3 {Healthy} Hacks When Prepping for Back to School

We are thrilled to be partnering with Whole Foods Market to bring you this sponsored post. As you prepare for the new school year, we hope these healthy hacks are helpful for you too!

It’s official… Back to School season is upon us!  Supplies are purchased, first day outfits are picked out, and backpacks are ready to go.  You’ve got Meet the Teacher night marked on your calendar, and your neighborhood is abuzz with big plans for the upcoming school year.  Your family has finally come to a consensus on the best transportation to and from school, and you’ve even begin perusing extracurricular activities to kick off this fall.  You’re ready … well … almost.

Just before the first day of school, you still need to do some MAJOR grocery shopping.  You need to stock up on healthy breakfasts that are easy and filling.  You need to figure out what your kiddo will actually eat in his lunch this year, because it’s likely completely different than years past.  And you need to make sure you have ample snacks both to pack for school AND to keep around the house when they come home ravaging the kitchen each day.  {Can you tell I’m speaking from experience here on ALL of this?!}

Thankfully, we’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Market again this year to provide you with some EASY and HEALTHY hacks to make back to school grocery shopping quick and painless.  We love that shopping at Whole Foods helps us take the guesswork out of healthy eating, and they even have a whole Back to School resource over on their site with afterschool snack recipes, nutrition tips, and meal ideas.  {Yes, please!}  Keep reading for a few tried and true hacks for the whole shopping experience, and as always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below with any others too!

BEFORE YOU SHOP >> Watch for Sales!

Unless you have an unlimited budget and all the time in the world, then you’re likely trying to preserve your money and time when prepping for school lunches.  I get it – I am too!  So before you even think about heading to the grocery store, it’s smart to come up with a plan of attack keeping your budget and your end goal in mind.  Scan those weekly sales fliers and browse the sales to see what your local store is currently offering.  For instance, right now Whole Foods has all green, red, and black organic grapes on sale for just $1.69 / lb.  My family has a slight obsession with green grapes, and those babies are regularly about $3.99 / lb – so that means I’m slashing the price in more than half!  I plan on stocking up, keeping plenty in the fridge for easy school lunches, and tossing some in the freezer for a cool afterschool treat too.  YUM!

Another great way to save is via the Whole Foods Market App.  Not only does it let you keep a pulse on the current sales, but there are also tons of digital coupons at your fingertips.  So easy, right?  Now there is literally no excuse not to feed your family healthier this school year!

WHILE YOU SHOP >> Stick to the Perimeter!

When you walk into the grocery store and plot your route, plan to spend about 90% of your time on that outer perimeter.  First, load up the basket with tons of fresh produce, then stock up on your lean proteins from the meat section, and finally make a stop at the dairy aisle for milks, cheeses, and yogurts.  By this point, you shouldn’t have much room left in the basket for anything else, so those inner aisles with pre-packaged foods and sweets won’t be as much of a temptation.

AFTER YOU SHOP >> Eat a Rainbow!

This is my absolute favorite healthy eating hack {for my kiddos AND myself} because it is so ridiculously easy!  Once the fridge is stocked and the lunches are being packed, challenge yourself to include as many colors of the rainbow as you possibly can.  Red – strawberries. Orange – carrots.  Yellow – cheese. Green – pistachios. Blue – blueberries. Purple – grapes!  Not only will you make the lunches look more appetizing {remember, even kids eat with their eyes first}, but you’ll know that you are pumping your little ones full of vitamin and nutrient rich foods that will keep them going all school day long.  Mom win!

This year, my goal is to engage my children more in the day-to-day of healthy eating, and the “eat a rainbow” concept makes it all too easy.  My six year old has been a rockstar in helping me grocery shop, with a mission of finding as many colorful foods {sans food dyes!} that he can to add to our basket.  And my four year old is a pro at helping me pack lunches, by visually checking the bento boxes and adding in fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheeses to ensure they are as colorful as possible. {“But Mooooom, you don’t have anything RED today!”} They are also LOVING the Whole Kids Foundation Kids Club website too – with resources, crafts, games, and more.  My ultimate goal is to have them packing their lunches independently with tons of healthy foods by using some of these tips above.  Surely, I can achieve that before they graduate.  Right???

Ready for a healthy and happy school year?  You got this, mama!  And don’t miss my school lunch tips from last year, including…
– my tried and true school lunch supplies
– 10 school lunch ideas {none of which include a PB&J}
– the best school snacks & drinks
– PLUS, a few more pro tips to make this year a breeze too!

Need more back-to-school tips? Check out The Ultimate Back to School Guide for Houston Moms!

The Ultimate Back-to-School Guide for Houston Moms | Houston Moms Blog

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Kelly is the founder of Houston Moms Blog and has lived in this beautiful city nearly all of her life. She has a degree in education from Texas State University and was honored to teach special education for eight years to some of the cutest little kiddos you could ever meet. While teaching, Kelly met Cody – a tall drink of water and country boy to the core – and together, they fell in love, got married, and decided to start a family. In March 2011, they welcomed Hayes into the world, a silly but smart little boy with a story you have to read to believe. And in April 2013, their family was complete with the addition of Hadley, a super gregarious and oh-so-cute baby girl. Now, Kelly devotes her days to caring for her own little ones…and would not trade this new job of hers for the world! In her not-so-spare time, Kelly loves meeting up with her girlfriends for margaritas, failing miserably at Pinterest projects, and exploring this big old city with her two favorite little side-kicks in tow.


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