5 tips for starting the school year off right

Kiddo starting school for the first time this year? Make this the best school year ever with these simple tips.

 

  1. The Lunch Gear

Many TDSB schools are eco-school certified and committed to zero waste lunches. That means if you’re sending lunches and snacks to school in disposable packaging, you can expect garbage, recyclables and compost to boomerang back home.

New lunch gear makes it easier than ever to pack exciting foods your kids will actually eat while cutting down on packaging waste. Our family is partial to the bento style lunch boxes where we can divide foods up. It’s nice to keep the wet away from the crispy, while also ensuring green foods never touch red, obvi.

James, our in-house butcher and Red Seal Chef, packs his kids’ gorgeous charcuterie platters with these lunch kits. While my beigetarians enjoy yogurt with fruit for dipping and hummus with crackers and veggies for dipping in theirs. Boring, but nutricious! 

  1. Practice Makes Perfect

If you’ve got youngins just starting kindie or grade one, now’s the perfect time to get those water bottles, bento boxes, lunch bags and containers. Lunch hour’s bedlam. Truly, it’s unbridled chaos. Make sure your kids are pros at twisting open that thermos, inserting that straw, and opening and resealing that container. They may not have help when they need it (and ensuring they know how to pack up the leftovers, means less of a leaky mess for you when it comes home).

  1. Allergy Safe

The Sweet Potato Toronto - look for this logo when looking for certified peanut free foods for schoolsAll TDSB schools are nut-free zones. So as quintessential as PB and J are, they should be reserved for after school and weekends. In fact, if a classmate’s allergy is severe enough, families may be instructed to wash hands and brush teeth if they absolutely must consume nuts in the morning so as to best limit possible exposure in class. Some classrooms will have to ban other ingredients too for the safety of their students. Look for a notice at the beginning of the year from your budding scholar’s teacher. Everyone deserves to feel safe at school. 

  1. Handwashing

The Sweet Potato Toronto - handwashing social story for kindergarteners

The start of the school year, very much means the start of cold and flu season. If this is your youngin’s first year at school, be prepared for the kindergarten plague. Our eldest kiddo’s first year, we were sick ALL. YEAR. LONG. To limit the spread of germs now’s a really good time to brush up on good handwashing skills (15 seconds, lots of suds, get between fingers and don’t forget the nail beds.). My kindie aged kids and I sing the ABCs as we wash up. And tucking a travel-sized hand sanitizer into backpacks is a good idea too.

  1. Setting an intention before bed

Not every student is excited for September. Even those A-achieving social butterflies, get butterflies at the thought of school a new school year. Simple mindfulness activities before bed can help tame jitters and make the next morning a teensy bit easier. And it’s never too early to empower kids with the understanding that they can control their inner monologue.

6. The Eye Test!

The Sweet Potato Toronto - get your kids eyes tested before back to school. It's OHIP covered

Aaaaand, a bonus tip? Get kiddo’s eyes checked before the school year! Annual eye exams for kids are OHIP covered, and if your kindie-aged kiddo needs specs, there’s a free program for that too!

You’ve got this kiddo! You too, parentals!

Looking for more Back-to-School ideas? Check out these posts!

School Lunches Around the World

Quick After-School  Snacks to Keep the Hangries at Bay

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