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No doubt, also, that I am someone who doesn’t always roll with the punches as best as I can. This seems like a BIG year for us – with Des starting kindergarten, and Scarlet starting third grade. Doesn’t third grade seem like such a big deal? I remember when I did school photography, third grade was my favorite age to work with. They are still kids, but they have more self-awareness and confidence. Scarlet will be joining Girls on the Run, and continuing piano lessons. She might start soccer too! And I’m excited to see what’s in store for Des. I think he will take kindergarten by storm. He seems so ready.
There’s definitely going to be some changes made in September. I already work more than one job, and it usually picks up quite a bit in the fall. I’m torn between being excited to have this time to work while my kids thrive in school, and also being nervous and a little sad about the end of summer and missing them for hours all day! I look forward to finding the balance. I don’t think it will be necessarily easy, but I know one thing that IS easy – and that’s loving them and showing them love. When I was a kid, my parents did that for me in my school lunch too. It’s a wonderful way to say, “I love you” in the middle of the day. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to make a BIG impression. This is how!
First, I head to my nearest Stop & Shop to get the goods! I buy Jif Peanut Butter, Smucker’s Fruit Spreads, and NEW Mott’s® Juice Pouches. They are easy to find, and full of variety too. I always choose my kids’ favorites, as well as mine.
1 – Put in a love note. It’s funny how this little thing can be such a big deal. My mom used to write me notes on the first day of school, and the last, wishing me love, cheer, and all sorts of love and support during the transitions.
2 – Cut your sandwiches/cheese/fruit into fun shapes. I promise it only takes a minute and the delight on their faces (that I can only imagine) makes it all worth it. We have a lot of fun cookie/sandwich cutters in our rotations.
3 – Attention to detail. I love to find their absolute favorite brands, products, flavors, etc. and it’s also about thinking of ease of use, portability, and fun. New 100% Juice Pouches from Mott’s are their favorite! It’s 100% juice and 100% Yum. They taste good and are good for you. We love Apple and Apple Mango – and we were happy to find out that each juice pouch of Mott’s 100% Apple Mango Juice provides 1 1/2 servings of fruit.* You can enjoy them in a variety of sizes as they are available now in 6.75 oz. juice pouches for families on the go. I find them easily in the packaged juice aisle.
4 – Embrace tradition. There’s a reason that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the most popular type of sandwich. Kids (and adults) love them. I use Jif Creamy Peanut Butter because of the creamy, fresh-roasted peanut taste. There’s nothing like it! Then, paired with Smucker’s Fruit Spreads. YUM. They’re made from a blend of crushed, sun-ripened fruit and fruit puree. They are available in wonderful flavors, including seedless varieties. Available at Stop & Shop next to peanut butter!
5 – Balance is everything. Incorporate every food group and think of fun ways to create, prepare, and add them all. You can go creative with fruit – whether it’s fresh, frozen, dried, canned, baked, or pureed for little ones. Vegetables can be fresh, frozen, baked, etc. Find lean protein snacks like eggs, meats, beans, nuts, etc. I also love to pack dairy in the way of milk, cheese or yogurt. I think school lunches are such unique ways to show you care, but what an awesome opportunity!
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