Back to School Basics

Hope you guys had a great Labor Day break! Now the kiddos are officially back to school! Happy for us parents, right? Hey, guys, after a summer of planning activities, driving the kids (and their friends) all over the place and keeping the rest of life balanced, fall is vacay time for parents. And we earned it! But before we can get too excited, we should help ease the little ones back into work mode. Here are a few tips for making the transition smooth:

Superhero Sleep


Summer can be a no-rules, caution-to-the-wind time when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, so now is the time to make sure the kids are getting the rest they need to support the school-day brain workout. 

Keep bed time routines consistent – whether it includes bath-time and three stories read by Mom or cozying up with a good book or a pre bedtime chat with a best friend, routines are really important to help calm the mind and get the body ready for good rest.

Keep the electronics to a minimum – relaxing to a good tv show or movie before bed seems like a good way to unwind, but the glow of the television or computer actually stimulates the brain. Reading, story time or chatting about feel-good stuff are much better ways to send the kiddos off to dream land.

Get some lavender soap or bubble bath for pre bed-time showers and baths. It’s calming and relaxing and feels nice and cozy – make sure you get some for yourself, too!

Mind Power Meals

As a rule, try to limit caffeine and sugar, especially before bedtime. Load up on fresh veggies, grains, lean proteins and other good for ya stuff that really nourish the kiddos’ brains. Here’s a great after dinner treat that won’t amp the little ones up… but they’ll think they’re indulging! Potatoes replenish serotonin levels, which aide in sleeping and dreaming.



  • 2 large organic sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • a couple spoonfuls of natural nut butter, like almond 


Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes and slice them as thin as you like.

Toss slices in a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Lay out in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, flipping at least once or twice to ensure even cooking.

Remove once crisp and slightly golden brown. (Keep an eye on them toward the end of baking time so they don’t burn.)

Once they are cool, drop a dollop of nut butter in the center and feel good about feeding these no-bad-stuff treats to your little Einsteins!

Study Sanctuary


Homework is rarely tops on a kid’s list of fun to-dos, so make it better by setting up a cool study area just for them. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a special spot where they can leave all of their study materials. Let them decorate it the way they like and personalize it as much as your space will allow. It helps to create a homework routine and makes it fun (well, more fun, anyway!) now that they have a spot that is dedicated to their work. Think of it as their own personal corner office! 

What’s your best back-to-school tip? 



Photo credit: iStockSaving AngelBetty Crocker, Exool
  • Jun Alapag

    don’t worry, been there, done that.

  • Leslie

    some good ideas. I especially like the sweet potato idea! Thanks again, Dean!

  • taunrenee

    Like the sweet potato idea also!

  • Dean McDermott

    Thanks guys! Yep, potatoes make for sweet dreams haha!