Ready To Rock The School Year: Back-To-School Dinner Prep And Exercise Routine

As summer winds down, families are gearing up for the much-anticipated back-to-school season. Establishing a balanced routine that includes nutritious dinner preparation and regular exercise can make the transition smooth and enjoyable for both parents and children.

Planning and preparing dinners in advance can save valuable time and ensure your family enjoys wholesome meals together. Here are some tips for mastering back-to-school dinner prep:

  • Meal Planning: Create a weekly menu with lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get your kids involved by letting them choose a few meals each week.
  • Make-Ahead Lunches: Prepare extra portions during dinner for the next day’s lunchboxes. This saves time and ensures your kids have nutritious options at school.
  • Frozen Convenience: Keep the freezer stocked with pre-portioned ingredients like chopped vegetables, marinated meats, and cooked grains for quick weeknight cooking.
  • Family Bonding: Involve your children in the kitchen to instill healthy eating habits and create lasting memories. Assign age-appropriate tasks, such as washing vegetables or setting the table.

As parents gear up for back-to-school, it’s essential to strike a balance between family responsibilities and personal well-being. While preparing nutritious dinners for the family, it’s equally important for parents to maintain their own exercise routine. Here’s how parents can find time for their well-being amidst the school year’s hustle and bustle:

  • Morning Power Hour: Wake up just 30 minutes earlier than your kids for a quick workout or brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • Lunch Break Fitness: Use your lunch break at work for a short workout, whether it’s a walk or bodyweight exercises in a nearby park.
  • Evening Workout Ritual: Designate a specific time in the evening for your workout. Having a consistent schedule will help you stick to your exercise routine.
  • Be Realistic: Set achievable exercise goals that align with your daily schedule. Start with a few days a week and gradually increase frequency. Identify time-wasting activities or distractions and replace them with exercise. Consider the time you are waiting around to pick up a child and create space for physical activity.

Remember, maintaining your exercise routine benefits your physical health, mood, and energy levels. By finding creative ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life, you set a positive example for your children and show them the importance of prioritizing self-care amidst their busy schedules. A balanced approach to back-to-school preparations will ensure a successful and healthy start to the new academic year for the entire family.

By adopting these practical tips for back-to-school dinner prep and exercise routines, you can ensure your family is ready to conquer the school year with energy and enthusiasm. A healthy lifestyle is a journey, and small steps lead to big changes over time. Let’s welcome the new school year with open arms and a commitment to well-being.

– Monica Nagele is the County Extension Director and educator of health and human science for the Montgomery County Purdue Extension.