Ready for the back-to-school rush? Looking for new ways to get the family on track this year? Erin Kane – teacher, fitness coach and mom of four – shares how taking care of yourself and a bit of planning can bring some balance to your hectic schedule and help everyone stay on track this school year.

Kids outside snacking

Parents know that the transition back to school is one of the busiest times of the year. My family has grown to six this year – my husband and I have three daughters and one son, who was born this past February. Becoming a family of six with kids of all ages from preteen to newborn has been busy.  Not only have I been balancing my family home life and the kids’ busy sports activities, but I’ve also needed to re-prioritize myself.

It is so important as a mom to “refill your own cup” or “recharge your batteries.” Some people think that just because you are a parent you stop investing in yourself, but now is the best time to take care of yourself, which, in turn, will benefit your kids too: it runs full circle.

Here are a few tips for keeping your family on track, prepare for back-to-school, and take care of Mom’s well-being:

1. Exercise Together

It can often be a battle to encourage kids to be active, especially with the amount of entertainment options available. The best and easiest way to promote exercise is to lead by example! Every day my family does at least 30 minutes of physical activity together. We go for family bike rides, jog around the neighborhood, play catch at the park or, on rainy days, enjoy some indoor dancing to keep our bodies moving! Regardless of how old your children are, you can accomplish your family fitness goals together. All this activity is good for your family’s physical health and mental health. Plus, it keeps everyone on the same schedule.

Girl holding snacking tomatoes pack

2. Make Healthy Snacking Convenient

We do our best to avoid feeding our kids fast food for convenience and save those kinds of foods for family nights and special occasions. Instead, I make sure to have healthy on-the-go snacks ready in the fridge so our kids can grab them when they want. Foods like yogurts, cheese, sliced apples, bananas, veggie sticks, Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers, and mixed nuts are staple foods in our house. When it comes to the convenient snack options, nothing beats Pure Flavor® Mini Munchies® Snack Packs – especially for back-to-school snacks.

Preparing snacks ahead of time really makes it easy to eat healthy when we’re rushing from school to baseball practice and everywhere in between! That’s where pre-packed veggies like Mini Munchies® come in handy. My kids, like most, each have their own favorite colors and flavors when it comes to veggies. Mini Munchies® come in a break-apart four-pack that makes my busy life a lot easier. When preparing school lunches or snacks for family outings, all I have to do is break apart each portion and place them in each lunch bag. Eating healthy school snacks has never been so simple!

Family snacking outside

3. Get organized

I know what you’re thinking. What does organization have to do with my personal well-being? It has EVERYTHING to do with it. In many cases, people start to feel overwhelmed when trying to balance parenting and all the things that come with it: the endless cleaning, cooking, driving, scheduling….  Then, parents try to make time for personal fitness or a healthy meal plan for themselves, but when things get busy, selfcare is often put on the back burner.

When we don’t make time for ourselves, we can quickly feel out of control, which makes us even more overwhelmed!

Write out a schedule or a list of all things that you specifically need to do in a day: household chores, kids sporting events, a twenty-minute workout, meal prep, appointments, you name it! My biggest piece of advice is to prepare as much as you can as early as you can. Getting a few steps ahead in at least of few areas makes it so much better when you find yourself rushing out the door to dance class or soccer practice. Of course, when you find yourself rushing, you can always reach for Mini Munchies® as you’re headed out the door.

Little girls going to school

As you get your family into a new back-to-school routine, just remember everyone eventually finds their groove! It will seem like a balancing act most days. Don’t over exhaust yourself every day. Keep it simple. Plan your days by priority, keeps some healthy snacks at the ready, and give yourself some “me time.” You’ve got this!

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