Modern Australian


Tips for easing your family into back to school mode and routine

  • Written by Candice Meisels


Leading Experts share their tips for planning dinner and school lunch. Plus the all important after school routine!

Parents around Australia are officially dancing. Most schools have gone back and Term 1 of 2018 is officially underway.

Here are Tips from leading experts for you to pick and choose from to help parents get organised this School Year.

Plan Dinners and School Lunch:



Meal Planning Experts, Mums and Chef, Jen Petrovic and Gaby Chapman, created Plan Buy Cook, to help parents:

Meal Plan to save up to $2500 per year for a family of four. Meal Plan to ensure that you only shop once per week. This saves time and money.

By meal planning you avoid food waste from purchasing too much food or the wrong items. Eat more healthy and varied meals. No last minute meals or grabbing less healthy, quick options or take away.

Gaby and Jen's Tips for preparing the family dinner and school/work lunches:

  1. Plan your meals around your busy nights and less busy nights.  Use a tool like PlanBuyCook’s iPhone and iPad app [appstore.com/planbuycook] to make it easy.
  2. Do one big shop so you have all the food you need for the week in the house.
  3. Get a great start to the day with a nutritious, filling breakfast.
  4. Incorporate a few serves of vegetables into the lunchbox.
  5. Bake some lunchbox fillers in bulk and freeze them. Muffins, muesli bars and savoury scrolls work well.
  6. Cook freezable meals and double the portions to store extra meals for busy nights down the track.
  7. Marinate some meat when you get home from shopping rather than freezing it straight away.


After school routine to get your child back into the swing of things after the holidays.


 
“Travel and holiday hangover” can be avoided by returning to a structured routine as soon as possible. Cheryl Fingleson, The Sleep Coach, shares her steps for a stress-free bedtime routine.
 
Ensure that the step-by-step routine is consistent. Children need to know what is coming next.
 
Draw a visual routine guide or put up a written chart for kids that can read.
 
Afternoon Tea
 
Outdoor Play releases Melatonin
Encourage outside play so that kids can get some natural melatonin and get rid of that last bit of energy.
 
Homework if your child is at school.
 
No TV or screens 30-60 minutes before bed time.
If you want your child to watch TV or the iPad, a good time is before dinner (after they play outside) or between dinner and bath time

Dinner. Younger children should eat between 5pm and 5:30pm if possible. Older children and kids being collected later from daycare can eat around 6:30pm.
 
Bath or Shower
 
Quiet Play- puzzles, quiet games, drawing, colouring book 

Brush Teeth, Drink Water and go to the toilet before going into the bedroom for bed time. Anything that can be requested at bed time needs to be done before entering the bedroom.
 
Go into the bedroom and read ONE bed time story.

Kiss goodnight. Lights out.


A night light is fine as long as it is dull.

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