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Category Archives: Back to School

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series You all know me well now and you will know that I love to bake and give the kids home baked goodness in their lunch boxes. I don’t usually have time to bakeduring the week so I spend an hour or so […]

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  • Vonni

    Tupperware are selling Freezer Mates at the moment. I had a party last week and mine arrived last night. Your blog post was very well timed Katrina. I’ve not frozen my baking before so I plan to do a trial run before the kids go back to school.

    http://www.tupperware.co.nz/product-gallery/product-categories/storage-%E2%80%93-freezer

    I purchased the family size set. If these ones work as well as they say, I will definitely get more.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh there you go, I haven’t seen a new catalogue in awhile, are their freezer containers big enough for a batch of 12 muffins? Let me know how you go with your first freezer baking session!!ReplyCancel

      • Vonni

        The largest Freezer Mate (2.3 Litres) in the family set is the perfect size for a dozen muffins :)ReplyCancel

        • I am a tupperware manager and can assist you with any freezer containers. Free gift from me if you reply to my email that you would like to see a catalogReplyCancel

          • Leanne

            Hi Tat,

            I am interested in a catalog and possibly host a party?

            Please email me and let’s chat :)

          • Barbara Collins

            Catalogue Please

  • Waverney Brooks

    Great collection. I’ll be keeping this for future reference. And just to clarify, Tupperware FreezerMates are back in regular range.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thak you Waverney, I didn’t realise, the container I have wasn’t from the Freezer Mate range I don’t think, was just a special offer from the specials catalogue many moons ago :)ReplyCancel

  • Alison

    Thanks for the great ideas. The peanut butter rice bubble slice is not school friendly with the no nut policy.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes your right Alison, all schools have very different restrictions. Actually my kids are going to a new school and I haven’ read the restrictions in their literature yet, must look into it!ReplyCancel

      • Kelly

        My school is allowed nuts, the only things we are not allowed are prepackaged foods or lollys, chips, soft drink, cordial, chocolate or high sugar foods.ReplyCancel

    • Theresa

      You could replaced the peanut butter with sunflower butter or other nut butter replacements. Just a thought…ReplyCancel

    • Belinda

      Not every school is nut free though, so for me this recipe was great as I like the kids to have a range of nuts in their diet.ReplyCancel

      • Theresa

        So true it was just an idea. I don’t have nut allergies but I do like to switch up different type of nut butters just for the flavor difference. :)ReplyCancel

  • Yvonne Bentley

    Thanks so much for all these recipes and ideas. Now I just have to make room in the freezer. I have never bought all these prepackaged instant snacks eg. muesli bars. So this is great it gives me a bigger choice of sweet, savoury snacks.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      That’s what I am trying to do too Yvonne getting close to it nearly being empty-ish enough to fill up with some baking!ReplyCancel

  • This year with two at school I vow that I AM going to bake ahead – great list, thanks Kat! I think I need more containers though!ReplyCancel

  • Del

    Hi. Do the muffins stick together when frozen? How do you get just one out? I love freezing baking but I thought you had to wrap them individually in glad wrap or baking paper to stop them sticking . . . .ReplyCancel

    • Jade

      I was wondering the sameReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Del, No i’ve never had any stick together, They break apart fine.:)ReplyCancel

  • kylie montgomery

    Do you cook the vegemite scrolls on the day of use or cook then freeze? Wondering if freezing if they would go doughy on thawing? Hope you can shed some light so I dont have to test.

    Thanks for all the great tips. Looking forward to a easy breezy return to school.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Kylie you can cook them on the day or they freeze great too, A big hit with the kids.:)ReplyCancel

  • Natalie

    Hi, Thanks for all of the awesome recipes! Busy saving them all ready for back to school :)

    You mention you put them in the lunchbox frozen in the mornings and I am wondering if this would also work where lunchboxes are kept in fridges at school or if I should get them out the night before?

    Thanks again!
    Natalie.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Natalie, i would probably take them out the night before if they keep lunchboxes in the fridge at school just so they are ready for them to eat at morning tea.ReplyCancel

  • Cara

    Just wondering if there is anything you’ve found that goes soggy when defrosted?ReplyCancel

  • KatrinaD

    Lots of yummy ideas.

