The long Labor Day weekend is ahead of us and with that comes gatherings filled with friends, family, food, and FUN! Keep your celebrations healthy with some of our favorite cookout-worthy recipes. We have provided some recipes for Labor Day, most which include various foods of the month for August and September, for each course.

Try these recipes for Labor Day festivities:

tomato caprese

Tomato Caprese Salad

 

stuffed peppers

Caprese Stuffed Peppers

 

Summer Squash Veggie Wraps Summer Squash Veggie Wraps

 

peach hot dog

Peach Hot Dog

 

ww mac and cheese copy

Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese (for the kids!)

 

apple pie wraps

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Wraps

 

Grilled Peach Cobbler

Grilled Peach Cobbler

 

So what are you planning to do this Labor Day Weekend! Keep it healthy and safe!

 

USA Today Back to School Magazine

 

Back to school has been the primary focus these last few weeks and to continue with that theme, we thought we would suggest you check out the USA Today: Back to School Magazine. You can get the scoop on the latest snacks, clothing and products, along with some great articles to get you back in the swing of things.

If you run into our ad inside, you will be able to download your FREE back to school activity book! Read the online edition for these great articles and resources.

Happy reading and happy back to school!

 

USA Today Back to School Insides

school lunch prep

Tired of packing lunches for your kids every night/morning? We have the solution for you! Enlist your eager little helpers to get involved in school lunch prep to save you time (and sanity). When kids are involved in the lunch-making process, they’re more likely to take ownership in their food choices, resulting in a higher success rate of eating it all!

Here are five helpful ways that kids can help with school lunch prep:

  • Plan weekly meals – To ensure success, take 15-20 minutes to plan the weeks’ meals (including lunch and snacks), create a shopping list, hit the grocery store and you’re set.
  • Shop with a mission – Get supplies to make 5 main lunches so the kids have options. For example, get ingredients for turkey and low-fat cheese, peanut butter & jelly on whole wheat, etc. plus fruit/veggies and other healthy snacks.
  • Prep and Portion Foods – Wash, cut and ration fruits and veggies into small containers ahead of time. Put other healthy snacks such as pretzels, peanuts, whole wheat crackers, etc. into baggies and store together in pantry. This will save time and offer healthy selections for the kids.
  • Schedule lunch prep times – Set an evening time slot for each child, where they can quickly put their lunch together. This will eliminate any potential kitchen bickering sessions between kids.
  • Follow up – Check the lunches to ensure they are in fact creating healthy and balanced meals. When you see that they are doing a good job, you can feel good knowing they are making healthy choices for themselves!

Giving kids the chance to decide what they feel like having for lunch AND the opportunity to pull it all together, they learn to make smart decisions and be self-sufficient. Win-win, for sure!

 

Hardy preparing kids for tests

With back to school comes plenty of homework to be done and tests to be taken. It’s important that kids realize their performance results on tests have a big impact on their future.

Preparing kids for tests and how to properly study for them is very valuable. Today specifically, Hardy Heart is talking about spelling tests. He emphasizes making sure to go over and over the spelling words before the test to ensure kids are confident going into the test. Confidence and practice is key in preparing kids for tests.

Download the coloring and activity sheets focused on preparing kids for tests:

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Activity Sheet button

 

benefits of family mealtimeThis time of year especially, families are on-the-go and constantly busy. Quality time spent together as a family can be challenging to find. Between homework, afterschool activities, prepping lunches, making dinner and bedtime, time is hard to come by. This is why it is so important to make time for that all-important family meal as often as possible. The time spent together becomes invaluable!

Here are 5 benefits of family mealtime:

  • Communication 

This is a time where the kids will be minimally distracted and willing to chat. Ask them about their school day; What did they eat for lunch? Who did they play with? What activities did they partake in? This may be the only time you can get a daily recap. Here are 10 mealtime conversation starters to help you initiate that important dialogue.

  • Planning

Talk about some exciting things your kids would like to do and discuss what fun things everyone has coming up on the calendar, such as sporting events or birthday parties. Give them things to look forward to.

  • Food bonding

If you have little ones, start a contest to see who can eat the most veggies on their plate. Talk about the importance of eating these healthy foods. This creates a little bit of fun, friendly competition within the family and promotes healthy eating. Win-win!

  • Share responsibilities

This is a good time to encourage helping out around the house. If you incorporate chores into the kids routines, helping to set the table and clean up the dishes and kitchen are great ones to add to the list.

  • Family values

Mealtime, whether it be breakfast or dinner, offers a unique opportunity to connect in a relaxed environment while emphasizing that family time is important and valued. The table becomes a routine place where kids can expect togetherness and fun.

So, during this busy time of year, make sure to fit in some of that precious family time when you can!

What mealtime traditions does your household follow?

With all this back to school talk, we thought it would be a great time to bring back this post where we shared some proper hygiene techniques for your OrganWise Gal or Guy dolls. You’ve probably never thought that your sweet little OrganWise Guy or Gal may need a little bit of a cleaning. In the past, we’ve had people ask us how to clean the doll and the organ beanies housed inside, but have definitely never had anyone send us their OrganWise doll bath pictures!

