Sun Basket's Justine Kelly Shares her Strategies for a Smooth Start to the School Year
The start of the new school year is here and Chef Justine is getting back into a routine with her daughter, Stella. Here are her tips for meal planning, back-to-school shopping, and enjoying the last few days of summer.
- Get back on schedule
About two weeks before the first day of school I start gradually shifting from our summer sleep schedule to an earlier bedtime. I make sure that Stella gets to bed about 15 minutes earlier every night, so that when that day comes, she’s well-rested and ready for the early start time.
- Inventory our lunch supplies
In preparation for getting back into the habit of making lunch every morning, I do an inventory of all my plastic to-go containers. I make sure I have matching lids for every piece, toss anything that’s cracked, and upgrade our supplies as necessary.
- Make weekly meal plans
The weekend before school begins, Stella and I sit down and make a plan for all her lunches for the week. I know from experience that she’s more likely to eat a lunch that she has a say in making. We go shopping together, too, so she can pick out the kind of sandwich bread she likes, and her favorite fruits and vegetables. This year, we’re going to do the same thing for dinner, too. Planning, shopping, and cooking together are some of the ways we stay connected as our schedules get busier.
- Clean out the closet
Stella and I save an afternoon for sorting through her clothes. We find the ones that no longer fit and donate them, then we make a budget and go shopping for anything new that she needs.
- Squeeze the last bit of fun out of summer
I always try to make sure we have a little extra fun planned in the last few weeks before we get back to our routine. I may sneak out of work to pick Stella up early from camp so we have time for a long hike with the dog. Another night I’ll plan a picnic with my sister and nieces. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, we just like to have some time to spend together.