    I have a close friend who can’t eat gluten (wheat etc flour). Some flour free suggestions for freezing –
    mini meatballs or rissoles based on a bread & flour free recipe,
    mini fish cakes,
    pieces of fresh pineapple (guilt free iceblocks),
    gluten free mini muffins,
    flour free bubble and squeak,
    little rice puddingsReplyCancel

  • FleurC

    Hey there Katrina, I am so so sooooo happy I stumbled across your site. My 5yo starts prep tomorrow and he is a terrible eater, I am talking an hour to eat a sandwich or a banana and thats with A LOT of encouragement!!!!! There are so many things that you have listed here that I think he will just love. Not to mention the fact that I had no idea you could freeze baked things without them going all yuck!!
    Thanks again for sharing :)
    Cheers FleurReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Fleur, Ooh that is wonderful! So glad you have found us and enjoying the blog. I hope your son has had a great first day of school and enjoying your baking.:)ReplyCancel

  • I have meal left after making nut milk and use them to make what I call ‘power balls’. I process them with coconut oil, cocoa powder, dates and nuts, then hand roll them into balls. Very filling and absolutely delicious, you can make ahead with varieties such as jam in the middle of the ball, or with dried fruits. Apart from Tupperware and Sistema I find Lock N Lock storage boxes great as freezer storage boxes too.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh Audrey they sound absolutely amazing!! And super healthy too.:)ReplyCancel

  • Hi, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your freezer ideas and your site (my cousin shared this link on her Facebook page and got hooked from there!) :-) I have only just found it as have just ‘discovered’ freezer cooking. I work full time, run my own private practice / website outside of work hours and will also be doing post grad study all through this year and identified that the first thing to fall off my list when am tired and stressed is… cooking dinner / making lunches and man its expensive buying 3 meals a day at my work cafeteria!
    If you have any other parts of your site that you think could help me — would love to hear about it!
    Also – love the layout of your site — so easy to navigate :-)
    Thanks again – See more at: http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2014/02/how-to-start-a-freezer-club/#comment-17180ReplyCancel

  • Hi, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your freezer ideas and your site (my cousin shared this link on her Facebook page and got hooked from there!) :-) I have only just found it as have just ‘discovered’ freezer cooking. I work full time, run my own private practice / website outside of work hours and will also be doing post grad study all through this year and identified that the first thing to fall off my list when am tired and stressed is… cooking dinner / making lunches and man its expensive buying 3 meals a day at my work cafeteria!
    If you have any other parts of your site that you think could help me — would love to hear about it!
    Also – love the layout of your site — so easy to navigate :-)
    Thanks againReplyCancel

  • Peggy

    Looks brilliantReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      .:) The kids really enjoy them.ReplyCancel

  • Kaz

    Great ideas. I’m going to try it!
    Do you know how long you can keep muffins etc. in the freezer? (before they get frosty etc) thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I would say easily 3 months, depending that you have a good airtight containerReplyCancel

I have been contemplating do I or don’t I cut my son’s hair ready for school, be frugal. I found some great online tutorials which I thought you may enjoy too! Plus there is another great step by step tutorial from Frugal Fun for Boys.   Click here to view all other posts in our […]

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  • BH

    Do it. I have 3 boys and estimate I save over $300 a year with home haircuts. It always grows back!ReplyCancel

  • Claudette Andrie

    My son absolutely hates getting his hair cut. I use the clippers but he cries all the time. When I take him to the hair dresser he seems ok about it. Maybe I’m doing something wrong??? I’m very gentle with him.ReplyCancel

  • I don’t have kids, but I’ve been thinking I should learn how to cut my other half’s hair. It would save us a fair bit across the course of the year. I normally only get my hair cut once a year (it’s not coloured or straightened or anything), but Boyfriend gets his done every 6 weeks or so.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes my son is the same, every 5 weeks he is off to the hairdressers having his hair cut.:)ReplyCancel

A few days ago I shared 25School Bag Storage Ideas and so many lovely readers sent through images of their spaces, thank you to each of you for sharing, as your images can inspire others to create a space that will work in their home. Please note this slide show below, sharing over 20 different […]

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  • Marni

    this is amazing, thank you kat for putting together such inspiration for us, I’m not sure you realize the impact you make on my life and I am sure many others. now off to install a bag nook!ReplyCancel

  • This is such an inspiring collection – thanks for including my little space too! It is amazing how a previously empty, boring little hallway is now one of my favourite spots in the house – makes me smile every time I walk past and see all the bags hung up and out of the way, hats and bags and gear so easy to access. I guess this is the natural high one gets from being organised, huh ;) (I don’t experience it alllll that often, lol) xxReplyCancel

    • nicole

      I love the hooks for your bags and was wondering where I might be able to find some!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • I wish I had more space to use some of these great ideas! Thanks for including my pic. I’ve just noticed though that I need to clear off the pin board ready for the new influx of notes and bits!ReplyCancel

When my kids come grocery shopping with me, every time they ‘try’ and get me to add something I don’t normally buy to the cart (I’m positive we all have that same issue!!). There are some great products on the shelves that so appealing to the kids eyes, but typically most are full of sugar […]

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  • Vonni

    Hi Karina.

