While some parts of the country have been back to school for a few weeks, here in New England, we’re just getting into the swing of things. It’s interesting to me, that parts of the country start school in early August (like down south) while there are other parts that don’t start until after Labor Day.  This post about busy mom hacks for easy school day mornings is brought to you today by Cheerios and the fact that I have two kids with very different personalities in two different schools.

Malone (age 8) is a very focused kid in the mornings and very much has his morning routine down to a science. He can go from wake up to bus stop in just under 20 minutes, if he has to. He doesn’t really care much about what clothes he wears to school, as long as they’re soft, eats the same thing for lunch everyday and he packs his backpack the night before. It’s just the way he’s wired. Lola (age 4), on the other hand, is not a morning person, cares very much about her appearance and likes to change up her “lunch order” everyday. If you combine their two personalities with the fact that the second Malone gets on the bus, Lola and I have to start our walk to her school, it leads to potential chaos quickly.

We’re one week into the new school year and here are the hacks I’ve got to share with you so far.

Picking out clothes the night before is a game changer.

Like I said, Malone doesn’t really care what he wears. However, Lola is a budding Pre-K fashionista and must control her look. This would be a lot easier to handle if she wasn’t going to a small private school with a dress code, but the fact remains that half of the clothes that she used to be able to wear on a daily basis can’t be worn to her no school. To make things easier on myself, I removed those things from her wardrobe and she’s only left with “school okay” options. Each night before she goes to bed, she picks out her clothes for the next day…. right down to the socks, shoes and bow. She can wake up and get dressed easily because she’s already picked.

No screen time or television can happen before school.

This took a little bit of getting used to for my kids. This summer, we often watched a show before we had breakfast. I learned very quickly that this needed to change for the school year. I just don’t have time to nag at kids who’ve become screen zombies in the morning. We’re on too tight of a time schedule.

Back up breakfast will change your life, especially if you’re running late.

Our back up breakfast takes components of our regular breakfast and bundles it in a way that can be grabbed and eaten on the go. A lot of mornings, we eat Cheerios for breakfast. They’re whole grain, nutrient rich in fiber and protein and gluten free.

In an ideal world, we have enough time in our morning to have Cheerios with fruit and yogurt or Cheerios with a banana topped with peanut butter. But for the mornings when we’re running late? We have protein cereal trail mix. 

To make this protein cereal trail mix, combine Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios (yellow box), mixed nuts and raisins. Store in an airtight container and dish them out into baggies as needed.

In our first week of school, this saved our mornings twice! The first morning, we had a shoe crisis with Lola. The second morning, Malone couldn’t find his lunchbox!

Want even more great #backtoschool inspiration? Check out Cheerios for even more awesome recipe ideas.