Lifestyle journalist and mom Julie Loffredi has the latest tips and tools necessary for any back-to-school scenario, whether your little ones will be in the classroom or remote learning.

  • MAKE ROOM FOR FAMILY TIME:  Work and school schedules can get pretty packed! With some families learning and working from home there is greater flexibility for weekend getaways. Check local travel options available for families looking for a weekend get-away or a change of scenery while working and learning from home. Check out all-in-one websites that can offer great deals on car rentals, cozy local accommodations and keep you up-to-date on local COVID-19 restrictions. As the kids start to go back to school – whether it be in person or remotely, there is still some time to plan a relaxing family getaway through, which offers incredible places to stay from homes to hotels to cabins and more, as well as a range of transportation options, including rental cars. With more than half of Americans feeling comfortable enough to plan domestic travel in the coming months, the great American road trip has become a very popular option, with recent data through the website showing that 93% of car rental pick-ups by US customers were at domestic locations. The easy to use platforms allow you to arrange a car rental from over 13,000 pick-up locations across with the U.S.
  • GET CREATIVE WITH LUNCHTIME: Prepping lunch items in advance can save time in your busy day. Fun and creative lunches keep the kids happy and engaged whether at school or learning from home. While the school year looks a little different this year, what hasn’t changed is children’s need for high-quality protein, like beef, to fuel their active bodies and developing brains. The experts from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner and the Beef Checkoff have you covered with all kinds of easy recipes for school lunch, whether in person or at home. Check out these ‘Saucy Beef Wraps’ and ‘5 Way Mini Meatloaves’. Two easy recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters and help everyone stick to a lunchtime routine. Beef is not only an excellent source of protein for children, it also provides 10 essential nutrients that support an active and healthy lifestyle.
  • CHOOSE EASY TO PREPARE SNACKS & MEALS:  Look for easy to prepare foods in the frozen food aisle that your kids will love. Mrs. T’s Pierogies are pasta pockets stuffed with two of my favorite things: creamy mashed potatoes and cheese! They are very easy to prepare, whether you boil, bake, sauté, fry or even grill them. They are great as a snack during the day or for a weeknight meal and are available in 14 flavors in both full and mini sizes. My family has enjoyed the Easy Veggie and Pierogy Sheet Pan recipe which features the Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare! It just so happens that October 8th is National Pierogy Day. So why not celebrate with this delicious recipe?
  • ROUTINE IS KEY: If the kids are learning remotely full-time or part-time, try to stick to a routine each day.  Set up their class schedule on a white board and always make time for snack and movement breaks!

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