It’s coming up to that time of year again… parents, cue the conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it can be a huge relief, as we all know how hard it can be to keep kids entertained throughout the long summer days. On the other hand, back-to-school can be a stressful time, with so much to do and get all at once. There is a lot involved in getting the kids ready to go back: new clothes, new books, new schoolbags: the list is endless. Back-to-school can create a financial burden for parents; particularly those on a low income. But getting ready for it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some useful tips for parents to show you how to get ready for back-to-school without breaking the bank.
Part of getting ready for back-to-school is to decide what to do about school lunches. Packing lunches doesn’t have to be stressful, and it will give you peace of mind about your kid’s diet. Diet and your child’s focus are intricately connected. If you have a child who seems distracted easily, and you can improve their level of focus and concentration simply by modifying their diet. You don’t have to stick to the boring formula of a packed lunch that includes a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a piece of fruit either. There are healthy recipes for your kids that are fun too.
Here are some simple changes you can make to their daily meal schedule to improve their concentration levels:
Eggs for Breakfast
Eggs are an excellent choice for a kid’s breakfast as they are highly nutritious. Have you been sitting your family down at the breakfast table and serving sugary cereals or pancakes drizzled with syrup? Eggs are a much better substitute, and is a solution that definitely won’t break the bank. If you want to ensure your child has a really filling meal, why not make them boiled egg and toast? The toast should be whole grain if possible. This meal combination is a hearty way to start the day that will ensure your kid is the one in the class putting their hand up to answer every question!
Boost Their Iron Levels
The inability to sustain attention is thought to be an early sign of iron deficiency. Therefore, it’s important that you monitor your child’s diet carefully and make sure they’re getting enough iron. Foods that are rich in iron include red meat, pork, poultry, some types of seafood, beans, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, dried fruit, peas, and cereals, breads and pastas. When you buy cereal, bread, or pasta, always examine the nutritional labeling as many of these products are fortified with iron.
There is one important thing you need to remember about iron, however: there are two types of dietary iron. Dietary iron can be either ‘heme’ or ‘nonheme’ iron. Heme iron is absorbed more easily into our bodies, so this is the best type of iron to include in the diet. The best sources of heme iron are in meats, while the vegetables and starches usually contain nonheme iron. There is nothing wrong with nonheme iron; you just have to eat a lot more of it for the body to get what it needs.
Containers are Key
What your kid eats is important, but for environmentally conscious parents who also worry about the chemicals used in standard lunchboxes, containers are key. Stainless steel dishes or BPA-Free containers are much better choices for those we love. There are a number of modern dishware choices for children that are safer and more environmentally friendly than plastics.
Eco-friendly lunchboxes are made of materials that don’t have any BPA. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this chemical (formally known as bisphenol A) because it isn’t completely stable. When something is made with BPA, not all of it is used up in the chemical process. This means that leftover BPA is often found in the products made to use it. Who wants their kids eating industrial plastic for lunch? Thankfully, there are eco-friendly alternatives including bento boxes and compartment plates. For any vigilant parent, keeping our kids safe from danger is a top priority. Thus, while we’re making sure their school lunch is nutritious, it’s in our best interest to choose the safest containers too.
DIY School Supplies
Instead of breaking the bank on commercial school supplies, you can always make them yourself! This is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child and nurture their creativity at the same time. The tutorials are even easy enough for them to make them without your supervision for those days when you’re busy doing other things around the house. Personalized notebooks, unique pens, and even customized backpacks will make the back-to-school routine less of a financial burden. Plus, no doubt your teen can’t wait to go back to school so they can show off their funky supplies to their friends. Here are some ideas for DIY school supplies:
DIY Pencil Case
All you need to make your own pencil case is a canvas pouch and some sharpies. You simply start off with a plain canvas pouch and decorate it to your own taste. This means that your child will be able to have a pencil case they truly love that they designed themselves. Plus, craft projects are always fun, and are a great way of keeping your kids entertained.
Kids love to have the most unique backpack for going back-to-school. Making your own backpack is incredibly easy: all you need is a plain backpack, preferably white. Keep an eye out at your local thrift stores or dollar stores for one, and you’ll snatch one up for only a couple of dollars. Then, all you do is spray the plain bag with a light mist of water and get to work on it using fabric markers. The mist of water helps to dissolve the fabric markers in a way that will achieve a really cool watercolor effect.
For those of you who thought getting ready for back-to-school was an incredibly expensive and stressful time, these ideas are sure to save you a lot of financial and emotional headaches!