35 back-to-school tips for your best year ever

By: Sarah DeMille

© Locke Author: Canadian Living Credits: © Locke


35 back-to-school tips for your best year ever

By: Sarah DeMille
From must-have back-to-school essentials to tasty meals your kids will love, here's everything you need to know in one handy back-to-school guide.

As summer winds down and fall creeps up on you, it's time to prepare for the start of a new school year. Whether you're sending your little one off on the bus for the first time or watching your teen dash out the door for his or her final year of high school, the back-to-school season means going back to pencils, notebooks and assignments, and the need to get organized.

The choices of back-to-school supplies may seem endless, but if you sort through the options you'll be able to pick the best ones for your kids. Plus, find out how to start the new school year on the right foot. And if you're looking for meals that won't come home uneaten in your young scholar's lunch box, you'll need the best kid-friendly meals they'll love. Also, don't miss our quick and easy recipes that make weeknight dinners a breeze.

Our ultimate back-to-school guide helps you get back into the swing of things with ease.

Healthy snack and lunch solutions
A good lunch will give your child the energy he or she needs to concentrate during class and the strength to participate in fun after-school activities. Eating a tasty, nutritious lunch also goes a long way to ensure they don't opt for not-so healthy snacks.

Making lunches that are both kid-friendly and Mom-approved is a cinch. The following recipes, from quick and easy snack bars for on-the-go energy to tasty lunch solutions, are ones your kids will love.
Keep it healthy, and keep it wholesome with these tasty lunch box recipes the whole family will enjoy.

2. Lunch box cereal bars
These crunchy bars are a tasty treat and make for a perfect snack to take on the run.

3. Back to school lunch solutions
Start the year off brilliantly with recipes and packing tips from the Test Kitchen.

4. Lunch box trail mix
This trail mix makes an easy, portable snack for kids and adults alike.

5. How to pack a perfect lunch for kids
Send your kids to school with a nutritious and delicious lunch every day.

6. Healthy snacks for kids, plus 7 recipes
Seven classic snack recipes get a healthy makeover. Don't worry, your kids will love them.

7. Peanut butter and banana bars
These moist breakfast bars are like muffins in a new shape. They can be individually wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for two days, making it easy for kids to help themselves. They also make welcome after-school snacks.

8. 10 fun and easy snack recipes made with cereal
Squares, cookies or trail mixes featuring cereal are fun and easy snacks to make for the whole family to enjoy. Quick, no-bake recipes also mean you can get the kids involved with little fuss or bother.

9. Photo gallery: After-school snacks kids can make themselves
Hungry kids can help themselves to these easy and healthy after-school snack ideas.

Quick and easy kid-friendly meal ideas
With activities and responsibilities packed into a busy school day, it can challenging to come up with a meal that's both nutritious and to everyone's liking.

A hearty meal gives your little learners the energy they need to learn and make healthy choices throughout the day; so check out top picks for kid-friendly food below. 

10. Photo gallery: 7 awesome 5-ingredient dinners
Made in minutes with just a handful of ingredients, these tasty dishes are simple and full of flavour. The whole family will love them!

11. Photo gallery: Kid-friendly, healthy meal ideas

Cook up five healthy, family-friendly meals that cater to the kid in all of us.
12. Breakfast for learning
Get tips for giving your kids a healthy start to their school day.

13. Yummy breakfast recipes for kids
Looking for great breakfast recipes for kids? Discover a new favourite with these easy step-by-step breakfast recipes! Plus, stay safe with our kids cooking tips.

14. Breakfasts at breakneck speed: Fruity smoothies or savoury eggs
These protein-packed breakfast recipes can be made in 5 to 10 minutes, with most of them designed for on-the-go.
15. Speedy breakfast ideas
Fast and healthy ideas for weekday or weekend breakfasts, plus fresh ideas to make store-bought options better for you.

Page 1 of 2 -- Get easy home office organization and stress-free solutions for going back to school on page 2

Easy home office projects

A clean and organized desk is essential for getting homework done with minimal distractions. To keep your kids motivated to stay on top of assignments, consider a set-up that's easy to keep clean.