OrganWise Doll Spa DayLast year, we were both thrilled and tickled to get this email from Roger Steinbrock from the City of Lawrence in Kansas. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with him and appreciate his efforts to get kids healthy in the parks in Lawrence. We asked him to share with us exactly what they did to clean their Mr. Organ (as they call him). Here is what he said:

“We just got a bowl with a little bit of soap (we’ve used Woolite in the past). Today we used a little bit of dish soap and washed him and wrung him out as best we could, letting him air dry the rest of  the way. The water actually gets pretty dingy – more than you’d ever believe. This was the first time we included Mr. Organ in the wash and I’m glad we did!”

Sounds like Mr. Organ has been quite busy playing in the parks this summer! Thank you Roger for sharing your tips to make sure your OrganWise Guy and Gal (and their insides) stay clean and healthy.

 

Pepto Peer PressureOne thing is for certain about kids, and really adults, too, and that is they we all want to feel like we belong. This starts from a young age, where kids deal with making decisions that may not always be smartest ones, but are the most “popular” according to their peers. As kids get older peer pressure is something that they are bound to face. They will be faced with issues big and small, and it is so important to teach them from a young age how to make smart decisions without being influenced by their peers. See how Pepto, the stomach experiences some peer pressure from a friend and what he does to resolve it.

Download the coloring sheet today to begin a conversation about peer pressure with kids:

Coloring Sheet Button

 

 

 

 

Good Luck!

Peaches, a type of stone fruit, are an August Foods of the Month. This time of year, your supermarkets will be full of stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines and others. Stock up on these fruits and make some tasty recipes like our peach-blueberry muffins. If you have purchased a lot of stone fruits and they are about to go bad, you can turn them into fruit leather! This process is much healthier than store-bought fruit snacks because you only use one ingredient – the fruit! Natural fruit leathers, like our peach fruit leather recipe are also a fun family activity that you can make with your children.

Peach Fruit Leather

Ingredients

3 very ripe peaches, sliced (3 peaches will make about 4 servings. You can use as many stone fruits as you want!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Use a food processor or blender to puree the sliced stone fruits.
  3. Transfer fruit puree to a parchment paper lined baking sheet (we sprayed our parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray).
  4. Spread fruit puree evenly in one thin layer over parchment paper. Make sure that the edges of the puree are not too thin or else they will burn.
  5. Cook for about 7 hours, until the fruit is completely dried out.
  6. The fruit leather will come off the parchment paper in one piece, Cut into strips and serve rolled up for a fun snack.

peach fruit leather

Free healthy resources for kids

With back to school here, The OrganWise Guys are eager to get back to spreading the word of good health. Over the summer we were busy revamping our website and are excited to share with you the new look and tools available. So whether you already use the evidence-based programming or you are new to it, take a minute to visit the new site, including our new shop and check out the free resources you can use in your classroom setting.

Here are the free healthy resources for kids:

  • Educator tools – See how the school assemblies are done or catch Dr. Michelle Lombardo (OWG President and creator) perform a training on The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program (OWG CSP). Here you can also find lesson plans and implementation guides to coincide with OrganWise Guys materials.
  • Curriculum Standards All of the OWG materials are correlated and updated in real-time to your state curriculum AND Common Core standards.
  • Kid’s Club – Here you will find video clips, as well as FREE activity and coloring sheet downloads!
  • Kid’s Blog – Check back each Monday and Thursday to see what ‘the Guys’ are up to! You can also download and copy free activity and coloring sheets that correspond to that blog!
  • Educator Blog Learn best practices for OrganWise Guys program implementation in the classroom and community.
  • Grown Up Blog – Gain helpful tips and ways to keep your family OrganWise at home.

We’d also like to share this back to school discount code for 20% off your order! Use coupon code SCHOOL2015 upon checkout. 

Which OrganWise Guys resources do you find most helpful?

Back to school brings back the morning craziness for most families. Getting the kids (and parents!) up, showered, dressed, teeth brushed, hair styled, is a lot to fit in before heading out the door. So what about that all-important first meal of the day? Whatever you do, don’t skip it. Eating a healthy breakfast is vital for productivity and energy throughout the day. Make it a priority and this can start with meal planning. Plan ahead, bake or cook ahead, and have some of these healthy breakfast recipes ready to go to ensure a successful day!

Click below to get some of our favorite healthy breakfast recipes:

yogurt berry cups

Berry Yogurt Cups

 

baked eggs

Avocado Baked Eggs

 

apple-breakfast

Apples, Nuts, and Cheese

 

egg-sandwich

English Muffin Egg Sandwich

 

peach blueberry muffins

Peach Blueberry Muffins 

 

mini egg omelets copy

Mini Egg Omelets

 

strawberry blueberry smoothie

Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie

 

stone-fruit-parfaitStone Fruit Parfait

 

Here’s to getting the school year started off right with healthy breakfasts! Enjoy!!