Just a few more days Momma's. School starts this Monday for most kids here in Hawaii, and I for one could not be more excited to be sending my big kids back to school. We homeschooled last year, so I've been with my kids (practically) all day, every day, for over a year. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids, but I'm going to be jumping for joy come Monday morning.
Because it's been nearly two years since I sent my kids "Back To School", I'm feeling ill prepared, what if I've forgotten something? So here are ten thoughts I'm sure we'll all have before the kids go back to school this week.
Back-to-school season is upon us, and as parents, we're always seeking nutritious, kid-friendly, easy-to-pack lunchbox staples.
While you may remember school lunches with bright colored sugared juice punches, unpronounceable ingredients, and existential choices like pizza pocket or cheesy pretzel... the fact is that wellness is more than a trend, and parents are seeking the same better-for-you choices for their kids that they are for themselves. Thankfully, packaged food has had a significant makeover by using more whole ingredients and packing valuable nutrients into tasty treats, so parents can have confidence that their child's school day is fueled by quality nutrition.
Health Warrior Chia Bars pack around 1100mg of brain-boosting omega-3s, 4g of fiber and 3g of protein in a small bar in flavors kids love including banana nut, coconut, apple cinnamon, mango, and dark chocolate cherry. With flavor profiles similar to staples like brownies (dark chocolate) and fig newtons (acai berry), they’ll never know it’s nutrient-packed. Passionate about fueling nutritious choices, the brand will donate a percentage of sales of all products to the Whole Kids Foundation Aug. 24- Sept. 13, along with contributions throughout the year. The organization provides schoolgarden grants, funds salad bar equipment and training, and shares cooking and nutrition education with teachers. Children with a salad bar in their school eat three times the amount of fruits and veggies of those who don’t, and Health Warrior wants to help make this happen.
Go Raw's raw sprouted treats are everything you’d want to feed your little ones. Nutrient-dense and packed with minerals, vitamins and amino acids, Go Raw’s sprouted cookies, bars and snacks are the secretly healthy treat your kids will be craving. Crafted from 100% organic, raw, sprouted ingredients, Go Raw’s products are available in a wide range of kid-friendly tantalizing flavor profiles such as Spiced Chai, Lemon Pie and Spicy Fiesta.
Annie's Homegrown has innovated in lunchbox classics with its lineup of fun, tasty and kid-friendly staples made with nothing but goodness including Pea B&J Pockets, Organic Whole Milk Yogurts, and Organic Fruit Snacks. Though frozen, the Pea B&J Pockets thaw within an hour, consumed within 8 and takes the arduous crust-removing out of the equation. Packing 9g of whole grains with real fruit spread, the mini packaged sandwiches have golden pea butter, instead of traditional peanut butter, made from a legume variety that’s cousin to the green peas they typically scoot off their plate (but they'd never know). Meanwhile Annie's Yogurts and Fruit Snacks are certified organic with real fruit and fruit juices and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup.
Purely Elizabeth, the leading natural foods brand spearheading innovative and delicious gluten-free products, has just launched Grab + Go Oatmeal and cereal cups. Just add milk, yogurts, or hot water, and the wide variety of flavors come tolife, including Cranberry Pecan, Blueberry Hemp, Cinnamon Pecan and Pumpkin Fig.
Who says weekday breakfasts can't be spent together? Just add water and make that extra time, without putting in so much extra time with Birch Benders, a line of gourmet easy-to-make pancake and waffle mixes. This taste- and quality-obsessed brand offers nine varieties including Classic, Chocolate Chip, Six Grain Cinnamon, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Protein, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread Spice, and Double Chocolate Peppermint. All of the varieties are organic, trans fat-free, and non-GMO.
Suja Juice, the nation’s leader in organic, non-GMO and cold-pressed beverages, offers affordable and kid-friendly juices and smoothies as part of their core Suja line. Banana-based smoothies such as Mango Magic and Berry Nana offer a sweet creaminess, while other nourishing, veggie-heavy smoothies include Green Delight and Sweet Beets. At only $3.99 and available in major grocers such as Kroger, Publix, Target, Costco, Whole Foods and more, organic nutrition has never been so easily accessible.
With only 100 calories and up to 5 grams of protein each, Perfect Bar minis (MSRP $1.30) are the ideal snack or lunchbox addition for kids. The minis are available in Peanut Butter and Almond Butter flavors, and are packed with organic nut butter, 20+ expertly hidden superfoods, and a touch of organic honey for sweetness.
