Good Reminders for Back to School Time

Tips for Packing Lunch

It is almost that time of year for kids to return to school. Generally speaking, school lunch is unappealing to most kids and you just end up throwing your money away when they don't eat it. This is a good time to brush up on some safe, easy tips for packing a healthy lunch for your child. Packing lunch is great opportunity to bond with your child, introduce new foods in a fun way, and give them a healthy meal to help get them through their day. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Choose an insulated, easy to clean lunch box. Let your child pick something that meets these requirements, but reflects her own personal style.
  2. Pick up several reusable ice packs to help keep her lunch cool through the morning. You can freeze juice boxes or a bottle of water to also help keep things cool. Do not pack soda in your child's lunch box, ever.
  3. When choosing foods to pack, keep in mind it may be 3 to 4 hours from the time you pack the lunch to the time she eats, so things like tuna salad, chicken salad, or egg salad are not the safest choices as they may reach unsafe temperatures for too long of a time period. Stick with turkey, ham, peanut butter & jelly, or other sandwiches that aren't as sensitive to temperature.
  4. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes to make a new sandwich more appealing. Try adding fresh veggies like cucumbers or bell peppers for crunch and texture.
  5. Try to include something from each food group--a fresh apple or pear can be sliced and stored in an airtight container. Use whole wheat bread instead of white. Limit condiments like mayo which will save lots of unnecessary calories and fat. String cheese or cheese slices add calcium and a serving of dairy.
  6. Include eating utensils if they're needed, but be careful of extreme zero tolerance weapons policies in schools. That butter knife to spread peanut butter on some crackers might land your little one in hot water, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, it has happened to someone, somewhere.
  7. If there is still food in the lunch box when your child returns home, throw it away unless it is a prepackaged snack or shelf stable like chips or crackers. Wash the lunch box with hot soapy water and air dry. That lunch box has been exposed to millions of germs for one day!
  8. Listen to your child's likes and dislikes, and together you can pack a one of kind lunch she'll be excited about, and you will know she's getting the right nutrition away from home.


Back to School Manners

While your child has been away from school for the summer, she may have forgotten some simple manners that you should refresh before she goes back to school. Good manners lead to good behavior which is essential in daily life. Making these little things stick as youngsters, good habits more likely to be retained and utilized as they grow up.

  1. Clean up after yourself! Throw away trash in appropriate containers, recycle if its available. Put away your books, supplies, backpacks, coats, hats, shoes, etc. in their correct place. Push in your chair when your leave your desk or workspace.
  2. Keep your hands to yourself! Touching others is not appropriate--other students may feel threatened or uncomfortable. Touching can be misinterpreted, so its best to just keep to yourself and everyone can get along.
  3. Keep your hands off of others' property! Taking things without asking is rude. It is not ok to take things or use materials that are not yours, without getting permission from the rightful owner. Ask first!
  4. Communicate effectively! Answer politely if you are spoken to. Use complete sentences and speak clearly so the other person can understand you. Nun-uh, yeah, umm, and uhhh are not clear or effective.
  5. Be kind and courteous! Greet others with "good morning" or "hello." Don't talk to strangers, but don't be disrespectful or cold to trusted adults and school staff.

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