It’s that time. Not the New Year. Not Valentine’s Day. (Maybe someone’s birthday.) But it’s definitely back to school time.
The emotions are often mixed and running high. Parents and kids are equally fretting over first-day outfits, teacher assignments, what to eat—and a running list of other confusing mixtures of glee and varying panic levels.
Not to mention that back to school this year is like no other year. Returning to school during a pandemic has a host of unique questions and odd adjustments.
We have been making the best of it. Playing endless card games, taking walks around the block, or watching every show Netflix offers.
Heading back to school always presents a unique transition to a new but familiar set of routines and habits. And new factors have developed. No doubt. But kids are a resilient breed. And parents won’t be held down by any pandemic.
Things might be a little more dynamic than usual. But you got this!
And we got you.
That’s why we wanted to explore some ideas for how to get back into healthy and positive routines. Maybe your routine involves at-home learning or some hybrid of in-person and online classes.
In whatever way your back-to-school dynamic is panning out, we have some thoughts on ways to prepare for the transition. And, yes, this includes snack hacks (of course)!
Ideas for positive routines, habits (and snack hacks)
You're heading back into a time you may have done once or twice—or many—times before, but you also know this time is a tad bit different.
We wanted to tackle some of the recent developments that have led to updated routines. But we also mind the more traditional or familiar ways to establish healthy habits for back to school this year.
1. Wholesome hygiene
Hygiene has become our new normal. We have (at moments) used more sanitizer in a week than our entire lives.
Oh, and then there’s masks, face guards, rubber gloves, quarantine, and some strange new thing people call "social distancing." Beyond pencils, notebooks, and backpacks, we are now thinking about a long list of supplies.
Some experts recommend teaching and practicing with our children the habit of washing hands before and after leaving the house. Prior to eating. After the restroom. And following a sneeze or blowing their nose.
There are many further recommendations for keeping your kiddos safe at school. We recommend going beyond the list above and searching for other healthy habits, too.
2. Candid convos
Sometimes we experience a little more fear or worry than is common to us. Especially in recent months. And the littler versions of ourselves share some of these feelings.
Experts recommend having direct and honest conversations with our kids. There can be some anxious feelings about other kids not wearing masks at recess and ways to social distance while playing. Or even just about safety and health in general.
Developing a routine for regular conversations and check-ins can help answer important questions and equip our kids to respond to strange circumstances.
3. Sleepytime is healthy time
Before, during, and after the pandemic, our sleep routines are incredibly important. And they are that much more critical for the kiddos.
Experts recommend setting a time for sleeping and waking each night and morning. We also like the idea of limiting caffeine to the afternoons and keeping the kids active during the day to aid in feeling tired enough to sleep.
4. Maintain those meals
Missing meals can lead to our kiddos having difficulty with concentration or energy.
You may consider packing lunch for those kids who are extra particular about what they ear, or if they have allergies. If you have evening plans, consider packing a dinner or eating early.
But we know plans don’t always go…well…according to plan.
Enter Snack Hack #1. Carrying snacks is a great way to get the kids some nutrition when the inevitable changes to plans arise. We recommend going healthy and natural—packing snacks with nutrition and real ingredients.
5. Hydrate for health
It turns out that children get dehydrated faster than adults. Staying hydrated is most straightforward with about six to eight water glasses per day—depending on age, gender, weight, and activity.
But getting the kiddos to drink enough water—especially at school—can be unrealistic at times. Consider exciting ways to infuse more hydration into your child’s day. Fruits and veggies as snacks can add extra nutrition and provide a source of extra water.
And for your Snack Hack #2, you can also get extra hydration from our freezies. A little more water packed into a healthy organic snack.
6. Keepin’ things positive
This whole discussion is about keeping things positive. But we mean something a little more specific here.
We really like the idea of a routine for asking the little ones to share a few positive things that happened to them today.
If the kiddos are a bit shy, start by sharing your own positive thoughts and reflections. You can even write positive thoughts down or draw pictures that can go up on the fridge or a wall in the house.
7. Rewards (and fun) for happy homework
We like the idea of making your homework routine as fun as possible.
You might decorate a special desk or area in the house dedicated to your kiddo’s workspace. Or maybe you use colorful charts and stickers to add some playful elements to their homework.
You can also use our Snack Hack #3. Rewards get most of us focused and motivated.
Think about rewarding the kids with a tasty snack or fun activity (also involving snacks) when they finish their homework steps.
A few closing thoughts
We hope some of these ideas will energize your efforts to create and maintain routines that promote positive and healthy habits for heading back to school.
Kisko is happy to be a resource for your family.
We have various options for the perfect (and healthy) snacks to fuel your new and familiar routines.From fruit strips to nuggets and 3-D animal snacks, we are happy to share our line of “Mrs. J’s Natural” Organic juice pops and snacks.