This post has been sponsored by Box Tops for Education™. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We’ve been soaking up every ounce of summer around here, but I can’t help but start to think about back to school mode! This year I’ll have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, and a pre-schooler and everyone is excited about it! I’ve learned through the years that my kids do best when I’ve set them up to succeed by talking about what to expect at school and practicing the little non-academic skills they’ll use every day. And let’s be real, I do better too knowing my kids know how to open their lunch boxes and zip up their coats without me there to help! It may seem simple, but little containers and a bento lunch box can be tricky for a new kindergartner to navigate.
A few weeks before school starts I like to transition my kids into a school sleep schedule so that the first week back isn’t torture for everyone! During the summer our schedule gets a bit lax with eating lunch and my kids tend to want to snack and graze all day. So as preparation for school I have my kids practice assembling their lunch boxes with yummy food and snacks…and we practice eating too! My kids actually love doing this each year and it helps get them excited for school to start!
Every year I shop for our school lunch and snack supplies at my local Meijer store. I love buying products that help earn cash for our school with the Box Tops for Education™ program! For over 25 years, Box Tops has given families an easy way to earn cash for their school with products they already buy. You simply scan your store receipt with the Box Tops app and instantly add cash to your school’s earnings online.
You can earn 30 Bonus Box Tops at Meijer when you buy any 5 participating General Mills products starting on 8/8/21. Purchase by 9/4/21. Limit 5 claims per receipt. This offer excludes Yoplait Single Serve cups, Nestle, Paper Mate and Lysol products. Offer valid while supplies last.
At Meijer I picked up some of my kid’s favorites: Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Chewy Bars, Annie’s Mac & Cheese, and Honey Nut Cheerios. My kids love putting these foods in their lunch boxes! Plus their schools benefit from the Box Tops for Education™ program! Right now you can unlock a chance to win big rewards for your school! Scan the QR code on specially marked participating Box Tops products, then enter the locker combo found on the package for a chance to win prizes. PLUS, individuals can win $10,000 and participating schools can win $10,000 worth of Box Tops!
1. Look for specially marked Unlock Brighter Futures packages of Box Tops participating products at Meijer.
2. Scan the QR code on pack and enter the locker combo in the Box Tops app for a chance to win.
3. Unlock a chance at rewards for you or your school.
4. Scan your qualifying grocery receipt in the Box Tops app to earn even more!
All the details and information about Unlock Brighter Futures Box Tops account can be found here.
I like to scan my receipt as soon as I get home so that I don’t forget to earn with Box Tops! Using the app is a super easy way for me to help our school earn extra money. If you shop online for your groceries you can still earn Box Tops! Check out the app for all the details on how to submit your online receipt.
NO PURCH. NEC. Void where prohibited. Open only to legal res. of 50 US/DC, 18+ only. Must be a BTFE member with App installed to claim a prize or enter the Sweepstakes. Begins 5/17/21 and ends 11/30/21. For Rules, visit btfe.com/unlock.
I’ve learned that my kids are more likely to actually eat their lunch if they are involved in packing it! I chop up some fruit and usually lay out several options and let them pick and choose what they would like to pack. They often surprise me with the things they are willing to try (and actually eat!) when they pack their lunches themselves. That’s how I discovered Hudson actually really likes mini bell peppers. Who knew?
Belle doesn’t need a lunch for school yet but you better watch out if you don’t include her in the lunch making fun too!
She was all about snacking on her favorite Honey Nut Cheerios while we practice packing lunches. She’s going to miss her big brother and sister while they are at school!
I always have my kids (no matter how old there are) practice opening and closing their bento lunch boxes and containers. I actually had to buy Hudson a different brand of lunch box right before he started kindergarten because the one I had purchased was just too hard for him to open and close. I’m SO glad we discovered that before starting school.
My kids LOVE Annie’s Mac & Cheese and especially love putting some in a thermos for their lunch. I’ve learned over the years that no matter how much we practice and prep, my kids will not eat a ton of food at lunchtime at school. They are just so excited to be eating with friends and in a fun and new environment that they get distracted and forget to eat. So don’t be discouraged if your kids are the same! I promise you it will get better!
I always prepare a snack for them to have as soon as they get home from school because they are usually starving those first few weeks! They love the Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Chewy Bars as a special snack. And I love that all of our favorite products participate in the Box Tops program!
Besides practicing opening and closing lunch boxes, I also make sure my kids know how to zip up their coats, put on their gloves, fasten their pants, put on their shoes, and open and close all of the parts of their backpacks. I’m sure it’s hard to be a kindergarten teacher with 20 kids all needing some kind of assistance! Every year our teacher sends a welcome letter and the number one thing they request kids practice are these skills….you would have thought it would be letter recognition or something like that. But nope! It’s all these little things that really make a difference and help a teacher’s day run smoothly. Plus it eases a first time school mom’s mind too! Even though my kids are going into 3rd and 1st grade, they still need practice with some of these things! (Oh, and while I’m at it, make sure you practice having your kids close the door to the bathroom when they use it AND flush. Trust me on this one!)
How are you getting ready for back to school? I’d love for you to share your tips and hacks with me! While you are shopping for school lunches and snacks, be sure to keep an eye out for products labeled with the Box Tops for Education label so that you too can earn money for your school!