    Are they the 100ml pouches you are filling with yoghurt? How well do these fit in your Sandwich Keeper Plus lunchboxes? Thanks for the back to school series. Love it!!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes I used the 100ml for the yoghurt, they fit perfectly just ontop of the sandwich in the SKP. Lay a piece of baking paper between the sandiwch and the pouch so the condensation from the pouch doesn’t make the sandwich go soggy :)ReplyCancel

  • Tanja

    Those pouches are a great idea! Just placed an order for them. My kids have one of the ready made ones with yoghurt each day for school and these will save me a fortune. Hopefully they remember to bring them home! Thank you for posting the link and info for these!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes, that is the trick Tanja and a few on facebook are saying their kids lose the lids, so remind them to place the lids back on too!ReplyCancel

  • Whilst I love the use of reusable pouches, I try to purchase a plain Greek yoghurt with no additives or preservatives. Then I am free to flavor with what I see fit, for example some honey, fresh fruit, and even add some vital greens powder.
    Even buy doing this you will be saving a lot of money and knowing your kids will be having a much healthier lunch.
    Feel free to check out sinchies at http://www.effortlesseco.com.au they come in a variety of sizes for big and little kids.ReplyCancel

  • Georgia

    I’ve been wanting someone to invent these for ages. Hooray. I always buy a small tub of Greek yoghurt and mix it into the big tub of vanilla valia yoghurt I buy and the kids don’t know its there. You can’t even taste the difference but I like knowing I’ve watered it down a bit. I put water into all the juice bottles in the house too, and soda water into any soft drinks. If the kids knew they would go nuts but what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them! Ps. Joined this blog three days ago. You are my saviour. thanks xo PPs. Cleaned my handbag yday! ;)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Welcome to the blog Georgia. That’s the bonus, knowing what we are putting into our kids. I’ve seen some horrid pictures on facebook recently of people using store purchased pureed fruit or veg pouches and they were mouldy inside. Many of the brands are reputable, but it just comes down to you know how fresh the contents are inside if you make them yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    Can you freeze these with yoghurt? I’ve also done apple purée and filled some by scooping out a tray of mangoes that were very ripe.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I haven’t but absolutely, I would imagine too that the yoghurt would be that little bit colder too for the kids for school, actually love that idea!!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Lisa, they freeze with yoghurt very well. You will find that they are a thinner consistency when defrosted. My kids just give them an extra squish to mix it all in before eating!ReplyCancel

  • Cath

    How does everyone clean their pouches? The dishwasher wasn’t a success for me and when I hand wash I can’t get a scourer into the corners.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Cath, if I didn’t rinse them straight away the dishwasher won’t clean them properly. I use a brush I got many years ago from Tupperware to clean the drink bottles, it’s like a bit toothbrush and it works perfectly…. in fact just a regular toothbrush could work great I would suggest!ReplyCancel

    • My Lil Pouch

      Hi Cath :D My Lil Pouch has a very wide opening which makes filling and cleaning easier. I find blowing into the pouch and expanding it as much as possible before opening it for the dishwasher or using a bottle brush means they come out squeaky clean!ReplyCancel

    • Louise

      We hand wash ours first and use the bottle brush, thats usually enough, but we will throw them in the dishwasher too!ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    I *love* these! I freeze yoghurt in them for school lunchboxes and it separates a little but a good squish and it’s good to go! So easy to fill and clean too with the ziplock top :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I agree, Karen! They are fantastic.:)ReplyCancel

  • Hayley

    Hi Katrina, what size pouches are these please and thank-you!ReplyCancel

  • What an excellent idea for kids, i also like these for kids http://ow.ly/HlCDHReplyCancel

  • Renae

    Hi I love this idea and refuse to buy the pouches of yoghurt at the shops due to their expense. Just wondering which size is best 140ml or 200ml. My kids are nearly 7 and 9. Also is the spout on the side annoying to put in lunch boxes or fits in fine or can be folded back to fit. ThankyouReplyCancel

    • My Lil Pouch

      Hi Renae, we find that our 100ml pouch is the perfect size for lunchboxes as it is a little smaller than most sandwiches! You can also fold the spout in a little if needed!
      The 100ml pouch is also a great size for most hungry bellies that have a piece of fruit, biccies as well during morning/afternoon tea!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki

    Hi katrina do the sip lock at the top open when you squeeze them?ReplyCancel

    • My Lil Pouch

      Hi Vicki – all of our pouches have a strong double ziplock seal across the opening. We find it to be very robust and durable.
      With the side spout design most kids hold the pouch with one hand at the top and one hand at the bottom directing the pressure away from the ziplock anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Fern Warren

    We used reusable pouches in our lunchboxes all last year and they are BRILLIANT!! We put fruit and vegie purees, yoghurt, custard, sago pudding, coconut chia pudding, etc in ours. We found after one of the boys lost a lid once, that attaching the lid to the pouch with a thread of dental floss (I know it sounds weird!), so that you can take the lid off and on but it dangles there still attached while not in use, that all our lids have come home since! We use dental floss instead of string or anything else as it is very strong and waterproof and won’t harbour germs like string might! Hope this helps!!! xxxReplyCancel

  • Natalie Atgiaras

    Hi I’m just wondering where do I get these reusable pouches from? I haven’t seen them anywhere.ReplyCancel

    • Kerry

      I get my pouches from Sinchies, the original reusable pouch, designed by an Australian mum, they’ve been around for about 3 years. All their pouches are clear which is awesome so you can see for cleaning which I love!ReplyCancel

  • Louise

    I use My lil pouches all the time, I have to say from ordering through to delivery their service is amazing.

    I have been using these for 12 months, they are great, I have made several orders as I used them as easter gifts last year (filled with mini eggs), ordered some for my sister in the UK for her daughter, My little man who is almost 3 is very fussy with his yoghurt, so I buy the bug tub of his fav and use these for preschool, going out and about in snack bag, I use them for custard for my older son, smootheys, your options are endless. I did buy the labels, and the biggers caps for my boys too. They love love love them.

    I am now 6 months pregnant with our surprise number 3, and I am so not wasting money on shop bought pouched foods now, I will be using these for our new addition with home-made goodness when the time arrives.

    For those of you are not sure, just buy a small pack to start, Honestly they are worth the money and savings are there in the long term.

    I am one happy mummy and I have two very happy boys with these pouches.

    LouReplyCancel

When my kids started kindy I kept the kid’s school bags in the pantry, as they really didn’t need them while at home asall we packed in them was their lunch. It was unnecessary to have them cluttering up their bedroom. But soon, their bags were cluttering up my pantry, on the floor being kicked […]

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Starting homeschooling doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Here are a mum’s tips on how to make the process smooth and simple for everyone.

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  • Michelle

    I have always being interested in how to go about homeschooling a family and this is a great article. Loved your organisation ideas and outsourcing tips!!ReplyCancel

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series My kids are so looking forwardto be going back to school that they started counting down on the 1st January. They are all starting a new school this year so there is that element of excitement for them. I don’t rememberbeing this […]

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  • Hi there! I’m doing a back to school series on my blog as well – but more from a teacher’s point of view – eg separation anxiety, giving your child a head start in reading, tips for parents/teachers etc.
    If it’s ok I’ll include some links to your back to school posts if my readers are looking for organisation tips! :)ReplyCancel

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series Choosing a lunch box can be confusing with so many different varieties and styles to choose from, considering all things from the size, findingan insulated bag to fit the lunch box and accessories. Whilst keeping in mindthe lunch box should be made […]

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  • Sally

    I have a teenage boy who does not like sandwiches or anything cold other than fruit as long as it’s not messy or in a container, ie an apple. Looking for lunch ideas for him to eat some thing healthy but do that he is still ‘cool’.ReplyCancel

    • Belinda

      What about savoury muffins? They can be healthy & are less boring than sandwiches & can be cooked ahead & frozen.

      I must get a few batches of these done before school returns, I use them as a back up when I’m out of bread or my daughter & husband are getting bored with their lunches.ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        Great idea Belinda, I do the same, have savoury muffins in the freezer or rice cakes in the pantry for end of week lunch ideas when I have run out of bread.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Sally I’ll share some ideas in the coming weeks during the series for you :)ReplyCancel

  • Vonni

    I am in love with the Tupperware Sandwich Keeper Plus lunchboxes (My boys are 7 & 9 and there is still plenty of room for the amount they eat). My only issue was that I couldn’t fit certain brands of yoghurt in them as the single tubs were too tall. Then I discovered that the Sistema small size snack containers (with the clips on the sides) will fit in the main compartment. I just cut the sandwich in half and put it in the biggest of the snack compartments to make it all fit. It’s cheaper to buy the kilo tubs of yoghurt and to portion them yourself. Problem solved.

