organizational tips that can save you a lot of time and stress.

Clear the garden and outdoor

Commuting is exhausting, especially after a long period spent at home. So, you want to make sure you can tackle some essential maintenance jobs rapidly before they affect your home. As the first leaves will soon fall and turn our garden into a beautiful red and orange carpet, you need to arrange for fall gutter cleaning soon. Gorilla Property Services has many locations across the country. Indeed, there is nothing worse than a clogged-up gutter on a rainy day. As fall is renowned for being a wet season, you can’t afford to wait for long. Clogged-up gutters can increase the risks of water infiltration through the walls and the roof. It’s going to be messy, costly, and stressful to arrange for repairs. But you can keep up with the autumnal challenges by outsourcing essential jobs to professionals, from gutter emptying to garden checks.

Have a plan for college students 

College students are packing or have just packed to head to the campus for the first time. It is an exciting time for them, but it can be daunting too. A lot of college students are unprepared for household challenges. It can be helpful to arrange a simple schedule of chores with them. For instance, you can decide how to care for their dirty laundry, especially if they don’t have easy access to washing machines. Similarly, nothing beats a healthy family meal.  Students don’t also have the opportunity to cook. For example, you can arrange for pre-made dishes they can pick up on weekends and bring back to the campus. Decide what meals they enjoyed at home and make a quick and easy recipe book of their favourite meals.

Make your lunchboxes go further

For the first time in months, you have to think about lunchboxes. Planning and packing lunchboxes can take a lot of time. Without appropriate organization, you might even end up wasting a lot of money. Some households prefer to map out the lunches for the week to get ahead with grocery shopping on a budget. Others love to prepare individual ingredients separately, so they can pack a lunch box in a few seconds. You can even create a lunch packing station in your fridge and pantry, storing specific items to make boxes rapidly.

Keep everyone’s schedule visible

Last but not least, pop everybody’s schedules in a visible area at home. Pinned on a corkboard in the entryway or attached to the front of the fridge with a magnet, you’ve got many options! Sharing schedules will save you planning time, so you know when everybody is free.

Going back to your pre-pandemic lifestyle after spending many months at home can be daunting. You find yourself running out of time to maintain your household! But hopefully, these simple tips can help save you time and hassle in the long term.

If you need help developing routines to organize your household book a complimentary appointment with me.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

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Tales from a Lunch Bag

It is almost time for packing lunches for school.  Are you dreading it?  Children learn better when they are not hungry so the task is to pack food they will eat and not throw out, hide or trade.

1. You know what your child likes and doesn’t like.

Children will food jag, eat the same thing over and over and never get tired of it.  If there is a lunch they like give it to them, a fruit, a vegetable, a protein and a carbohydrate.   When I went to school I would eat a cold chicken sandwich, bread butter and chicken, an apple, a cookie and drink usually milk everyday for months.  My mom couldn’t understand why I didn’t get bored but I just loved it.  Life was easy she made it for me and I enjoyed it.

School lunches made easy

School lunches made easy

2. I hate sandwiches.

Some children don’t like sandwiches so give them leftovers.  Heat up the leftovers and put them in a Thermos.  I had child who hated sandwiches, I would heat up taco meat and send the shell and toppings cold, a baked potato with butter or cheese, soup, stew, home made macaroni and cheese. Pack warm chili with  taco chips, cheese and salsa. When you are cooking make extra and freeze it in individual meals and then you have a supply of lunches in your freezer.

thermos

Send warm foods to school in an unbreakable thermos.

3. Get lunches packed after supper when the food is out.

As part of our evening routine, each child would pack the food for their lunch that didn’t need to be refrigerated.  They packed, veggies, pickles, crackers cookies and in the morning I would add a sandwich or hot food to the lunch bag.  If you have more than one child this really makes life easy because you don’t need to remember which child like what.

Lunch bags

Pick a size and shape of lunch bag that makes it easy to pack and send the correct amount of food to school, not too much, not to little

4. Finger foods are great but you might want to send a fork

Some schools have schedules where children eat smaller meals a couple of times a day.  Pack things that your child can eat a few items at a time.  Cut up cheese, meat, bread into cubes .  Send nuts, hard boiled egg, veggies or cut up fruit.  If you have a container with lots of sections they can open one box and see all their choices.  It makes it easier to pack and the child doesn’t have to struggle with lots of container and there is less to wash at the end of the day.  Children are not good at washing their hands before every meal so encourage them to use a fork, send a plastic one in their favourite colour.

Box with finger foods

Send a variety of foods in small quantities for quick snacks throughout the day.

5.  Leftovers lunches – plan differently

When your child brings their lunch home remember it has been unrefrigerated all day, 8 hours, and dirty hands have been in the container touching all the food. Compost the leftovers.  Re-evaluate what you are sending and how much food you are putting in their lunch.

Plastic counter top compost bin

At the end of the day compost leftover to a prevent a mild case of food poisoning.

Don’t use school lunches as a time to introduce new foods or worry about variety in their diet.  Use supper time or weekend meals to introduce them to new foods.  You want them to eat a healthy lunch everyday and since you are not there to supervise them when they are eating, make a plan with your child so you can all be happy.

 

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