As the kids head back to school for the new September term (and another school year), we look at some great life hacks to make your life that little bit easier as a parent.
Keep things cool with pineapple
Cut up pineapple into strips around 2cm wide and 10cm long. Then put in the freezer the night before and use the strips as a cool block to keep the rest of the packed lunch fresh. The kids will also love have the icy pineapple as a mid-morning healthy snack.
Don't just cut off crusts
If your children complain about crusts and use this as an excuse not to eat their sandwiches you need to up your game. Use a cookie cutter to produce spaceship sarnies – you can also use most of the slice and use the remainder for breadcrumbs.
Prepare like a military commander
Plan the pack lunches the week before – not only will you save time but you'll also save some cash by basing it around what’s on offer. Then make up a batch of sandwiches the weekend before, place in the freezer and you're set to go.
Pass over the decision-making
Kids are more likely to eat something if they've chosen it themselves. Put the packed lunch goodies (like raisin packs, granola bars etc) into one bag and each day they can select one or two items to take that day. This also allows them to see what they've got for the whole week so when their favourite has gone, it really has gone.
Keep apples brown
Brown apples aren't appealing to adults, let alone children. Keep it fresh in the lunch box by putting the apple back together after slicing and using an elastic band to hold it together.
Before/After School Routine
Use photos to keep things tidy
If you're always running late due to beds not being made or a 10-minute hunt for shoes, try taking photos of the bedroom & hallway when it's tidy. Each morning children can instantly compare the photo to how it looks that day so they know what you expect before leaving the house. This will take some time so you’ll need patience to get this right!
The essentials pot
Get everyone in the household to place everything they need for the next day (keys, wallets, school passes etc) into an ice-cream tub. This will help avoid the lost-keys-massive-house-hunt scenarios, as well as helping your kids to get organized from a young age.
The essentials cupboard
Take the essentials pot one step further if you have the space and make sure everything needed for the following day is put into a cupboard by the door. This should include backpacks, PE kits and shoes. Each morning you then just have to grab the lunch and there's no last minute dash trying to put everything together.