    I didn’t like using the Sistema and Nude Food lunchboxes with all those little compartments and lids. Too much of a hassle to clean.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love that tip Vonni, yes I found quite a few tub didn’t fit, if you use the sectioned section at the back they fit a little better than the front. But yes I sometimes too cut the sandwich in half and put to the side.

      You may also like me My Lil Pouches for your yoghurts, portion them out all ready to go for school lunches.ReplyCancel

  • Natasha

    Thank you – great reviews of lunch boxes. We used the Nudie ones last year. Great idea and style but never again! I think my 3 children went through 3 each during the year (yes, you would think I’d learn, but towards the middle if the year and beyond, it was very difficult to find any other alternatives!) They break so easily and are impossible to clean.

    Trying to work out which ones to try this year.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      All these are available online and pretty certain all through out the year too :)ReplyCancel

    • Maryanne

      We had these break on us too! We are trying sistma Klip It – Large split. It is 2 litre size one side is big enough for two sandwiches cut in half if just a spread or 1.5 sandwiches of salad etc. The second side fits fruit, snack and biscuits. Hoping for a better outcome this year.
      Good luck on which ever box you decide on!ReplyCancel

    • Shane

      we had the nude food movers break on us too – I contacted them & they replaced them – along with a bonus of the insulated covers. Unfortunately the new ones broke too & I’ll never buy them again.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty

    Cool reviews on all these lunchboxes. I also use the Tupperware sandwich keeper plus containers and have since my kids were at kindy (now 5 & 7). I don’t like that they don’t fit a banana in easily (unless I get small ones, but even then they don’t fit most of the time). My son doesn’t like his banana getting squashed and bruised. Otherwise I love them! Katrina, just wondering what lunchboxes you are going to use now that you need bigger ones?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Kirsty, I am tossing up between the lunchbots, there is a range of different sizes, I liked they are smalled and sectioned so I can put in a muffin and fruit and then sandwich, fruit and snack. Or the fliplid, still haven’t made up my mind, but I should do it soon.ReplyCancel

      • Mel

        What about the go green it’s big enough for a whole banana and it’s a decent size and quality.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh i should add I do have some of the easyLunchboxes here too and they are great, I can’t wait till Little Bento World gets them in the bright colours too.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda

    As a relief teacher, I have to keep my lunch with me so here is what I use. I bought a FridgeToGo from Howard’s Storage World. This fits my NFM lunchbox in it perfectly. When I need to clean the lunchbox, I take the lids off the little compartments and wash. Then they simply click back in. I have tried other types and ways of taking my lunch, and this has been the way I have done it for 2014, and I will definitely be using it again in 2015.ReplyCancel

  • J

    What’s your take on the planetboxes? Is there anywhere in Australia you can buy them?ReplyCancel

    • Mel W

      These guys sell Planetbox in Aus: http://www.biome.com.auReplyCancel

    • Eva

      There is now a stockist in Australia but they are $80 for a set…..I am very keen to find out what they are like as I have been coveting these boxes for my children for ages!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      J, i think they are more suited for little kids rather than primary school aged children. Only because they don’t seem to hold enough food for bigger school aged children.ReplyCancel

  • Sally

    I need a lunch box that is easy for my four year old to open at pre school. Any recommendations?ReplyCancel

    • Amanda Dick

      Hi. I have both the Yumbox and Fuel Bento and my 4 year old had no problem opening either.. I just had to dhow him a couple of times. I got mine from Munchbox Mini online :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth

    Help! I have two teenage boys that won’t eat at school?ReplyCancel

  • Deb

    I travel a lot for work so it was important for me to buy something that kept my food cold for hours. I bought a Fit&Fresh Lunch to Go Kit from Store&Order and it’s the best lunchbox ever. It has 2 levels, 3 compartments and an ice pack in the middle. It would be great for kids too. I also bought the Skip Hop Butterfly bottle & lunch bag from them too for my little girl. She loves it and it makes her so much more excited to go to school.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Sounds great Deb!.:)ReplyCancel

  • Hilary

    Easy to open is another important component for me. As a kindergarten teacher it is really helpful if your child is able to open their lunchbox and food containers on their own. Some lunchboxes are so tough there is no way little fingers can get into them and by the time the teacher gets around to all the children who need help a lot of eating time can be wasted. It’s a good idea to practice in the holidays before school starts.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Really good tips, Hilary. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    Hi,
    I have asked and i am sorry but i cant find the original post,

    I saw you had cut up water melon in one of your posts about tupper fridge mates (with the broccoli etc)

    How long would Watermelon stay good to eat in the tupper containers

    Thanks
    (note to self, click notify me of follow up unlike last time)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

    That’s fine Lauren. It should last 5-7 days, but being precut and so easy to access we usually eat it much quicker than that.ReplyCancel

    • Lauren

      Ok great!
      After reading this I purchased 2 flipLid lunch boxes. Can’t wait to try.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie

    Which lunchbox should I get for 8 and 10 year old? It would be nice to have lunchbox, ice brick and water bottle somehow fit together so it’s all there each night. Also, my 8 and 10 yo usually have 2 sandwiches, fruit and a snack. Which size would I need?ReplyCancel

  • Eva Lavelle

    Hi Katrina – don’t suppose you checked out the Planetbox lunchboxes? I know they are now selling from a stockist in Australia but at $80 a pop I am not too sure whether I want to spend so much without first knowing what they are like?

