Sorry about missing last week - I know you all missed it terribly lol.
Well, the air waves are full of back to school sales and specials, and if you have kids in that age range, I'm sure your life is a quiet (or maybe not) chaos.
Whether pre-school, grade school, high school or college, there are some things you can do to make your life a bit easier.
If your child(ren) do not eat the meals they can get at school because of either you want to control what they eat or on a special diet, preplanning those meals - breakfast, lunch and snacks - will take a lot of worry off your mind.
Grab a pen and paper and your child(ren) and plan a menu for the next week. Then take your list and check your cupboards and refrigerator for what you have and what you need (weather might be a factor as to what to pack also, soup and warm foods that can go in a thermos are great to preplan and you can use leftovers and reheat in the morning before packing).
Get your kids to help form an assembly line and, if they are not squishy ingredients, go ahead and make up those sandwiches, sides and snacks. There is a lot of different packaging out there for your goodies - snack sized zip bags, plastic containers, drink and hot food containers out there. I would go inexpensive as alot of these containers won't make it home. Otherwise, prepare the night before, making sure that the cold stuff goes back into the refrigerator. Those little cold packs work really well for keeping things chilled.
Then, in the chaos of getting everyone up and out, that will be one less chore in the morning - just grab the respective bag or lunch box out of the fridge and send it on its way with your child (of course, planning you and your spouse's lunch and getting them ready is a great idea, too!)
If you have college bound kids, things get a bit trickier, as they may be a continent away. But care packages of homemade goodies are a welcome for some of those homesick kids. Use unbuttered, unsalted popcorn for packing cookies and goodies that won't spoil without refrigeration. If they have chocolate in them you may want to devise a way to pack them just in case your shipment goes through a warm area and that chocolate melts and runs over everything. Dry ice in a styrofoam container will work for a more perishable item, but you may have to shell out some bucks for 2nd or 3rd day delivery as it may take a week or more to get across country. If your college kid is close enough to drive home for a weekend, making a batch of soup and freezing it in individual containers so they can just pop it into a microwave is great. My cousin lived on my grandmother's garbage soup (everything but the kitchen sink lol) and homemade bread that he kept in the freezer when he was in college.
Great time to clean out that fridge and freezer, too!
Also, if you have extra homemade goodies, our Armed Service guys and gals really love them, too! There are websites that you can find that will give you the info you need to pack and send them.
Have a great week!