By: Rebecca Michelsen, M.Ed., MCHES, Manager of Community Outreach & Family Programs, Penfield Children’s Center
With the new school year in full swing, children are getting back into the routine of waking up early for class. While it might be nice to have the kids back in class again, how are the mornings going? Do you find yourself breezing through or scrambling to get your family out the door on time?
If you are like most parents, the morning rush is an everyday occurrence and can be difficult to navigate, especially when you have young children.
Below are some tips for getting the whole family out the door (and fed!) on time.
- Prepare the night before. Pack lunches, iron and lay out outfits and make sure all homework is already in backpacks and waiting by the door. Don’t forget to prepare for mom and dad too! Items that easily become misplaced should be ready to grab on the way out, including keys, parking passes and glasses.
- Set and follow a morning routine. Make sure kids are dressed and ready to go before allowing time on tablets or for other play activities. Hang up a morning routine chart on your child’s wall that he can easily follow that shows him in pictures and words what he needs to do in order.
- Give each adult tasks. Divide and conquer. While dad might be in charge of making sure kids’ teeth are brushed and breakfast is on the table, mom can handle getting little ones dressed and putting lunches in backpacks before heading out.
- Create a “command center.” Include a calendar of the academic year, school lunch menu, important school and work papers and upcoming field trip information.
- Don’t forget breakfast! Simple and nutritious foods include yogurt pouches, hardboiled eggs, crock-pot oatmeal and frozen egg muffins. Frozen egg muffins are a great, make-ahead breakfast idea that the whole family will love and can easily be baked to accommodate different tastes and diets. To make frozen egg muffins, simply spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Add your “mix-ins” such as pre-cooked bacon, green peppers and tomatoes. Next, whisk together 12 eggs in a bowl and pour equal servings into the muffin tins. Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done. Individual muffins can be popped out of the tin and frozen until ready to eat. To re-heat, thaw egg muffins in the fridge overnight and microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- No time for a quick breakfast? Pack a breakfast-on-the-go pack for the car- Dry cereal, breakfast bars, applesauce pouches, 100% juice boxes, mini water bottles and dried fruit are all great options that can stay in the car.
With a bit of preparation, your mornings will become a lot less chaotic for the entire family.
What tricks do you use to speed up your morning routine?