Back to school! Are you ready?

By: Katie Stumbo B.S. in Biology with a focus in Pre-PT, CPT, PES
I don't know about you but this summer seemed short and long all at the same time. The moments I got with my kiddos were priceless, yet certain things just didn't get done for months. I stopped long enough this weekend to be thoroughly disgusted at what my house looks like. How did it get that way? Between my busy work schedule, the kid's swim team and making play time with the girls a priority I let the dusting go undone, the floors looked like something out of a horror movie and I won't even talk about the kid's bathroom. There will be time for that in the near future! Lets all take a moment to celebrate wonderful memories made, countless snuggles, thousands of rounds of war, slap jack, and speed. Lets celebrate the freedom we as parents will get once our precious kiddos are back in school, we have done it! NOW we have a whole new set of priorities. It is August, a new school year, a new season. For the parents out there this means back to school shopping, meeting the teacher, first day of school jitters, back to school lunches and snacks to keep your kids fueled for their day at school. There can be a constant struggle to grocery shop, prepare and nourish our kids for a whole day into what can fit in one small lunch box. My advice this year hasn’t changed but a refresher is always a good idea. Keep it simple, make it tasty, leftovers are fantastic and feed all family members the same thing! My favorite lunches to pack my kids for lunch is leftovers from the night before, this always works for my husband’s lunches too by the way! In general the dinners I serve my family have a very paleo diet theme to them. I may add rice or quinoa for my husband and kids on occasion. Utilizing leftovers saves me time, money, and is more nutritious than school bought lunches. For starters the school lunches at my kid’s school are pre-ordered fast foods such as pizza, chicken sandwiches, sugar laden BBQ and juice smoothies. I will not bore you by going into detail about the nutritional facts of the restaurants' foods and the choices they have for our kids. With most purchased school lunches you are looking at compromised nutrition, then add the cost of the meal into the equation, having only done it once I don’t have the exact cost for each lunch. However, I paid over $8 for lunch for my daughter. $8 dollars a day for a month comes out to $160 if you only have on child, and I have 2. Once of my kid’s favorite school lunches is my paleo meat loaf, with a side a veggies and something to dip them in. Below you will find the recipe to my meat loaf and a link to my paleo ranch dressing. For less than $1 a portion I am feeding my kids nutritionally dense foods that keep them full and fueled all day long! Healthy does not have to be costly or time consuming, it is all about where you put your priorities. If your priority is saving as much as possible then it will be more labor intensive, if your priority is nutrition yet you are short on time there are tons of great pre-made options at stores like Costco and Sprouts that will still save you money compared to school lunches. For a list of my favorite recipes head over to my Facebook page. All of the recipes are kid friendly and husband approved. Simplicity is the only way I know how to do things. Kid's snacks do not have to be extravagant or shaped like animals to be delicious and enjoyed by your kids (although if you have the time GO for it!!). Instead reach for all the most colorful fruits and veggies. We live in a beautiful time filled with Costco, organic produce, Amazon subscribe and save, primal treats, Sprouts, the growing selection of foods without cheap fillers, pesticides and food coloring. We have all these wonderful things at our finger tips we just have to make the right choices! Here is a link to a video I did about snacks for kiddos. Cheers Moms and Dads you made it through the summer, now it’s time to catch up on your life, health, house , work, etc. You don’t want to spend all your new found time working on school lunches and snacks. Remember, smarter not harder! I will be starting a series of videos to help you navigate grocery stores and avoid “healthy” foods that are deceptively unhealthy. Make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram to catch these great videos! Check in tomorrow at 1:15 pm as I do a facebook live with my good friend Rebekah Floyd of Rebekah Floyd Style , about ways we will be taking better care of ourselves now that school is back in session! Still confused, overwhelmed the massive selection of food at the grocery store and what to buy? I am offering guided shopping trips to the first 5 people who schedule. Call me at 480-200-4632 to schedule your trip to the store!

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