What other items are you packing in your child's lunch this year?
As the new school year moves near, many parents are left with the age-old struggle of how to get their child to brush their teeth regularly before heading off to the bus stop each day. The good news is that for those parents who put in the effort, their kids will usually develop good oral hygiene habits. Prior to the school year beginning, parents can start working on helping their child develop good daily brushing habits.
“It’s important that parents get kids started young with good oral hygiene habits,” explains Dr. Bruno Sharp, a fourth-generation dentist who created a line of natural fluoride-free products called Dr. Sharp Dentistry, and is celebrating his 10thyear as a Natural Oral Care provider. “For some families it may seem like a tall task, but it’s one that is important enough to keep working on. Most kids will come around and stick with the habits that they are being taught.”
Here are some back-to-school tips for helping kids establish good morning oral hygiene habits:
“The last thing parents want to do before school each day is to argue with their kids about brushing their teeth,” added Dr. Sharp. “When you make a plan and stick to it, you are usually going to be more successful in getting them to create the brushing habit. It’s all about looking after their best interest.”To learn more about Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care products, visit the site at: www.drsharpcare.com.
Just a few short weeks until summer is over. We're getting prepped for back-to school season and we've compiled a list of Top 10 Must-Have products for kids!
Orbit Labels - Reusable Labels for Water Bottles & Containers
Send your child back to school with Orbit Labels! The Original Orbit Label is a fantastic solution for labeling bottles, snack containers and other various drink/toiletry containers. This innovative product is non-adhesive, reusable, and personalized. Easy to use - just stretch and release for a snug fit around a variety of containers! Invented by a mom, the Orbit Labels can stretch to accommodate the needs of a child's changing drink container, fitting all sippy cups and a variety of sport bottles or toiletry items. They can be moved from container to container since they are non-adhesive and reusable - a great alternative to the traditional method of one-time-use sticky labels or permanent markers! Dishwasher & microwave-safe. Will never peel, fade, or wash away! Adhesive labels and allergy labels are also available.
Janiebee - Personalized Nap Mats for Preschoolers
Little ones can snuggle into their incredibly soft, luxe nap mat from Janiebee at naptime - at school, Grandma's house or at home! Made with gorgeous details, including a fabric tie closure and an extra think minky pillowcase, Janiebee Nap Mats offer children a clean and cozy place to rest, and once naptime is over, simply roll up & tie closed! Offering a bevy of bright prints and designs for both boys and girls, Janiebee Nap Mats are made in the USA with quality fabric, stitching and care. Personalization and custom nap mats are available. Machine washable and dryer safe, too!
WOWBUTTER - Allergen-Free Alternative to Peanut Butter
Seeking a substitute for those with peanut and tree nut allergies that is safe to pack in a lunchbox as the kids head back-to-school? WOWBUTTER offers a taste and texture just like peanut butter, but with better nutrition! From making simple sandwiches to ants on a log to creating delicious recipes that typically call for peanut butter, WOWBUTTER is a yummy allergen-free alternative! WOWBUTTER is a complete protein source, containing all 9 essential amino acids, just as do eggs, dairy and meat. In addition, WOWBUTTER is a good source of OMEGA-3 essential fatty acids, with 1200 mg per serving. WOWBUTTER also has a significant array of major nutrients such as Vitamin E, Calcium, Folic Acid, Fiber and Lecithin. It is Vegan, Kosher and Non-GMO, as well. WOWBUTTER has simple ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or fillers. WOWBUTTER is made in a dedicated 100% Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Egg Free Facility. Label packs for school are included on each jar! Available in retailers across the US and Canada in both Creamy and Crunchy versions. $4.99.
Liam & Isla - Snap Collection to Keep Little Ones Warm
For parents frustrated with mittens and gloves that do not stay on their child's hands when heading outdoors at recess, this line is the answer to cold little fingers. The innovative and oh-so cozy Liam & Isla Snap Collection for little ones will have them looking stylish while staying warm this fall & winter, as the mittens are designed to stay on little ones' hands keeping them snug and dry. Simple in design yet so effective, the top and bottom of the mittens are designed to snap to the sleeve of the stylish fleece jackets in the Liam & Isla Snap Collection. The mittens will not fall off, ensuring your kids can now spend more time having fun and playing outside. The mittens from the Snap Collection are made with a heavyweight fleece shell and lined with a lightweight fleece, a waterproof liner, and Thinsulate.
