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Sometimes it’s like time traveling when you experience the ways in which your kids take after you. I joke that my kids picked up ALL of my fortunate and unfortunate eating habits throughout the years. Scarlet, 6, is picky and likes cheese, bread, cheese and bread, cheese, marshmallows, marshmallows out of marshmallow cereal, every fruit ever, and all carnival foods.
Des, 3, is like I was during my growth spurt between eighth and ninth grade. I grew from four-foot-eleven to five-foot-six. It was painful, and I’ll never forget the way I ate – especially during the school year. I used to eat breakfast, then a snack in second period, a snack in fourth period, lunch, a snack in eighth period, an after-school snack as big as a meal, then dinner, and then dessert. Des is only three-years-old and he already eats like that sometimes. He’s in a perpetual growth spurt!
“They” say that the back-to-school transition is a tough one if you don’t prepare for it. Scarlet has a year of kindergarten under her belt and is entering first grade. Des will be going to school full-time for the first time ever. With a couple of weeks left until school starts, we are doing things to get ready for school to ease the transition when the time comes, so soon.
1. We are going to bed at school bedtimes. We have been very guilty about utilizing those ambiguous summer bedtimes. They’re fun while summer and its late sunsets last, but it will not go over well when the school year starts.
2. We are also waking up when we need to get up when school starts, and we are getting dressed and eating GOOD breakfasts before leaving the house. Without the luxuries of eating sugary cereal or going out for breakfast, I had to get serious:
And that’s where Jimmy Dean’s Croissant Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches come in. I used to eat them as a kid for breakfast (and for snacks) so it was a nice blast from the past to go to Walmart and find them in the frozen food section.
It was easy enough to heat up the sandwich evenly and serve it on a plate with fresh, organic apple slices from a local farm, and a glass of local milk too. Des was so excited with my breakfast creation. He needs to eat a LOT in the morning. So do I.
3. Another important way to get ready for the school year is to have a big snack at 3:00pm.
Now Scarlet is less of a breakfast person, although she will eat everything I listed, but she gets very hungry after six hours working hard in school. Again, I am very hungry at that time of day and so is Des. Since Scarlet is such a fun-loving fair and carnival person, I thought it would be fun to make her a fair-themed snack with corn dogs as the star of the show.
When I had the corn dogs at home, I prepared them with freshly-popped popcorn. Scarlet added the marshmallows to the snack to keep it festive. This was a special-occasion snack. For a regular school day, I’d add a banana on a stick to match the corn dog! Or I’d cut up fresh apple slices with caramel sauce, just like the caramel sauces at the fair!
My kids may eat other foods during school hours and at friends’ houses, but feeding them before school and after school is an important task for me as a parent. They need fuel to begin and end their big school days. From the morning rush to their new schedules and friends, the back-to-school season can be challenging for the entire family. I’m glad I found these delicious solutions from Jimmy Dean® and State Fair® because it means less time at the stove, and more time for being together. What’s also really important for me is that both kids get a lot of protein in their days. The corn dogs have a lot of protein and feature a signature honey-sweetened cornbread batter. You can find them in the freezer section at Walmart.
4. We are also going crazy with back-to-school sales!
5. And of course, I need to get their feet re-measured to buy new school shoes since they grow so fast!