It’s hard to believe that the summer break will come to a close in a few short weeks. For the parents at our Central Oklahoma orthodontic offices, that means it’s time to get ready to send your little ones back to school. But after a few months of soaking up the sun and enjoying quality time with your family, it can be tough to get back into the swing of your regular routine. Between shopping for school supplies and preparing healthy lunches every day, back-to-school season can be a little overwhelming at first.

The doctors at Craig & Streight Orthodontics know how busy this time of year can be so we’re here to make this back-to-school season easier than ever. Have kids with braces? We’ll work with you to find appointment times that work with even the busiest schedules. Need lunch ideas? There are tons of easy, healthy, braces-friendly lunch options that your kids will love. Read on for the ultimate list of back-to-school hacks for 2019.

  1. Skip the Lines and Shop Online — for Everything

We’ve all been there: the teacher’s list of must-have supplies comes in and you’re stuck battling the crowds to make sure your kids have everything they need this school year. But with online shopping becoming more popular, why not avoid the lines and have everything shipped right to your front door? Amazon Smile is a great one-stop shop for literally everything — from clothes to binders to pens to backpacks — and it gives you the opportunity to donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice. You could even donate directly to your local school system! Most brands also offer the option to shop online and there are a ton of back-to-school sales at this time of year, so sign up for your favorite brands’ newsletters to get the best deals!

  1. Get Back on a Sleep Schedule Before School Starts

During the summer months, it’s easy to let bedtime routines go out the window. After all, the days are longer and there’s no school in the morning; why not let your little ones stay up a little later? But getting your kids back on a sleep schedule can take time so do yourself the favor of resetting bedtimes before school starts. This way, your kids will feel refreshed and ready to take on the new school year from day one.

  1. Start a Fun Wake-Up Routine

Getting your kids back into the routine of waking up early for school can be a challenge — not just for your little ones but for you, too. Once school is back in session, you’ll need to get up earlier to prep their breakfasts and lunches, get them bathed and dressed, all before stepping out the front door. To make wake-up time a little more fun, try putting on an uplifting, kid-friendly playlist. Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora have pre-made playlists ready to go, so just turn on the speaker and hit play. Getting your kids to rise and shine will be easier than ever.

  1. Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Meal prepping is one of those things that’s easier said than done. But once you get into a rhythm of planning your kids’ breakfasts and lunches ahead of time, you’ll wonder why you didn’t always do it this way. To make breakfast a breeze, try making ready-made smoothie packs by adding fresh ingredients in a ziplock bag and storing in the fridge or freezer. Each morning, all you have to do is throw everything into a blender and voila — instant breakfast. And bonus: smoothies are the perfect meal for kids and teens with braces!

Back-to-school lunches take a little more planning and preparation, but it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. For kids with braces, you’ll want to make sure not to include anything crunchy, chewy or sticky. Easy-to-eat sandwiches (like peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, or tuna salad) are the perfect braces-friendly meal, and fresh fruits that you don’t bite into (like berries, bananas or apple slices) are great additions to any healthy lunch. We recommend making a lunch schedule for each day of the week. With an easy-to-follow meal plan, you’ll never again have to worry about what’s for lunch.

  1. Pre-book Your Kids’ Appointments

We know how crazy your schedules can get once you’re immersed in the back-to-school hustle and bustle. Between parent-teacher meetings, work, piano lessons and soccer practices, it’s easy to overlook certain appointments like dentist and orthodontist visits. That’s why we always encourage our patients to pre-book their kids’ appointments. That way, you won’t be scrambling to get your kiddos in to see their doctor last minute. Don’t have your kids’ orthodontist appointments in your schedule? Call us now to book!

Transitioning from summer mode to school mode might feel like a daunting task, but all it really takes is a little extra planning. The trick is to think ahead and start getting ready before the school year begins. Trust us, you’ve got this.