Desks can become a dumping ground that makes it impossible to get work done. These DIY tips and tricks will help keep your child's learning space organized, but still personal enough to inspire creativity.

16. Photo gallery: desk organization at its best
Liven up your workspace and get inspired with these five quick and easy crafts that will organize the most drab desk and add lots of personality.

17. 10 neat ways to organize your home office
Your home office can be a dumping ground for paper and little things that add up to a big mess. Here's a simple how-to guide for setting up your home office and controlling the clutter.

18. Photo gallery: Cork bulletin board DIY project
Wondering how any work gets done at your messy desk? Organize your workspace with this beautiful designer cork bulletin board.

19. Easy craft: Learn how to stencil a tote bag
Decorating a multi-purpose tote bag is a snap with these simple art instructions and easy-to-find craft supplies.

20. Simple door organizer craft for kids
This easy craft project puts everything you need right at your fingertips.

Shopping for school supplies
Back-to-school shopping goes beyond buying pencils and notebooks. Kids love to start off the new school year with the latest supplies, a few snazzy outfits and some cool new shoes.

With the help of some great money-saving tips, you don't have to break the bank to make sure they return to class prepared and in style. Learn how to save on back-to-school essentials, teach your kids about money, and find the perfect tech gear with these helpful articles.

21. Photo gallery: 10 can't-miss back-to-school supplies
Need some help getting school supplies in time for the start of the year? Not to worry -- we've got you covered! Help your kids transition from summer games to scholastic success with our top back-to-school picks.

22. 14 ways to save money on child care
Raising kids is expensive enough -- paying people to take care of them while you're at work just makes it worse. Here are some great ways to help you save money and lower the costs of child care.

23. 6 ways to get great clothing deals
From browsing through fashion outlets to off-season shopping, our expert reveals easy ways to score the best clothing deals.

24. What you need to know about student loans
Canada Student Loans are available for students who need assistance with the costs of post-secondary education. Here's what you need to know to keep your debt at a minimum.

25. The dos and don'ts of teaching your kids about money
Most of what your kids know about money, they learn from you. But are you sending the right messages? Check out these 10 tips to teach your kids how to be great with money.

26. Find your ideal computer with these 7 tips
Do you need a laptop, netbook, desktop or a tablet? Learn pros and cons of each brand and operating system in our computer buyers guide.

Advice for moms
Going to school can be a lot to handle for your children -- especially if they're just beginning kindergarten or starting their first day at a new school. Our handy how-to articles give you the advice you need to cope with the most common problems.

Whether you're preparing a little one for the first day of kindergarten or helping another to deal with a school bully -- we've got you covered! 

27. Preparing your child for kindergarten
Try some simple ways to make your child first-day ready.

28. 4 creative ways to help your kid eat a healthy lunch
Does your kid trade his or her healthy lunch at recess, or go all day without eating? These creative lunch ideas will keep your kid munching, healthy and energized all day.

29. Backpack buying tips
Physiotherapists advise school kids to lighten up! Check out some good options to help them carry their supplies without excess strain.

30. Get organized for back to school
Don't let the first day of school catch your family off guard -- start to re-establish routines now.

31. How to help your child deal with a bully
Is your child being bullied? Give your kids the tools they need to avoid conflict and handle encounters with a bully in a mature and peaceful manner.

32. How to keep your kids safe online
Teach your kids how to stay safe, be responsible and avoid incident while spending time on the web.
33. Calming your scared child
Learn strategies for dealing with your child's fears and worries.

34. Best educational apps for kids
Today's technology-wise kids have plenty of homework help at their fingertips with educational apps serving as personal tutors. Here's a round-up of the best of the bunch.

35. The best online homework help
Using the Internet for homework assistance requires both awareness and participation from parents. Here are some useful sites that will help you enhance your child's learning experiences at home.

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35 back-to-school tips for your best year ever