When your children are younger (preschool and elementary school age), you drive the bus, both literally and figuratively. You choose the type and number of activities, to say nothing of duration and location of said activities and while you can be quite busy, it usually of your own doing. And homework – oh, for the diorama years!

Fast forward to middle school and high school when your emerging tweens and teens have their own ideas about what they want to do in their non-school hours. This is good, developmentally appropriate and to be encouraged, except, if you are like me and can’t keep track. No, I really can’t keep track so thank goodness for the calendar on my phone.  Some days are easy and some days have two overlapping carpools to different towns for different children are when my head spins and my car and I have way too much together time.

My favorite days are the ones when they come home (under their own power is best), drop their backpacks and head to the kitchen for a snack. I get to hear bits and pieces about their days while they have some down time.

Need some snack ideas? Start with fruit, an apple or pear with cheese and crackers. Try this refreshing fruit salad; kiwi, clementine and banana (yogurt on the side optional). Or cut up veggies – carrot sticks, cucumber and celery with hummus.  If something more substantial is needed we head to the freezer for chicken bites, mini tacos or even dumplings. Mini sub sandwiches are a hit, just take soft dinner rolls (whole wheat) and add either meatballs or chicken bites, a little tomato sauce and grated cheese. How about English muffin pizzas?  I lived on those in high school (yes, dears, they existed way back them, much like electricity and indoor plumbing).

Then after snack and a bit of screen time, they head to their self-chosen study areas (within calling distance of the kitchen) and start in on homework. Ideally, I start making a decent meal and can answer a question or refill snack plates as needed.

My main frozen food snacks are from Trader Joe’s but just recently a friend introduced us to Any’tizers® and the chicken fries are hugely popular here. Tyson has a great School Year Survival Guide worth checking out. Good tips for good study habits and getting and staying(!) organized.


This is a sponsored post for Tyson but opinions and snack ideas are my own.

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