Forget Christmas. For my mommy friends, the end of August/beginning of September is the most wonderful time of year. The kids are back in school, and after the little ones get dropped off, mommies get to have some much needed “me” time: Yoga. Spin. Zumba. Spa day. Catching up on emails, working on their businesses.  

But with Covid craziness, the 2020 back to school season is going to be an unprecedented, stressful one. Whether your kid is elementary-school age or high-school, keeping your kids stoked to learn all day via Zoom will be challenging. 

And with your kids at home, that means there’s less time for you to run errands, run your business, cook, clean and fit in some downward dogs and cat/cows. 

Hopefully, things will turn around, the numbers will improve and health officials will declare it safe for kids to learn at school. 

Until then, I hope the following tips can keep you sane in the meantime….

More Time To Make Healthy Veggie Juices

With the current situation, to stay positive, it’s all about finding silver linings. And one positive about not having to shlep your kids to school is that you won’t feel rushed (hopefully) to make sure your kid is plopped down in front of a screen. 

That means that you’ll have more time to make your kid a healthy breakfast. A low-sugar, veggie-rich smoothie or juice will help your little one concentrate better. High-sugar juices, in comparison, get metabolized very quickly. And that means that within half an hour after drinking a glass of orange juice, your kiddo is going to complain that he or she is hungry. Fueling your child with sugary juices and cereals also leads to mood fluctuations. High insulin and blood sugar spikes ultimately lead to energy crashes. Don’t want a moody, fussy, cranky kid at home all day? Give them some fiber-rich, nutrient-dense Green Drink in the morning. 

Use this most unusual “homeschooling” experiment as an opportunity to make more of your own veggie juices and smoothies in the morning. If you need to leave in the morning for a job while your spouse or someone else stays at home with the kids, pour some Green Drink or make your own homemade veggie juice at night so you’re not rushed in the morning. 

Whip Your Kids Into Shape

In speaking to some of my mommy friends with older kids, the schedule for a virtual school day is going to be much like a regular one. If you have a middle- or high-school age kid, they may only have a 10-minute break in between virtual lessons. In a perfect world, the school would provide a mini workout session catered to children. 

But it’s most likely going to be to you, Super Mom, to make sure your kids are getting off their tushes and getting some activity. Use this time to get some movement therapy as well. For older kids, get their blood pumping with jumping jacks, running in place, karate punches and pushups. Think about the great bonding experience this will create. 

For youngsters, lead them through a mini session of animal noise yoga. Every time you do a cat/cow, belt out a loud meow/moo and make silly faces while you do it. Your little one will love it. If you can lift your kid, also use this time to do some kiddy squats to strengthen and tone your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Get Your Kids Involved In Making Lunch

Depending on how old your kids are and what their schedule will be like, there may not be a lot of free time for lunch. But regardless of how long the break will be, use this time to connect with your kids. 

Of course you’re going to pray that your kids can go back to school, but while they are at home, use this time to bond with them during the lunch break. 

Get them involved in the food preparation by chopping veggies (if they’re old enough) or mixing the salad bowl. And while you’re forced to be with them, again find the silver lining in the moment. How often do you get to eat lunch with your kids and genuinely take interest in what they’re learning about? In a normal year, probably not that often. You may ask your kid, “How was your day?” or “What did you learn today?” But chances are, it’s just cliche conversation. 

By connecting with your kids during lunch, you just might find yourself enjoying this time of day—even if it means pulling you away from the things your brain is telling you that you need to get done. 

Teach Your Children Well

If you’ve ever thought about home-schooling your kid, use this time to experiment. If there’s anything you feel that your child isn’t learning in their virtual lessons, use family dinner time as an opportunity to teach them in a fun way about things like nutrition and finances. You can even teach your kid about what it takes to run a business. Who knows … maybe your child will one day turn out to be one of my biggest competitors. I welcome the competition!

Look, this back-to-school season is not going to be easy, for both you and your child. Remember to find the silver linings in every opportunity. We still have so much to be thankful for. 

To your health,

Chef V