This post is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. 

After a gloriously undisciplined summer, we have had to make massive changes in the family routine upon returning to school. The kids have had a big adjustment from those lazy August mornings of reading in bed and wandering down the stairs for a mid-morning meal. Even their June and July swim team morning practice time was a full two hours later than they now need to get up for school. 

We all are invigorated by the back to school season, but everyone is exhausted.

Thankfully my kids and I have adapted some easy, healthy routines to make the transition easier. Here are the little changes we have made since starting school that have had big results in our attitudes and energy levels.

Breakfast smoothies with protein powder: My kids crave a sweet breakfast, but sugary cereals and frozen waffles will not sustain them until lunch period. Cool fruit and dairy smoothies satisfy their sweet teeth and the addition of protein powder keeps them fortified and from getting hungry. Homemade egg and whole grain English muffin sandwiches also fit the fill.  also make sure that the school mid-morning snack I pack them to eat at school also contains protein.

Man the homework stations right after getting home: This summer my husband and I established new homework stations for both third-grader Eve and fifth-grader Charlie (I’ll be sharing more on their placement and creation soon). As soon as the kids arrive home from school or their after school activity, we have a small healthy snack, chat a bit about the day, and then the big kids man their stations. They finish all assignments during this time, and I make sure to not schedule any conference calls or personal business during this time so that I am available to assist as needed.

Backpack inventory: After the kids complete their homework, they bring it to me and we go over their backpack inventory for the following day. Do they need to bring gym shoes, an instrument, signed notes, classroom supplies? Have they handed over to Mom all of the papers from their teachers? Do I need to sign their daily planner? I love to get all of this out of the way in the afternoons while the kids’ minds are still focused on school, before we make the next transition of the day to sports and dance practices. The loaded backpacks are placed in the coat closet for easy access when we pack lunches together later.

The 3 B’s: Bath, books, bed before 9: Last week I detailed our family formula for adequate and quality sleep. The simple adhering to this nightly rhythm and timing ensures our kids are bright-eyed the next day.

Additionally, back to school season can be PRICEY, so I have been printing coupons for all of the healthy personal care items my kids need for the year. The Johnson and Johnson Healthy Essentials site has more than $40 in savings on products my family uses everyday. Band-Aids, Johnson’s No More Tangles Shampoo and Conditioner and Aveeno lotion for eczema-prone skin are family favorites that I use the Johnson’s $1 and $2 coupons. If you are more organized than me, you can even time your use of them on days your grocery store doubles manufacturers’ coupons.

What are YOUR best back to school tips? 

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