Back to school time means the alarm will be going off much earlier than we’re used to during the summer. It means hurried mornings and tired children. Tired mom too! To make the back to school transition a little easier, I’m planning ahead. I’m preparing for strong coffee, blurry eyed children and bed head. I’m gathering new ideas for packing healthy back to school lunches to mix it up and keep the kids fueled all day as well as relying on some of my tried and true tips from the past. I’m even including myself in the mix because now that I’m working out of the home, I need to pack a healthy lunch too.
To begin with, I’m thinking back to school breakfast ideas. Breakfast is important every day, year around, but during the school year, the kids have to be on their “A” game. Their little minds are working and testing and I want to make sure they’re ready. A hungry belly isn’t a productive learner. To make my life easier, I’m busy baking and freezing muffins. I love to make my muffins with Stonyfield Vanilla Greek Yogurt. For some yummy and healthy muffin recipes check out these 20 different muffin recipes. I’ve also been busy making and freezing homemade granola bars. These are great for lunch but also for an on-the-go breakfast with a banana and a Stonyfield YoKids Smoothie (which the kids love)! I figure the more I make ahead of time, the better!
I haven’t just been baking. We’ve been having fun making overnight oatmeal in a jar to test out toppings and recipes. Thus far, these have been a hit. Especially for me. Here’s the recipe I’ve tried with the greatest success and the toppings I love the most:
- I use the wide mouth, pint size jars from Ball. They come in a 4 pack and you can also buy plastic screw on lids. The wide mouth jars are much easier to eat out of and add toppings to and stir.
- 1 cup of organic Country Choice Multi-Grain Oats
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of yogurt (I like Stonyfield organic low-fat vanilla the best.)
Mix the ingredients together in the jar and let set overnight. Heat when you’re ready to eat, stir and add your favorite toppings. It’s that stinking easy. I kid you not. If you like your oatmeal thicker, add less water. If it’s too thick, add more water. The first time I tried this I used ½ cup of milk, ½ cup of oatmeal and ½ cup of yogurt and the oatmeal was not thick enough for me. I like my oatmeal very thick. I say experiment and see what you like best and what the kids like best. It makes for an easy and healthy breakfast. I made mine on Sunday and we’ve had oatmeal every morning this week. YUMMY! You’ll find several recipes if you search on Pinterest but for me, I asked my co-worker who brings these regularly for tips.
My favorite toppings:
- The Perfect Snaque – Coconut Almond Crunch and Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Crunch
- Fresh blueberries
- Organic Dark Brown Sugar
- Fresh raspberries
- Toasted Coconut Chips
The awesome thing about the back to school breakfast ideas, they can also be used for easy lunch box ideas too! Here’s some inspiration for making your breakfast recipes into lunch too! Why not get a double whammy for your efforts!?
Alternate serving muffins for breakfast and lunch. If you make apple cinnamon muffins for breakfast one week, make another kind for lunch and pack with an apple, cheese cubes, sugar snap peas and nuts. If you freeze a variety of muffins in advance, it will make breakfast and lunch easier!
- Skip oatmeal at breakfast for a few weeks and mix it up by sending it for lunch. Especially during the winter, warm it up in the morning and send it a thermos with fresh fruit for a topping and some toasted coconut or sliced almonds. It will be a warm and filling lunch!
- Hopefully these tips help you with back to school planning and ease the stress of trying to make a healthy breakfast (and lunch), get everyone out the door, dressed and on-time!
Hopefully these tips help you with back to school planning and ease the stress of trying to make a healthy breakfast (and lunch), get everyone out the door, dressed and on-time!
Visit these other past posts on packing a healthy lunch or making a healthy breakfast:
- Budget Friendly Meal Ideas
- Pack and Eco-friendly School Lunch
- Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas
- 25 Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- 5 Healthy and Simple Breakfast on the Go Ideas
- 10 on the Go Breakfast Ideas
- Healthy Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- Quick and Healthy Lunch & Snack Ideas
Why not? Great tips for free!