Setting A Goal For The 2019-2020 School Year

We are two weeks into the new school year. Syllabus’s have been signed, a new pick-up/drop-off routine has been established and homework is back to being a nightly occurrence. The start of a new school year always feels more like New Year’s Day to me than January 1st. It’s the time of year that I find myself motivated to make resolutions that will start our school year out on the right foot. Today, I am sharing my goal for the upcoming school year with you.

Goal: Have an after school snack prepared daily for my children when they arrive home.

In the past I have prepared a snack for the kids on days that they have activities directly after school. I would pack a couple different snacks in small baggies and hand them to the kids when they got in the car during after school pick-up. I noticed that my kids would always wolf down these snacks without complaint even if it included items they wouldn’t typically reach for on their own at home. They were also less likely to be “hangry” or have a meltdown because they were eating immediately.

On days that my kids came home directly after school I would leave it up to them to make their own snack. My kids would come home starving and grab the first snack they saw that didn’t take any effort. That usually meant chips or crackers, definitely not anything that needed to be washed or cut.

I decided I was going to have to get involved if I wanted them to have a more nutritious snack on days they came straight home. It’s one thing to ask them to pack a balanced lunch (read more about that here) when they are have the ability to pick a time that works with their schedule, than to expect them to take time to prepare food when they are tired and hungry.

I have found the following tricks are the key to successfully setting and keeping a goal:

Make the goal manageable. I run through possible roadblock scenarios in my head before finalizing my goal so that I can determine a successful plan of action. (ex: When will I prep their snack on days that I am working or running errands right before pick-up?)

Writing down a goal. This turns an abstract idea into a concrete plan. Putting a pen to paper also allows me to clarify my expectations.

Share the goal with others. Telling friends and family members about a new goal will help you to be accountable. It is much harder to let a goal fall by the wayside if I know that the people around me will be inquiring about my progress.

Sticking to a goal for three weeks. I once read that it takes three weeks of doing something continuously to form a new habit. If I can stick with something for continuously for three week I have done a good job of making it manageable. If not, I need to re-think my expectations.

Results:

We are just entering week #3 of school. I am happy to report that I have been successful at having an after school snack waiting for my kiddos every day. They haven’t balked at eating what I have prepared. One of the first questions they have started to ask when they get in the car is “what is today’s snack”

After school snacks are more balanced than before. I like to include fruits, veggies, protein and a little treat each day. I know the treat is what keeps my kids excited to come home to a mom made snack each day. I realized right off the bat that I needed to set a few ground rules to ensure that the fastest kiddo wasn’t monopolizing all of the treats and skipping the veggies.

Rule #1: Try at least one bite of everything.

Rule #2: Don’t eat all of anything.

My refrigerator and pantry are less cluttered and food isn’t going stale or being wasted. In the past my pantry typically had several bags and boxes of snacks foods that contained little more than a handful. Those snacks would continue to sit on the shelf while my kiddos chose new, unopened snacks. It was a similar story with fruits and veggies. My kids would always choose grapes or baby carrots over items like watermelon or cucumber that needed to be cut. Setting out several items before the kids get home allows me to pick older items first and clear off shelf space.

Here are some of the snacks I have prepared over the last couple weeks. The most popular was the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bites that I made a batch of at the beginning of week 2. I was also amused to see how excited the kids were to find snack sized candy as part of their after school snack because it was the same candy that just sits in our pantry after being collected from halloween and goodie bags. Do you have any favorite snacks you like to serve?

Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the school year or in January? I am also setting aside 30 minutes a week to work on our family photo albums. I’m hoping the project won’t seem so daunting if I stay on top of it by doing just a little at a time. I would love to hear what some of your goals are this year!

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