    Quite like the look of the greenlunch box though – researched these as well as the planetbox.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Eva, Yes i have heard of the Planetbox. I personally don’t think they are bigger enough. Maybe for a small child but i don’t think they would grow with the child. Much prefer the Greenlunch box.:)ReplyCancel

      • Eva Lavelle

        Cheers for that comment Katrina – do you know the cup capacity of each? Only asking because they look very similar in size to me (Go Green seems a bit deeper but Planetbox bigger). I couldn’t find any indication of capacity for either. Also – are there any other places that sell the Go Green because Trendy Little Treats seem to have sold out (eta 23rd Jan which is just before school goes back and I am not sure I want to risk it not arriving in time).ReplyCancel

  • Julia

    Don’t you have issues with condensation when using an ice brick or frozen popper?

    My local ‘King of Knives’ store had a ‘PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag’ where you actually put the whole lunch bag in the freezer and the cooling technology is built into the walls. Zip closure locks cold, dry air inside lunch bag and the exterior stays moisture free

    Wondering if anyone has used one and what they thought.ReplyCancel

    • I live in central Qld and tried these before last summer …. on a covered patio in the middle of the day was warm in a couple of hours. Our kids don’t have a fridge in their class rooms – no way I was going to trust this one during summer months. Maybe winter or southern states?ReplyCancel

  • Emma

    Thanks for the great post! I’ve been struggling to find a good all-in-one lunchbox option as my son always has trouble rearranging his array of containers back into his lunchbag! Does anyone know if the My Lil Pouches fit into a Tupperware Sandwich Keeper Plus??ReplyCancel

  • S j

    I’m amazed at the cost of the systema products. I live in the uk and they would only be about £15-£20 (at a push) not sure how much that is in $ but a little less. Granted they are not personalised though.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Kirby

    I have 4 kids and have been sending lunches with kids for 17 years,
    I have struggled with various lunch boxes over the years.Food gets caught in the seams and they get smelly in our hot summers
    By far and away the best has been the Neoprene(wet suit material)
    It has rounded edges and easily machine washed and they last for years.
    I use the Built brand.It is important that the Zip is strong and won’t rust with washing
    My kids have been using theirs for 5 years now.
    I always put an ice pack in and use plastic containers inside eg sandwich containers I get containers with attached lids so lids don’t get lost.
    My kids like to walk around during lunch (at high school you can)so I put certain
    snacks in Ziplock bagsReplyCancel

  • Suzie

    Our DS1 is in year 1 this year. After a lot of consideration prior to kindy we ended up getting the Decor Duo 3 lunchbox. It was a cost effective investment at approx $6 & fits in other brand cooler bags such as smash, sistema etc. We would be using this box again this year, only DS1 has asked for a bigger box (hollow legs I swear ????) so have upgraded to the Duo 2. Also as a side note DH & I had a great time reminiscing about using these lunch boxes all through our school years (I had the Duo 3 K-12 & DH had Duo 2 K-10). Great to know that there are still products like this out there!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love the good ole favourites!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia

    From what I’ve read, the Tupperware range is not BPA-free.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    Hi Katrina, just wondering if you used any containers in the sandwich keeper plus? My son loves fruit like melon and I wouldn’t want the juice leaking into his sandwich. Do the Tupperware snack cups fit? Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • KatrinaD

    A lovely selection of lunchboxes and some great advice.

    I’ve noticed that Aldi has some lunch bags and boxes in the back to school season. They look OK and some have freezer packs – perhaps a good option for anyone with a budget in the Nudie Food price range.

    I like using my lunch box and bag as a mini picnic set. Especially useful when travelling by carReplyCancel

  • Nancy

    Would the go green lunch box fit in the insulated sleeve? Great article!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

    Hi Nancy I believe they do come with an insulated sleeve already, contact Mel from Trendy Lil Treats and she will be happy to help you :)ReplyCancel

Preparing for the back to school period can become overwhelming and stressful. Buying uniforms, shoes, book packs, cover books, iron on labels, etc there are so many things to do. Hopefully I can help ease your frustrations of back to school mayhem with this Back to School Checklist FREE for you to download.

