Thanks to Jif® for sponsoring this post. I love working with brands like Jif® that help organize my life and get my kids & I back into the back-to-school schedule. #peanutbutterhappy
Tips for Back to School Snacks & Apple Sandwiches After a long summer break, it can be hard to get back into the school grove. Working out the crazy schedule of all my kids’ school drop-offs & pick-ups, soccer for Cannon, dance for Jojo, basketball for Jersey and football for Aiden & Madden makes for crazy times. Throw in school lunches, snacks, remembering soccer cleats, clean jerseys, game schedules and rehearsal times, and it becomes a bit more to manage.
While school is a couple of weeks away, we have started the back to school orchestra and football camps. So I feel like we are starting to get back to a semi-normal schedule but that means we are having to make some adjustments. Mainly to our mealtime and snacks. During the summer we have no set routine some times eating dinner as early as 4:30 PM or like last night as late at 8 PM. But with heading back to school, the laid back schedule won’t work.
After football, the boys are starving and I want them to have a little something to munch on without ruining their dinner. Madden my son, loves green apples but was sick of just eating an apple. So to jazz it up we made some apple sandwiches using Jif® flavored spreads, Madden loves the Jif® Cinnamon Spread, it’s his favorite. It was nice to have a $1.00 off coupon from Ibotta. I had some almond slivers, mini chocolate chips and some coconut on the side for them to add to their “sandwich”. Of course, Madden opted for the chocolate chips. I made little open-faced sandwiches for my girls resembling a flower. There are so many things you can do to make an easy and quick snack using these Jif® spreads, and they go well on toast, crackers, and even other fruits and veggies. So easy for a quick snack.
So while we have an easy to go to snack now that everyone loves and we can even customize them to make it their own. I wanted to also share some of my tips for back to school snacks. While these are simple tips, they are ones I’ve found simplify my life and those of my kids as well. These tips are not just to make your life easier, but also help the kiddos with their wellness and easing them into the new routine.
I’d love to hear some of your tips and ways that you get your family back into the school groove, so be sure to share those in the comments below.
Looking forward to these last few weeks of summer, a new school year of organized chaos and watching my kids grow and create new memories.
PREPPING & PACKING SNACKS TIPS:
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t overthink snacks. Keep it to a few simple ingredients or options. You don’t need to have 15 items to let them choose from. Have 3-4 items like fruit, snack bar, string cheese and/or nuts to have them select what they want to eat. This helps with clean-up & prep work. In addition, I have found that myself and the kids make better choices when it comes to snacking.
2. KEEP FRUITS & VEGGIES ON THE COUNTER. Keep healthy fruits and veggies on the counter. Visibly accessible varieties of fruits and veggies are easy go-to’s for the kids. When kids are in a hurry, they’ll grab something that’s there. And tell them the snacks they can have are the ones that are on the counter and those are what they have to choose from. They still get a choice and are responsible with the options you give them.
3. STOCK THE PANTRY THE WEEK BEFORE. Stock the pantry the week before with some of their favorite snacks that are easy to grab and go. Here are some of our favorite options: apples & peanut butter, crackers and string cheese, pretzels and Jif® Cinnamon Spread (my son Madden’s favorite). I will even go as far as having little containers ready to go which helps with portion control too. Fill them on Sunday night, so when you are busy and kids are too, you still have something to grab.
4. WATER BOTTLE IN THE FRIDGE. Have cold water bottles in the fridge with each kid’s name on them. We found that in doing this, the kids drank substantially more water. We also found less crankiness. Plus, this also prevents 100 cups from being loaded in the dishwasher that night.
5. ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY BOX. Have an organized box of easy snacks in the pantry. I use our “basket” for the kids to choose their snack from after school. Here is a great example of just one of the snack baskets in our pantry. It’s filled with a variety of Jif® Bars, there is a debate among my kids which is the best. Which one would you prefer?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.