OTTAWA — Julie Findlay is a mom and an educator who has always encouraged her kids to be involved in food prep.
She sees the kitchen as a “together-time” filled with teaching opportunities.
As families gear up for back to school routines, Findlay is sharing some favourite recipes to fuel students for that long-awaited time in the classroom.
Findlay’s Favourites for Fuelling Learning
Five ways to transition into the back-to-school routine
1. Set up for success
“Prep your back-to-school supplies and your workspace area,” Findlay says.
“Have a calendar nearby. It will be a perfect tool for recording when assignments are due, field trips, as well as all other extra-curricular activities your child might be involved in. The calendar is a perfect organizational tool as well as a keepsake at the end of the year to take a look back at all of your child’s accomplishments.”
Visual aids are great for your children and their workspace
For the youngest grades
- alphabet letters
- recognition words that they are learning
For the older grades
- have a homework duo tang that could include helpful information that will help build strengths
- multiplication chart
- math formulas
- grammar rules
2. Packing it all in
“Label your things, best way to make sure they come home,” says Findlay. “Mabel’s Labels, a company started by a mother of six, has all the labels needed to identify kids’ belongings and keep their things out of the lost and found.”
“Lunch bags – try to invest in one that has a removable washable inside. Easier to clean spills. Most schools promote litter-free lunches. There are many options of reusable containers and bento boxes. Thermoses are a great option to keep things cold and hot,” she adds.
“School communication might come in backpacks. Tip: Have the kids empty their bags as soon as they walk in. It also saves food that was not eaten at lunch.”
“Things might change, and that’s okay, there is a lot of correspondence to keep you informed.”
3. ‘How was your day?’ After School conversation starters
“There are many great questions to ask – sometimes ‘How was your day?’ Doesn’t give you enough,” Findlay says
Instead, try this:
- What was the best part of your day?
- How would you rate your day on a scale of one to 10?
- What games did you play at school?
- If one of your friends could be the teacher for the day, who would you want it to be?
- What is one thing you learned that you did not know?
Encourage the kids to ask questions about your day, so it is not one-sided.
4. Keep Active
“It is important to keep active daily for your heart health and well-being,” Findlay says.
“Be sure to be active 30 minutes a day. Take the challenge — do it together as a family—JUMP IN. By taking the 30 day challenge, not only will you have opportunities to try new things, but you will get yourself into a routine to be active every day. Your heart, body and mind will thank you!”
5. Bucket list
“We are back to school and back to routine but remember fall is a beautiful time in the year,” says Findaly. “Community fairs are on, fall colours, Ottawa Redblacks, Atlético Ottawa, Saunders Farm, Camp Fortune Zipline. Start your fall bucket list! Need some more ideas of what to do around town? Check out ottawatourism.ca.”
“WE are all in this together and there are ways to make sure we all head back together ready for the year ahead! Check in with your community, your food centres, breakfast programs and back to school community support.”