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6 Back-to-School Healthy Feeding Habits for a Successful Year

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

A mother putting her son's lunchbox in his backpack

Another school year is quickly getting underway! This year, consider tweaking your feeding routines to help your kids have a smoother...and healthier...transition back to school.

Let's face it, structure helps all kids to know what is expected of them. When kids get used to structured routines and expectations, they are at a better place to (eventually) go with the program. This goes for eating, too.

Here are some quick tips for structuring to support healthy eating routines for your family:

1. Being prepared is half the battle. A little simple menu planning can go a long way to help you serve quick and healthy meals and snacks at regular times (goodbye, grazing).

2. Consider posting simple written or picture menus in your kitchen so kids (particularly picky ones) know what to expect, especially if they're prone to protesting.

3. Organize your pantry and fridge so that healthy snacks are available. Only have available the snacks that you want your kids to choose from and give younger children two choices. Basically, you set the parameters and your child chooses within those parameters of healthy choices.

A variety of healthy snack choices

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Kids are usually super hungry when they get home from school. Give them healthy options, and small portions for after-school snacks, teaching the difference between healthy snacks and ‘sometimes treats’.

There is plenty of time for sweet treats or crunchy carbs later after you've gotten some of the 'good stuff' into their bodies.

When we structure after-school snacks like this including limiting portions and drinks, it leads to better overall success at dinnertime.

The key here really is to only make available those snacks that you want your kids to choose from.

4. Know ahead of time what you will do...what behavior plan you will have in place to manage

resistance as you adopt these new 'house rules'. 5. Do whatever you can as part of the evening routine to make your school mornings go smoother. It is SO helpful to prepare school lunches the evening before so that finishing up in the morning will be more of a breeze.

6. Be prepared with healthy on-the-go car snacks to nourish your kids for after-school

extracurricular activities.

A mother preparing a child's lunchbox

Remember, it can take about 21 days to form a habit. That's 3 weeks of doing the same thing, the same way. Habits form with routine.

It's worth it. Whatever you can do to simplify the feeding process and help everyone (even your picky eater) to get on board is going to be a win in the long run!

Happy Back to School,


Kids smiling in the lunchroom at school

Build a Better Eater book

Need some expert tips to help with your picky eater? Get the Build a Better Eater guidebook designed by a behavioral feeding coach to help turn your picky eater into a Brave Taster!

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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