Today is National Back to School Prep Day and while some of our friends in the south are already back in school, it’s never too late to get organized and set yourself up for easier weeks ahead and smoother snack and meal prep with a few easy tricks.
- Buy pantry staples in bulk. Head to your favorite market or warehouse store and buy shelf-stable items like spices, sugar, honey, flour, oats, cereals, crackers, and similar things in large quantities. You can store them in resealable, clear containers so you always know what you have on hand. Not only will you save time not constantly running to the grocery store, but it will be easier to make recipes at home with so many pantry items ready to be added to your delicious dishes.
- Keep your family’s favorite snacks on hand. Do a weekly inventory of snacks to be sure you have time to stock up on things before school starts each Monday. Ensure your favorite flavors of OMG! Pretzels are always handy for snack time; you can order them online any time!
- Menu plan. Yes, it takes some time up front, but saves you a lot of time each day. We recommend planning 4 meals for the weeknights and then keeping some freezer staples on hand to throw a quick meal together on really busy evenings. This also prevents you from wasting food when the inevitable last-minute thing – traffic, late work meeting, too much homework – pops up! There are even handy, free templates online to help you get started.
- Make Bento boxes your best friend. For kids and adults, these meal containers are a lifesaver! You can pack them a few days in advance, they allow for a ton of flexibility, help you control portions and ensure a healthy mix of food groups. For instance, you can pack a sandwich, fruit, carrot sticks and dip in one and hummus, mini pita breads, sliced cucumbers and peppers, and almonds in another. Our sourdough pretzels are bite size and perfect for using in Bento boxes. Another great thing is that the kids can help pack their own boxes and take ownership of helping prep for the week.
While we all love summer, getting back to school brings routines, new friends and lots of growth and learning. We hope these tips will help you feel more prepared for the school year ahead. Happy National Back to School Prep Day!