School is back in session! Whether you're dancing with joy or secretly dreading it (or a little of both), your kid's school routine is about to rule the day. Adjusting from summer to school is never easy; bustling mornings of making breakfasts and packing lunches flow right into driving around to soccer practice and trying to conjure up a somewhat healthy dinner. However, your kitchen can be your secret weapon to take on the school week. Tackle these tasks to get your kitchen back-to-school ready.
Purge The Refrigerator & Pantry
Summer had its moments of leisure of not having to rush to get dinner ready and meal-planning could take a back seat. But now that it's back-to-school season, it's time to get things in order, starting with taking stock of your inventory. As you go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry, take out each item and lay it out on the countertop so you can take note of what you have on hand and make a grocery list of what you still need.
Stock Up on Kitchen Staples
Now that you know what you have on hand, it's time to shop! When writing out your list, consider the foods that will simplify your routine throughout the day. For breakfast, choose healthy foods that are simple to make, such as instant oatmeal, nutritious cereals, and breakfast bars for those mornings when you're running late. School lunches can be fun, healthy, and simple enough that even your child can toss them together when you include easy-to-grab items like apples, granola bars, and cheese sticks. Weeknight dinners are sometimes rushed or you may not always have the energy to prepare a complicated meal so be sure to snag those dinner staples that reduce meal prep, such as frozen veggies or pre-made foods for side dishes.
Dedicate Spaces For Kid Items
Keep the kitchen flow efficient by creating dedicated spaces for your kid's stuff. Dedicate a cupboard area for lunch boxes and water bottles so you're not searching the entire house, half-asleep in the early dawn. This also opens the opportunity for your kids to empty their lunch boxes each day so discarded foods aren't left in their backpacks. You can also dedicate specific areas in the pantry and fridge for your kid's breakfast foods, school lunches, and afternoon snacks. By offering these dedicated spaces, your kids won't be getting into your things, while also allowing practicing some independence.
Set Up A Brewing Station
The mornings before school can quickly become hectic and it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself as well. Sometimes this can be as simple as making sure you start the day right with your favorite coffee or tea (and ideally a few minutes to yourself to welcome the day). Dedicate a space in the kitchen for a brewing station that has your favorite teas, fresh ground coffee, coffee press or maker, and a beloved mug to enjoy it from. Being mindful with a few moments each morning can relieve stress and help you confidently tackle the day.
Adjusting back to the school routine can be difficult for kids and parents alike, so be sure to give yourselves a little grace. Preparing your kitchen for the days ahead can make this adjustment much easier to set your family up for success. What kitchen tips have you found that simplify the back-to-school routine? Share in the comments!