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  • Rachel

    Loving the back to school schedule – have downloaded the organiser but would have loved a app like thing that I can keep on my phone and check off as i go – just a thought. Amazed at your organisationReplyCancel

During the month ofJanuaryI slowly prep the kids and home in preparation forback to school. I will be sharing a month long series of posts filled with loads of tips and ideas so you are ready for Day 1 of school, including freezable lunchbox ideas, storage solutions, printable charts to help you create routines and […]

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  • Rebecca

    I’d like to hear about other Mum’s lunch ideas for fussy eaters.

    How often to other Mum’s bake and freeze lunch box snacks ie once a week, once a month etc?

    Thanks,
    Rebecca.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Rebecca, I like to do all my baking on the weekend and freeze it all, ready for the week ahead.ReplyCancel

  • Felicity

    Hi, I’ll be a new mum to school this year as my oldest is starting prep. I would love to hear any tips for the first year of school.
    Thanks
    FelicityReplyCancel

    • Kiki

      Be prepared for them to be super tired at the end of the day, especially the end of the week. I had portions of premade dinners frozen as well as simple easy dinners like precooked sausages. This way if all she could manage would to eat some food, have a quick shower and fall into bed, she wasn’t waiting around for dinner to cook. I’d also keep some of our dinner from the night before in the fridge so it wasn’t always reheated frozen dinners. Being prepared for their exhaustion is the biggest thing I think.

      I’d also let my girls have breakfast in the car if they had trouble getting up in the morning. I found breakfast to be the thing that took the longest to get done and leaving it until last worked for us. My girls are happy to have toast or dried cereal on our way to school.ReplyCancel

    • Jess

      Few tips
      1. Velcro shoes
      2. Label everything
      3. Make sure they can recognise first and last name
      4. Have lunchtime practice, you’ll know how much they can eat in the time allowed and whether they can open everything you pack
      5. Always send a spare uniform
      6. Take a fun day to pick bags, go shoe shopping, lunchboxes etc. to get them excited.ReplyCancel

  • Liliam Sheridan

    Do yoy recommend any type/brand/style of lunch boxes? Easy to clean, easy to storage, dishwasher safe etc? Is it better with divisions?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Definitely Tupperware. The lifetime guarantee means never having to replace broken lunch boxes. Let’s face it kids school bags get trampled on, thrown in the car and on the ground. It’s bound to happen. I prefer to use individual containers now they are at school rather than the one segmented box. The reason for this is at our school the kids have 3 eating sessions. They start with brain food whilst working, then lunch and then snack. With the rules on allergies etc there are eating zones at scho and if they don’t finish during the scheduled time they go outside and containers go in a tub outside the classroom. If that container has food left in it, it is not suitable to eat later. (Sitting out in the heat).ReplyCancel

      • Sandra

        My boys use fridgetogo lunch bags. They keep really cold for 8 hours so packing early in the morning is fine and there no question how lunch will taste hours later.. Different sizes available for little and big kids.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Liliam, Perfect timing! If you come back to the blog tomorrow you can read all about choosing the perfect lunchbox!.:)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina

    I would like to see what schedules/routines people do for their kids to manage homework, sports and chores! What chores do you think are suitable for primary aged kids and should they receive pocket money and how much?ReplyCancel

    • Susie

      Really good questions, Katrina – I am really interested in this too. Also Casey’s ‘desk organisation’. Thanks!ReplyCancel

      • Lisa Ryder

        My three kids (ages 9, 7.5 & 6) do swimming plus one sport each. As I will be working 4 days per week and hubby is a shift worker, it pays to be organised – especially meals and homework!

        The days there is little on after school, the kids spend a bit longer on homework/reading to allow for a lapse on another occasion. For example at swimming I have them do their reading with me whilst a sibling is in the pool. If we are lucky to have Dad home, then those not at training stay home. We were fortunate last year that both hockey and soccer training was on the same day!

        As the kids contribute to the mess, I expect them to contribute to the clean up. They are a part of the family and as Team Ryder, we work as a team to get more fun time together. They might earn extra “Tech Time”, but it’s not without limitations. They don’t receive pocket money for these: beds made, clothes away, sweeping/vacuuming/mopping floors, dishwasher stacked/unpacked, tidy room, feed beasties, rubbish runs etc. These don’t have to be perfectly done, but they have to try earnestly.

