GET ORGANISED AND BACK TO SCHOOL READY
Just like that, Christmas is over, and the new year has begun. We have sun kissed skin and it's time to get stuck back into life, work, and getting organised for the new school year!
We are only hitting the second year of pre-school here, and Kindy starts the following year, and I definitely feel pre-school not only prepares the kids, but also us Mum's who need to add another juggle into our daily schedules!
So why not make it easier on yourself? One of the biggest headaches is finding what meals to make for the kids whilst at school. Some of the common questions...Will it be enough? Will they actually eat it? Will they stay hungry? What if they are hungry, and I am not there? Will it stay cold enough? But then there are rules as to what I can pack and not pack? Our school has a no packaging rule, and no nuts or raw eggs- so does make it a little difficult.
That's when you need to get a little creative rather then throwing in a muesli bar or two! Luckily I can help you with some of this. I've included some great morning tea, lunch, and lunch box filler options in this blog, as well as my fave range of back-to-school goodies by SMASH to pack a full to the brim lunch box!
So if this interests you, read on..........
Firstly some Morning Tea Ideas:
- Pop Corn
- Banana, Raspberry Coconut cake (See recipe below, it's one of my own- Yummo!)
- Own trail mix- I use a range of different things I have at home but you can easily add any of these to create the mix you want. i.e sultanas, dried apricots chopped, dried berries or banana, coconut chips, yoghurt or chocolate coated sultanas, mixed seeds, yogurt drops, dry cereals such as rice bubbles, corn flakes, coconut rolls from Aldi, popcorn, pretzels, cocoa nibs etc etc)
- Fruit Cup
- Pikelets/Mini Pancakes
- Rice Cakes (even Choc/cocoa coated ones too 😉)
- Bliss Balls
- Fresh Fruit
Lunch & Lunch Box fillers: (perfect for SMASH Bento box style)
- Sandwiches rolled or cut into a shape/shapes (I always mix up the way I cut even if it has the same spread. Aka.. Vegemite, jam, or ham and cheese here) Don't get me wrong sometimes they just get a rectangle or triangle!
- Plain Pasta (mix up the types/shapes)
- Strawberry & Lemon Yoghurt Pasta (see recipe below, another of my own)
- Cheese & Crackers
- Cheese Stick
- Deli meats
- Fruit & Veg Sticks/Shapes (use small cookie cutters for this)
- Sago or Tapioca pudding
- Pin Wheels - Google some recipes heaps around!
- Mini Quiche -Google some recipes heaps around!
- Skewered Fruit, Veg, Sandwich & Cheese (see pic below)
- Cucumber & Watermelon Skewers
- Cold Corn Cob, Steamed Veg
Strawberry & Lemon Yoghurt Pasta
- Boil pasta of choice and let cool
- Meanwhile whisk together - 1/2 Cup natural or greek yoghurt, 1/3 cup olive oil, a teaspoon of honey, a dash of balsamic, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of all purpose seasoning, juice of half a lemon, a dash of ground pepper (season to taste. If you need a little extra sweetness pop in some more honey)
- Stir through cold pasta and add strawberries!
Banana, Raspberry & Coconut Cake
- Combine 1/2 cup Caster sugar and 1/2 cup softened butter in an electric mixer
- Mash 2 bananas and mix in 1 whole egg
- Add the 2 mashed bananas and egg mix, 2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt to the sugar and butter mix and mix together until well combined.
- Add in 1 cup of self raising flour and combine well
- Stir through some desiccated coconut and a handful of raspberries
Pop all in a well sprayed loaf tin and bake for 30 min on 180 degrees
PS- Freezes well!
All of this is a great variety, but not too overwhelming or difficult to make the night before, so you can get the lunches packed before you head to bed. And don't forget a lot of baking goodies are great to freeze, and all you need to do is pull them out the morning of school! I use the Nude Movers Double Snack tubs for Morning tea. You can add some fresh fruit in one compartment then a baked good in the other!
The twins this year are using the SMASH range which are available from Spotlight. It is the BENTO Switch up, the sports chiller, Double Snack tubs for Morning tea, accompanied by the matching light lunch bag. They also have the Glitter dual wall drink bottle for all the glitter in the world!
We are long time users of SMASH products and would not look at other brands/ranges for our lunch box needs. They are sturdy, spacious, stylish, and easy to open for little hands. I haven't experienced any leakages in this range, and there is an adequate amount of room for a large variety of foods. The skins also help to keep food colder for longer. I prefer this year's range as they are a little less bulkier then the previous year. Another fave is the Sports chiller drink bottle which doesn't produce condensation so doesn't soak everything in the bag. It also keeps water cooler for 2.5 times longer!
Various ranges of SMASH are stocked at major retailers such as Woolworths, Coles, Office works and BIG W. But please note, ranges vary at each store. You can check the whole range HERE!
Fun fact: Did you also know that you can freeze a dish sponge and pop into a zip lock bag and pop in next to the lunch boxes to help keep it cold? Otherwise SMASH have The FRIDGE ultimate cooler range which keeps food contents cool for up to 7 hours! Alternatively grab one of their ice bricks/packs!
And lastly, the twins' favourite product would have to be the glow in the dark drink bottles for bed time!
Some top tips to get organised before School:
- Grab your school shoes before last minute rush and you are left with limited choice
- Grab a planner, for the wall or desk where all activities, special school days etc... can be added in for the whole family to see. Always plan at least a week ahead.
- Pre bake some morning tea goodies and pop in the freezer
- Label EVERYTHING!
- If it's your first time/day why not do a practice run?
- Create a drop zone/organisation station for bags and shoes
- Create a good routine so everyone knows what to do and expect each morning
- Ensure you have your supply list and uniform
- Prepare for first day photos with a downloaded printable or made sign. You can grab some from Shartruese.
- Start meal planning or prepping if you don't already! (blog coming soon)
Other FAVE back to school goodies:
- Name labels for drink bottles and containers. I use TINY ME
- Bag tags I just use an initial key chain
- For clothes and bag labelling a stamp from FRAME THIS.
- You can always add something cute like the lunch notes from SPROUT & SPARROW also.
By using the range of SMASH you are reducing packaging as part of the nude food mover program and incentive.
All SMASH products are BPA free and are safe to use.
Check out the FULL SMASH back-to-school catalogue HERE
Before I go, one last tip- have you ever thought what you might do with old lunch boxes and drink bottles? Up cycle them of course!
Here are a few ideas!
- Use to store craft items/buttons
- Use for painting tubs for kids
- Plant seedlings - just drill a few little holes for drainage
- And don't forget you can give them a quick coat of spray paint to create some fun storage options!
This has been Collaboration project with @Smashenterprises. All photography and content creation related to this project are my own, and I only endorse brands and products I love to work with. I work with SMASH on regular campaigns as an ambassador of the brand. I will always put the products supplied to me to review to test, I will share my results, favourite features and key benefits, as well as any cons.
Until next time,
Big Love Ange x