The Girls Snap Collection offers two fashionable choices, including the Solstice Peplum w/ Snap On Mittens in Charcoal, and the Glacial Hoodie w/ Snap On Mittens in Red or Purple. Sizes 2T-5T. The Boys Snap Collection offers two modern choices, including the Gelid Military w/ Snap on Mittens in Red, and the Cirque Quarter Zip w/ Snap On Mittens in Red or Royal. Sizes 2T-5T.
Aquasana Filter Bottle - Keep Kids Hydrated
A recent study shows more than half of children and teens in the United States are not getting adequate hydration because they're not drinking enough water. Skip the sugary drinks and send your child back to school with an awesome high-tech water bottle. The brand new Aquasana Filter Bottle delivers clean, healthy water on-the-go. Fill it up with tap water and the built-in filter will reduce lead and chlorine plus 99% of bacteria and cysts. Filters last for 80 gallons… that’s equivalent to640 disposable plastic bottles! Available in BPA-Free Tritan™ plastic + a silicone sleeve to provide a nonslip grip. $29 at www.aquasana.com and Amazon.
SnapLaces - No Tie Laces
SnapLaces performance no-tie laces are the fastest way for kids to get ready quickly in the morning! The only one-handed lacing system on the market, SnapLaces stretch to hug your child's 9feet with precise tension. Kids can enjoy the experience all day long as they won't have to bend down in the hallways to tie up a loose lace, re-tie shoes in the middle of a kickball game at recess, or delay themselves in P.E. class. SnapLaces are a sure-fit to seize the day! SnapLaces come in 12 essential colors: black, blue, green, light blue, light green, orange, pink, purple, red, silver, white or yellow. $14.99 per 4 pack.
GoodHangups - Must-Have for Kids Art & More
GoodHangups for Kids Art is a new, must-have for all your children’s school work, to do lists, schedules and more! GoodHangups hang posters, prints, photos and cards without putting holes in your wall or damaging your prints. They work on any surface (concrete, brick, wood, flat walls, glass, doors, etc.) with a removable and reusable magnet. No need for frames, and GoodHangups won’t harm the surface (great for renters). Great for hanging kids’ art, paint chips, holiday cards and so much more! Available at Papersource stores across the US, QVC and www.goodhangups.com. Starting at $14.99.
Gululu Interactive Bottle – Stay Hydrated through Technology
New technology parents will WANT their kids plugging into!! The Gululu Interactive Bottle will help kids stay hydrated and it’s also SUPER fun! Gululu is an innovative product that combines smart hardware, advanced sensors, Wi-Fi module, automatic updated software and educational game design. Through animated characters, Gululu links a child’s water intake to the health of a virtual animated pet, and makes staying hydrated an act of care giving. Thanks to a companion app, parents can set hydration goals based on their child’s age, weight, and location. And by using the incentivized system, Gululu will keep kids will be motivated to meet their water-drinking goals. The closer a child gets to his or her optimal water intake, the healthier the virtual pet becomes — the animated character will grow, collect treasure, and explore “an underwater world of adventure” known as the “Gululu Universe.” It has a great school mode feature as well! Whenever the water bottle runs low on battery life, simply stick it on its wireless charging dock and it will recharge in three hours — a fully charged battery should last for two to three days of normal use. Intended for ages 3-10. $129.00
Bumpit Bowl – No More Messes
It's magic! A bowl that’s hard to knock down but easy to pick up. It simply stays put, making mealtime a breeze! Place the Bumpit Bowl on any smooth, non-porous surface and it magically stays put, no matter how hard it’s hit or bumped - no suction cups or stickiness involved. Pick it up from the special lift points with no resistance or tugging required. Made with StayPut Technology, The Bumpit Bowl grows with your child from the included bowl insert for your younger child, to using the deeper bowl when he/she gets a little bit older. Whether your child’s an infant, a toddler or growing up fast, the Bumpit Bowl is for all ages. An airtight storage container, you can go straight from the lunchbox to the table to the refrigerator with the Bumpit Bowl’s secure lid and microwave-and dishwasher safe design.
Family + Lifestyle
Articles, tips + products for moms and their growing families.