The fall season is here and that means a busy schedule of school, homework and after-school activities. As carefully as we plan our morning schedules at the start of the school year, in time we may find it hard to stay on track. But don’t give up! Here are five ways moms can maintain a smooth-running morning routine for their kids:
1. Organize kids’ clothing. Take time the night before to plan school outfits for the following day with your kids. Match pants or skirts with tops and sweaters, add socks or leggings and underwear.
2. Don’t skip breakfast. It may seem hard to fit in on a busy morning, but if you keep tasty and nutritious foods on hand, you can make sure your kids are starting the day out right. I’ve been working with the folks at Nestle Nutrition and now keep Carnation® Breakfast Essentials™ Drinks on hand. Each serving is packed with 2x the protein of an egg and 2x the calcium of a 6 fl. oz. yogurt serving, plus 21 vitamins and minerals, it is nutritious and handy. I keep the ready-to-drink bottles in the refrigerator, and the powdered packages on the shelf. A delicious option is to mix the powder with a cup of 1% organic milk and some frozen fruit in the blender. No need to add ice for a delicious smoothie. Another tasty idea: oatmeal with dried tart cherries.
3. Plan for the unexpected. Set your alarm 15 minutes early to build in a little cushion of time to make sure breakfasts are eaten, shoes tied, teeth and hair are brushed.
4. Keep track of paperwork. Before bed, make sure you’ve checked homework and read any communications from the teacher. Put papers in a folder in the backpack or book bag, and sit it by the door.
5. Set up a neighborhood “walk pool”. If there are several children in your community who take the same bus to school, work with your neighbors to take turns walking the kids to the bus stop each morning.
An organized morning routine can help give kids a sense of calm and focus before the school day begins. Do you have other ideas to keep your morning humming?