Fueling Big Appetites For School.

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I almost called this post, “When Your Kids Eat The Way You Do.” Especially with after-school snacking.

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.

Carnival food can be edited to include State Fair food, of course.

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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!

So I decided to go to Walmart for some Jimmy Dean and State Fair products to see if I could satisfy these big appetites.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

The State Fair corn dogs were found near the breakfast sandwiches in the frozen foods aisle.

after-school snacking

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With one picky eater and another with an immense appetite, it keeps you on your toes to keep them well-fed & satisfied.

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!

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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!

What do you do to make back-to-school time easier for your family?

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78 Comments

    1. I used to eat corn dogs more as a kid, but I think I like these better than the ones at the fair to be honest! They’re quite good at home.
      The breakfast sandwiches are a staple of my childhood!

  1. I have one picky eater and one who has a big appetite. I’m just happy that they aren’t both picky eaters. But I was a picky eater at times growing up. So I understand my son’s picky ways.

  2. It’s been way to long since I ate a corn dog, and breakfast sandwiches are one of my weaknesses. I could eat them everyday!
    Eve was going through some crazy growth spurt for awhile because she would eat as much as me or Sam — sometimes more! Now she eats a size more in proportion to her size 😉

  3. Definitely have to try both for my girls. Oh and I still have to buy new sneakers for the girls and backpacks, too this week as we are finally home from vacation. So, now onto back to school shopping sadly enough, but still hoping the upcoming year is smooth sailing and goes just as quickly as last if I could put one wish in now.

    1. I cheated and bought Des his sneakers a few weeks ago, but mostly because he was outgrowing the old ones.
      Backpacks – that’s our next task!!

  4. Oh my gosh the 3 o’ clock munchies my kids have is going to eat me out of house and home! I have started having to give them a snack/dinner and then real dinner. I feel like I live with a bunch of hobbits! I think the croissant sandwiches and the corn dogs would do nicely for the snack/dinner! It’s time I hugged my stomach oh and the kid’s stomachs too 🙂

  5. I think it’s a boy thing… the constant eating! I hate to tell you it doesn’t get better, soon he’ll be eating two of those breakfast sandwiches and 5 minutes later looking for something else!

  6. I really, truly need to figure out how to make a hot dog on a stick with delicious breading hugging it GiGi Approved. I have never had a corn dog before in my life, but I KNOW FOR A FACT that I would love it!!!

  7. You make it all look so pretty 🙂 Also I have never tried a corndog. Isn’t that weird? I remember they were a big thing at Denny’s like, a million years ago, and then Morningstar even came out with vegetarian corndogs which I always wanted to try but never did. I’ll have to see if they still make them…

    1. Thank you!
      I don’t think it’s weird that you’ve never had a corn dog. I’ve never had one at an actual fair – just these and vegetarian ones!

  8. my daughter is the only one who likes the corn dogs and my son likes those sandwiches

    my son went back to school today and my daughter doesn’t go til after Labor day

    haven’t bought anything yet – lol 🙂

    1. Yeah, sounds about right here! One likes the breakfast sandwiches and one likes the corn dogs.
      We mostly always go after Labor Day but I think we go earlier this year. Yikes!

    1. My dad introduced me to Jimmy Dean products when I was a kid. Sure enough, I checked his freezer last week and he still buys them!

  9. Mmm I just got hungry for corn dogs! Good luck with Des’s transition to full-time school. I think he will rock it! My twins are doing the same in a few weeks (they’re about the same age as Des too).

  10. These are definitely great for starting their mornings. I like the pancake/sausage sticks because they require the least cleanup!

  11. The kids are so hungry during the school year. And I agree w/Liz, the less clean up the better! 🙂

  12. Hmm…I think my boys would like both of these. They had my picky eating habits until the teen years hit – and now they’ll eat anything, and lots of it!

    1. I was the same way! I was picky until I turned 15 and while I still think I have my odd ways, I really love to eat many things!

  13. Some kids i know will almost eat anything in front of them. I guess it was good practice to have them together during meals to encourage them to eat normal food especially veggies! and eventually to watch and learn the use of sppon and fork.

  14. Hehe, while I don’t have a kiddo yet, I totally love keeping easy food items like this in the freezer for when the hubs and I are feeling especially tired…more affordable than takeout, and if you prep a salad with it, it’s like a real meal!:-)

  15. I am all for simple breakfasts to save time! Those Jimmy Dean sandwiches look good. Breakfast is a must at our home and I feel it is so important for our bodies. Ha ha I ate like you too when I was a teen and back then, I stayed thin! PS I have those clay plates too! 🙂

    1. We got those clay plates for our wedding! Sango is the brand, I think. We have shiny square ones too but they were terrible for photos. I really wanted to use them!

  16. The breakfast sandwiches are yummy! Its great to have more substantial, filling and nutritious options than just sugary cereal!

  17. I have NEVER had a corndog? Although I heard great things!! My hubby hasn’t either–I think because they don’t sell em anywhere that I know of in NYC!

  18. I cannot even enumerate how many of those Jimmy Dean sandwiches have been consumed in this house. The kids love them – especially the chicken biscuits (which you couldn’t pay me to eat – sorry JD).

  19. School starts in a week and half…. and I have done nothing for Back to School yet. So actually…. it’s been really easy on my family. LOL
    that’s probably not the best strategy. But I am waiting for my mom to return from a trip because she has the nose of a bloodhound for sniffing out sales and can shop for like 234 hours straight without peeing. It’s a gift.
    It skips a generation apparently.

    1. It’s a week and a half for us too.
      Our extent of preparation was Cassidy emailing me a link to a Captain America backpack and asking if we should get it for Scarlet.
      I wrote back, “YES! and for me.”

      End.

  20. I love sausage, egg and cheese! Well, we’re still in the middle of school year over here. Reiko always, always asks for beef loaf or hotdogs but most of the time beef loaf and pasta or noodles. He has a crazy appetite. Sometimes he eats a lot. Sometimes he only wants to drink water!

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