A Q&A Discussion with the Actress, TV Host and Mother
It’s that time of year again–time to send the kiddos back to school! While a new school year brings promise and excitement surrounding what’s ahead, it also can be a time of uneasy transition and stress. Between getting your kids ready in the morning to running around for afterschool activities, how do you ensure they’re still eating healthy? How can they–and you–ease in to their new schedule? What’s the best way to ensure you’re still squeezing in as much quality family time as you can? Haylie Duff of Real Girl’s Kitchen sat down with Libby’s recently to share her favorite tricks and helpful tips for making the back to school transition as seamless, healthy and fun as possible!
We can’t believe it’s already time for another school year! The transition from the beach to classroom can be a bit bittersweet as we say farewell to summer break. What are your tips for lessening the stress of back-to-school and making the transition smoother?
Well, since this is my first time “getting ready for back to school,” I’m getting lots of tips from other moms! One thing I have cracked down on is nap/bedtime routine. During the summer, we love to have long, leisurely meals outdoors. Since the sunlight lingers in the summer, Ryan’s bedtime has become later and later. I really believe that a scheduled kid is a happy kid so I am trying to stick with our normal hours in prep of the extra energy needed for school!
My other tip for getting rid of school prep stress is to pack everything the night before. I make most of Ryan’s lunch the night before so we can run out the door in the morning!
Planning ahead is key to smooth mornings, especially as you’re getting back into the swing of things. What’s your go-to make-ahead lunch?
I actually just made a cold pasta salad with Rotini pasta and Libby’s® Peas & Carrots Vegetable Cups. It was very simple and delicious and it holds up perfectly in the refrigerator. It is a perfect make-ahead lunch for kids!
Having tasty, fun and nutritious recipes can help us break free from lunchbox boredom. What are some ways to get creative and spice up lunch for the next day?
I have been seeing lots of creative lunches now that Ryan has started preschool…even pizza!
I really feel inspired by the colorful lunches. A classic and fun way to spice up lunch can mean a bunch of different things: cookie cutters for sandwiches, a surprise pop of color like purple carrots, or even their favorite little cookie tucked away somewhere.
After-school snacking = key to curing crankiness. What are your go-to snack recipes that will satisfy, but also leave room for dinner?
We love seaweed snacks in our family! Fruit is also always a good idea, or something a bit creative like my Hatch Chili & Cheddar Corn Muffins! Sometimes they play so hard at school that their snack needs to be amped up a bit!
When entering a new school year, weekends are often cherished with quality family time, whether it be a short getaway, or lounging around in pajamas all day. What are some of your favorite weekend activities for the new season?
Ryan has been in her little baby pool NONSTOP! I think swimming is always a great idea because it really wears them out so that they are ready for bedtime! Even if the sun is still shining bright!
Between extracurricular activities, studying and homework, it can be a bit challenging and hectic to balance the never-ending to-do list. How do you manage everything, while also fitting in nutritious meals for the family?
A well-stocked pantry is my best friend when things get hectic over here! If you keep things like Libby’s® Vegetable Cups or Libby’s® Vegetable Pouches, good broths, pasta, rice, lentils, tomatoes, etc. in stock at all times, you can usually pull just about anything together!
Veggies are key to ensuring kids have a nutritious, balanced diet – but it can be tricky to get the youngsters to eat them. What are some tricks to sneak in vegetables?
I think smoothies are a great way to sneak in greens! Sadly, Ryan won’t drink a smoothie. My Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Libby’s® Vegetable Cups is a veeeery popular dish in my house! Ryan has loved lentils ever since she was a baby and I always sneak in as many more veggies as I can! I usually get away with it…unless I add broccoli, then that’s a no-go!