School’s Back in Session: Here’s How to Make Your Mornings Run Smoothly

Say goodbye to leisurely summer mornings and hello to a.m. chaos.

Getting kids out the door and into their desks before the school bell rings can be a challenge. Here’s how to feed them a healthy breakfast, simplify your routine and send them off without a hitch.

  • Do as much as possible the night before. Pick out clothes, sign permission slips, check homework, put backpacks by the door (or even in the car) and pack lunches.
  • If you can spare one of your fridge’s crisper drawers, dedicate it to breakfast and lunch items you can grab and go. On Sunday, divvy up things like carrot sticks or homemade trail mix into enough plastic bags to last through the week.
  • Never skip breakfast! Fortunately, it’s possible to keep breakfast simple and healthy. For example, Yoplait Frozen Smoothie has a full serving of fruit and all you have to do is add milk and blend. If you pour milk into single serving cups the night before, even your smaller children may be able to help themselves to a bowl of cereal without wielding a big gallon container.
  • Make a big batch of pancakes or waffles on the weekend, then freeze what’s left for reheating during the week. A dollop of jam in a rolled up pancake or a smear of peanut butter on a waffle can be a quick alternative to sitting down with syrup and butter.
  • Keep granola bars in your glove box for those days when you oversleep or just can’t make time for a sit-down breakfast. Also, be sure to keep fruit on hand—a banana or a bunch of grapes are good grab-and-go options, as well.
  • Keep a large wall calendar in a heavily trafficked area like the kitchen or entryway. Along with appointments, include a “to bring” list for each day. For kids it could include things like soccer gear or library books and for mom and dad it may be the grocery list and bank deposit.
  • Or hang a corkboard or whiteboard on the wall for each child. Post their schedules, checklists, and have hooks underneath for backpacks.
  • Give kids options, rather than asking open-ended questions. Green shirt or Blue Shirt? Cereal or frozen waffles? Ideally, this will lead to quick decision-making and less tantrums.

One more tip to beat the bell: Make sure your cell phone, car clock, watch or whatever you use is synced with the clocks and bells at school. If you’re like most parents, it can come down to the minute and if your watch is two minutes behind, your child can end up with a tardy slip.

Discover more back to school tips and guides right here: