Tag Archives: back-to-school

Kindergartner School Tips: How to help your little one in the big school

It’s hard sending your little one off to the big school for the first time. Here are some Kindergartner School Tips to help you help your kiddo with kindergarten!

kindergartner school tips - how to help your little one in the big school

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Back-to-School Easy Weeknight Meals with Manwich

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

What happend to our summer???

In just a few short hours I will be the Momma of a preschooler!  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was single, living alone in grad school, and learning how to finally cook for myself?

These days I can’t even go to the bathroom alone, I’m cooking meals for five, and trying to find time to take care of the kids while working a part-time job and devoting time to my full-time passion.

Healthy eating is not quite as quick and easy as it was when I had all the time in the world to make a big salad, eat an entire head of cauliflower for dinner, or  perfectly portion my pasta so I didn’t go above my portion-size.  Now, I’m all about relatively easy with great taste the whole family can enjoy.

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Thanks to Manwich, we had the opportunity to try out a couple recipes to make a quick weeknight meal everyone will enjoy.  I love having a sauce on hand to jazz up a recipe and add some extra veggies without adding artificial  flavors or preservatives.  Plus, how cute do those kiddos look with sauce all over their faces?

On the back of our Manwich can was a recipe for Manwich Meatlof, which was great since that was my plan anyway – I altered the recipe a bit to include even more veggies and some lentils.  The  recipe called for pouring more than half of the Manwich on the top of the meatloaf, giving each bite that delicious saucy sweetness.



There are plenty of Manwich Recipes on their website, as well as Easy Weeknight Meals  with kid-stopping power.

I’m not much of a Hawaiian pizza person, but I love the idea of a flatbread pizza with Manwich and can’t wait to create my own!  I also love the idea of creating a unique sandwich with Manwich. [Added benefit: Manwich sandwiches are so messy they require two hands to eat wich leaves no room for phones at the dinner table.]  There are so many great ideas for making weeknight meals easier. You can also try my Manwich Loaded Baked Potatoes.

I’ve never had a hard time finding Manwich products, but you can go here to find them in a store near you.


How do you feel about school starting? Do you have a new preschooler, kindergartner, or so e other milestone?

Which Manwich recipe are you looking forward to trying?  What recipe do you think could use a little Manwich?


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20 Healthy Snacks Kids LOVE {and a lunch bag giveaway!}

I can’t even believe it’s back-to-school time already!

Whew! Those summers go fast! I’m definitely not rushing through the time we have left, but I am ready to get a jump start on planning for school lunches for my step-daughter, afternoon snacks for my new pre-schooler (insert Momma “my baby!” squeal here!), and anytime snacks for my snack-tastic little lady.

Fortunately, snacks are pretty common around here so we keep them as healthy as possible. It’s not uncommon for our lunches to look like snack time either.

Healthy Snacks lunch

So, I’ve compiled a list of all our favorite snacks for home and at school. Also, if you’re good on snack ideas but could use a new lunch bag, scroll to the end and enter to win a ThirtyOne lunch bag courtesy of Chiquita!

Healthy snacks Kids LOVE - great list of perfect snacks for kiddos (and they're healthy too... Shhh...)

20 Healthy Snacks Kids LOVE

1. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bites

We just discovered these recently and gave it a try with fat-free vanilla yogurt and blueberries. It might not be a great school lunch snack unless you’re able to keep it very cold. For little ones or an after-school snack, these are great and could definitely pass for a dessert!

25 Healthy Snacks Kids LOVE - Blueberry Yogurt Bites

2. Banana

For some fun take a toothpick to the peel and write a message that will turn brown by lunchtime.

3. Fruit with Cottage Cheese

This is one my mom used to do. When I was younger canned peaches with cottage cheese was a common snack. There’s something about the canned peaches (not packed in syrup) that brings back childhood memories for me, but other fresh fruits would taste great too.

4. Frozen Grapes

5. Almonds

Almonds are one of our favorites. I suppose this wouldn’t work for but-free schools, but I like to take pre-portioned almonds as an on-the-go snack because they are so easy and there is no mess. The Dollar Tree has small plastic containers that are the perfect 1/4 cup serving size.

6. Homemade Smoothies

7. Celery Sticks (with nut butter for dipping)

8. String Cheese

My kiddos’ favorite! Also, pre-packaged snacks are so easy! My tip: stop buying “light” string cheese! The flavor of the regular ones more than makes up for the couple calories your saving and satisfies much more.

9. Dried Fruit

Healthy snacks kids LOVE - dried fruit

10. Applesauce Packets

11. Jazzed-Up Plain Yogurt

I love knowing exactly what is going into my kiddos’ little bodies.  One way to do that is to mix our own yogurt flavors with our own toppings.  I’ll take old small jars (pimento jars are the perfect size and have a mouth wide enough for a spoon) and fill with plain yogurt and top with whatever fresh fruit we have on hand, or send so e granola to throw in.  If we didn’t have fruit I’ve used jam, and as special treat I’ve sweetened with sprinkles in yellow and blue so they mix to green when stirred.

12. Pretzels

13. Cucumber Slices

My kiddos love cucumber slices plain, and I love that they are good for them and pretty mess-free. For something a little more exciting, I like to sprinkle them with a little lemon pepper, or you could spread some tuna mixed with cottage cheese on each slice.

14. Carrot Chips or Sticks

15. Fruit Leather

You can buy some real-fruit fruit leather, but I’m excited to give this a whirl in my new dehydrator! From my understanding, with a little applesauce base and some puréed fruit I can have some for my kiddos straight from our kitchen!

16. Granola or Fruit and Nut bars

Healthy snacks kids LOVE - fruit and nut bars

17. Broccoli “Trees”

18. Frozen Peas

My little ones to crazy for these! They love them frozen more than cooked, and they taste so sweet and probably feel great for young ones who are teething!

19. Raisins or Craisin packs

20. Chiquita Apple Bites

These are great because there are a few different varieties to choose from. The larger bags of sliced apples are great for my little ones when I don’t know if they’ll eat a whole apple. The individual servings of sliced red, green, or peeled apples are perfect for throwing into school lunches. For kiddos like mine who haven’t tasted the deliciousness of apples and caramel, the small bags of apples with little Carmel cups inside were a huge hit! I expected my little ones to use the apples as a spoon just for the caramel but they ate the whole bag of apples!

25 Healthy Snacks Kids LOVE - Chiquita Bites

My kiddos loved trying the Chiquita Bites! They will definitely be going in my step-daughter’s lunches once school starts up because they are so easy!

Speaking of lunches….

The folks at Chiquita want to make sure you go back-to-school with a snazzy new lunch bag, and they’re giving away an awesome ThirtyOne bag to one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck all!

I want to hear your favorite healthy snacks for kids in the comments – I love getting new ideas!