easy 5 minute homemade ketchup + 4 tips for a successful back-to-school routine
Maybe, like us, you’re kids are back to school already. If not, most likely, they are headed back very soon. Getting back into a routine can be HARD, but routine is SO important and helps to alleviate back-to-school stress, and let me tell you, back-to-school IS stressful.
No one, including mom, wants to wake up early, there are mounds of paperwork for parents to fill out, activities start up, and then or course we have homework.
I’ve come up with a few tried and true strategies that ensure we start and finish the day on the right foot.
1. Schedule – make one, and stick to it. This is the best way to make sure the important things get done. We pretty much do the same thing at the same time every day. Mom up at 6 getting breakfast ready, Charlie at 6:30, Stella 6:45 – breakfast, shower, Charlie out the door at 7:15, Stella at 8. You can pretty much set a clock to us.
The same goes for after-school – it doesn’t matter what time they get home, they’re always hungry so I get a snack ready while they share their day and usually a stack of papers with me, followed by homework and the putting away of the mess that gets dropped by the door upon entering. Nothing else happens until those things are completed.
2. Planning – I do as much the night before as possible. Backpacks are organized and lunches packed after dinner. I plan what we’re having for breakfast and even set the table right after dinner clean-up. To make the morning as painless as possible I include as many make-ahead meals as possible. Muffins and pancakes made in double batches freeze and re-heat very well, and having plenty of freezer options like Jimmy Dean® Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwiches or Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick available helps when our schedule gets a bit off, and yes, that does happen.
3. Be organized – backpacks are kept in the same place everyday, we have a calendar with all or our of our activities, test dates, and projects clearly marked, our homework station is fully loaded with everything they need – no wasting time searching for pens, pencils, and paper, and I keep a list on the fridge with meals and snacks for the week, as well items we need to pick up at the store – usually more snacks for homework time like State Fair® Classic Corn Dogs with easy 5 minute homemade ketchup – my kids go through a LOT of snacks!
- 1-6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- whisk everything together in a small saucepan
- bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened - about 5 minutes
- cool completely before storing in an airtight jar
- store cooled ketchup in the refrigerator
4. Sleep – this may sound silly, but a good day starts the night before. Even though my kids are a bit older, we keep a regular bedtime. Late nights make for grumpy mornings – school aged children need to be getting at least 10 hours a night, tweens and teens between 8 and 9 hours,and even us moms and dads should be getting at least 7 hours a night.
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Got a great back-to-school tip, I’d love to hear it
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jimmy Dean®. The opinions and text are all mine.