Healthy & Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Tips


Editor's Note: Whether school has started or still looms in the future, these ideas can help you and your kids get and stay organized and be kind to your own health and the environment.

We want our children to have the healthiest start possible by providing them with healthy lunches and safe school supplies. We don’t want our children to encounter harmful chemicals every day. Here are some tips to assure you give yourself and your children the best possible start to the new school year.

Be organized

Prepare lunches, backpacks and clothes the night before so you don’t need to rush in the morning. This has been a huge help for me since going back teaching. During the school year, I leave the house well before the kids do, so having those things already done is a huge stress reducer for me.

Start with a healthy breakfast 

The best thing you can do for your kids is give them a healthy breakfast before school. We might not always have time to make a homemade breakfast during the week, so take time on the weekends. Make big batches of pancakes, waffles or French toast using this time-saving homemade mix so you can whip them up in a snap. Oatmeal is another healthy option you can prepare the night before. Check out this baked oatmeal or try  crock pot oats. You will never make traditional oatmeal again after trying these recipes. 

Read labels 

If you don’t have time to make everything homemade, make sure you read the labels so the foods you purchase don’t have added sugars, artificial ingredients or high fructose corn syrup. Here is a great check list that will help you keep everything straight when shopping.

Invest in reusable lunch containers and safe school supplies

Pack lunches in a thermal lunchbox and foods in reusable containers such as ECOlunchbox. Not only is the lunch fresher, but the products are environmentally friendly.

Healthy Child Healthy World just published a fantastic Back to School Kit that provides tips on which common school materials have the most toxins and how we can take practical steps to reduce the risks for our children.

Make snacks

By making healthy snacks such as fruit leather, muffins or granola bars for your kids you can save a ton of money and give your child the healthiest foods possible. I love to make big batches and freeze them.

Get the kids involved 

If you have a picky eater, don’t stress. Take your child with you to the grocery store and work together on picking out healthy choices that you both can agree on. If your children are old enough, they can even help pack their lunches. Here are some fun lunch ideas that the kiddos can make themselves. 

Use leftovers 

You don't need to pack something new every day. Use those leftovers in the fridge from last night’s dinner. If you send a food that needs to be hot, be sure to pack it in an insulated container.

Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy Organic.


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