Back to School {Healthy Essentials}

by Cate on September 6, 2014

So I sort of temporarily fell off the blogging bandwagon for a few days. I fully intended to come back mid-week, but between getting the kids ready for school and an assignment deadline looming (for me) and a rousing bout of terrible allergies (also for me), my plans were quickly waylaid. You know how it goes…


The kids started school on Thursday, and they seriously could not have been more excited. They actually packed their backpacks a week prior, picked out their outfits the night before, and then, of course, couldn’t fall asleep. The excitement was palpable. Seventh grade and first grade.

Excuse me while I shed a tear on the thought of my kids growing up…

When they got off the bus after the first day, they both shared their day with me and each other, going over minute by minute. That’s Madeline’s specialty. “First I got off the bus. And then I walked to the gym. And I sat down and waited for my teacher. She came and then we walked to class…” It kills me, and about does Nick in.

I asked Nick how his first day was and got “Mom, it was AWESOME. I love all my teachers.” Ah, the enthusiasm of a first day. Hopefully that lasts forever. Or at least until Thanksgiving break.

Although we were down the shore for a few days earlier in the week, I wanted to make sure we had a full day back at home to get ready for school. You know, put us in “routine” mode. Grocery shop for lunches. Do last minute school supply runs. Make sure we’re good and ready, and equally chill, so we start the new school year off on a good note.

Which apparently meant a quick stop for more tabs for Nick’s binders because he needs a ridiculous amount. Why, I will never understand.

Hot lunch options for the kids don’t start until the end of the month, so I planned a few weeks’ worth of menus so the kids wouldn’t get bored, and lunch would actually get eaten, instead of appearing in their lunchbox at the end of the day, all smooshed and wasted. A friend and I are getting together over the weekend to make a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

All designed to make our lives a smidge easier.

At least in the beginning.

Because you know how roads are paved with good intentions and all that.

My current plan is to do our meal prep together twice a month, which will mean that two weeks a month will have all our meals planned and made. Because if I said I wanted to prep every weekend, I know it wouldn’t happen.


Along with making sure my kitchen is stocked with everything I need for healthy meals for us during the school year, our health and beauty supplies are well-stocked too. Because nothing says “school year” like the immediate need for Band-Aids, aspirin, lotions for the dry skin that new seasons will bring (we’re big fans of Lubriderm’s Daily Moisture Lotion – last winter wreaked havoc on my already-dry skin!), and something to soothe upset tummies. And, as I mentioned, allergies. Because I don’t know what Mother Nature is doing, but I have spent the last two days feeling like my head was underwater and sneezing and sniffling my way through it.


If you’re getting yourself ready for a healthy school year too, be sure to stop by the Healthy Essentials page from the folks at Johnson & Johnson. There are tons of coupons to use, as well as great tips and tricks for keeping our kids (and ourselves!) healthy this school year, including a cute DIY First Aid kit, which I love to keep in my car (although I didn’t make the cute fabric pouch, I do totally have all the supplies at the ready). I’m the mom with Band-Aids, Tic Tacs, and hand sanitizer. Always.

This post is part of the Healthy Essentials 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. All opinions, as always, are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help support my family.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne September 7, 2014 at 8:16 am

Back to school is definitely one of the craziest times of the year. But I think it makes me want to start fresh and get my life organized even more than New Year’s does!
Joanne recently posted..Blue Bottle Double Chocolate Cookies


Elizabeth B September 8, 2014 at 9:37 am

Cate can you share details about the meal prep with your friend? I have been trying really hard to plan things out, but I get so overwhelmed looking for 7 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! Even just vague descriptions if you can’t link to all of the actual recipes. That would be so helpful!!!


Cate September 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi there! I posted what we did for lunch last night. For breakfast, I made one batch of muffins, which was enough for the week’s worth of breakfast. For our next go-round, we’re going to make two loaves of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. For the dinners, we made three dinners, figuring some nights would be left-overs. For this prep, we made Engagement Chicken, Pork Carnitas, and (new recipe) Chicken Alfredo Ziti. The first two dinner recipes are on my site. Hope that helps!


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