It’s always surprising how much the start of a new school year affects me. Since my oldest daughter is only 4, there’s not too much of a change. She switches classrooms, but that’s it. But nonetheless, the beginning (and end) of every school year brings chaos for most. It brings new obstacles and a new normal. I know I just said that like it’s no big deal but… yeah, that’s far from the truth and something I’m not looking forward to!

Obstacles in our daily rhythm can wreak havoc on our routines and it’s important to have certain things in place so that doesn’t happen. One of those “certain things” for me is food. Food is the wall I’m sure to let down first. Can you relate?!

Kids get hangry on the way home from the gym? Stop at sonic.

Woke up 5 minutes too late to fix breakfast? Mobile order Starbucks and you’re golden.

Stressful day at work and your friends want to grab Margaritas? Sweet, I’ll order the cheese dip…no shame.?

Surely you can see what happens next. A month later you grab your jeans and realize:

So before this happens, here are four things I do each week to keep new school year obstacles in check, at least when it comes to food!

Start On Thursday

Don’t wait until Sunday night to think about the week ahead. It’s taken years to find a routine and method that sets me up to win and it starts Thursday afternoon every single week. Sitting down and deciding what the week looks like is the first step in overcoming those obstacles. Yes, some of them are sporadic but for a lot of us they happen week in and week out.

They aren’t actually obstacles, but just a part of our normal routine once school starts. Some good examples of this are after school activities, ball games, PTA, etc. So sit down and plan it out! What does your week look like? I’ve actually got a great resource to help you do this. 

Always Have A Backup

One big obstacle is simply not being prepared. Remember, those kiddos that got hangry earlier (ok, a lot of the time I’m hangry too). If we were prepared we could have addressed that with a quick snack in the car. I like to keep a small bag of snacks in my console for moments like this. I fill it with peanut butter crackers, snack bags of chips, applesauce pouches, etc. Whatever you kids will eat on the go that hopefully won’t ruin the next meal.

Speaking of meals, what about that breakfast drive-thru trip to Starbucks? This can also be avoided by simply being prepared. Of course, I’m a huge fan of meal prepping so if you were to prep your breakfast for the week then you wouldn’t have this issue. ? Meal prepping can help you on those days when mornings don’t go as planned. Here’s one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches to prep and freeze.

Quick & Easy Breakfast Sandwich

01. Toast an English muffin (my favorite is cinnamon raisin).

02. Spray a microwave safe bowl with cooking spray and cook 1 scrambled egg and 2 scrambled egg whites for 1:30.

03. Place eggs between english muffin. Top with a thin slice of cheddar cheese and run out the door!

Run With The “Back To School” Mentality

While you’re focused on new routines, why not make those routines serve you better? You’re thinking through your kids lunches for the week so why not have a plan for yourself? You’re already coordinating how to get to all of their practices and events, so why not decide how and when dinner and snacks fit into that? Back to school means back to routine, so let’s get a fresh start with our meal prepping mentality!

Give yourself grace, but don’t give in. 

My motto for a couple years was, “Give yourself some grace.” Over time I’ve changed it to add “but don’t give in” at the end. My other new favorite phrase is, “Be a finisher.” It’s inevitable that you’ll miss the mark some days. Just don’t let that mark determine your week or month or year. You’ve gotta pick yourself back up and push on. You’ve got this. So give yourself some grace but don’t give in. Be a finisher.

You might not overcome every obstacle and be prepared 24/7. At the end of the day, be proud of yourself knowing you’re still in control – even if it’s controlled chaos!

Do you need more tips on how to survive the obstacles of everyday life when it comes to staying on track with food? My cookbook, The Meal Multiplier, is full of healthy, flavorful, and flexible recipes to help you be prepared for all that the school year brings. There are even a few kid-friendly recipes included as well!


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