        During the holidays and weekends I have them help in additional ways: wiping windowsills/skirting boards, filing bills, washing clothes, baking for school or dinner. I found a great breakdown of chores on this site :)

        They receive pocket money for the additional tasks as it’s going above and beyond expectations. This is banked into their school banking account.

        Please understand this is a work in progress – my 6yo girl is doing her best to buck the system! I would love to hear others’ successes with a reluctant participant :)ReplyCancel

        • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

          WOW Lisa i love your system! And good on you for making it work so well.:) Sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job! ~ KateReplyCancel

        • pris

          I love the motto team Ryder! Great ideas. I am about to embark in this system and as you say it is a work in progress. Cheers PrisReplyCancel

  • Casey

    I would love info on organising desks my eldest is going
    into high school and my youngest into grade 3. Eldest desk
    Has 2 slim drawers at top and youngest has 3 (not quite a4
    Size drawers in a row).
    Any organisation tips would be great also what you have in
    Or on their desks
    Thanks CaseyReplyCancel

  • Alicia

    Hi, I would like help with some printables (perhaps visual or simple ones for seven year olds) for chores and jobs before and after school. I have read many of your tips before and love them thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Elita

    morning routine for little ones my boy is in prep so what routine do mums Hav in placeReplyCancel

    • I had a little routine chart on my notice board. My youngest was still using it in Year 3, and it’s still there, though no one looks at it all these years later.

      Our morning routine consisted of:

      Get up and dressed
      Make your bed
      Have breakfast
      Brush hair and teeth
      Pack your bag

      I tried to make sure the routine made sense in terms of both the order and combining tasks that were un the same room (eg bedroom, bathroom). I typed this up and put a picture in for each task, just using Microsoft Clipart.

      I did (and still do) make my kids’ lunches, (even at 14, 17 and 18) because I do it before they get up while the house is peaceful. I just can’t stand the nonsense and squabbling with three of them trying to use the kitchen. I make their sandwiches and pop them in tupperware sandwich boxes. They have to get fruit and snack for themselves.

      Some thirteen years after this routine was instigated by me it still works perfectly, because it covers everything that must be done before we leave the house.ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        Fantastic Tracy! I love that your routine is still working for you. Good on you.:) ~ KateReplyCancel

  • I’m really interested in the lunches. My first I starting school this year and the whole lunchbox thing completely daunts me as previously he was a fussy eater – still is but at least now he eats a bit more and my youngest is changing to a new preschool where I need to bring meals – old kindy provided meals so I’m was a little spoilt. I’m used to making things fresh so the whole food storage thing scares me eg cruskits going soft/sogy eg if not consumed straight away etc.ReplyCancel

  • Jillian

    I would like to learn what and how to freeze healthy lunch options for my fussy eatersReplyCancel

  • Julie

    Another who would love freezable lunches for fussy kids.
    Tips on getting more veggies into the lunch box.
    How to organise after school routines.
    Screen time in general but particularly during the week. If you’ve cut back on screen time how did you go about it?ReplyCancel

  • Meg

    I would love some tips on kids transitioning to high school. My little one going into prep is fine but my older one going to high school is extremely nervous-lots of changes that are overwhelming. Being on the autism spectrum she doesn’t cope with change very well & is also a very fussy eater.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Meg, Really good idea. I totally understand. Lots of talking helps.:)ReplyCancel

  • Hayley

    I would love to know how to cut back on screen time. Another is I have difficulty with ideas for afternoon snacks. We fell into a routine of milk and cookies last year. Need a healthy change.ReplyCancel

    • Sandra

      Screen time was a big issue in our house last year. Started a system that works well. (2 boys 7 & 10). They have to earn time for doing regular jobs and can also earn for extra jobs. I use pirate coins, each coin is worth 5 minutes and they keep them in a jar. When they have enough for what they want they pay me in coins. They soon learnt that 5 mins of screen time isn’t much and were much keener to earn more and save up coins. A win/win. More interested in helping out and no asking can I watch this, play this etc.ReplyCancel

      • Kelly

        What a great idea, we will defiantly be trying this out with out 5yo this yearReplyCancel

  • Wendy

    Reflections on my experience with my now year 4 son’s school life.
    1. Don’t overfill the lunch box
    2. Include one item you know the child will eat..as most days half the food comes home no matter how long you have spent researching and preparing. Play is far more enticing than any balanced, researched super food we Mums have spent our time on.
    3. Buy the cook book by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife on how to hide veggies for those fussy kids we all love .lol
    4. Make sure the lunch box is easy for the child to operate
    5. Start the years rules and organising lists now and carry on through out the year.
    6. Give your child ALOT of input into how their work space desk is arranged … more so for older kids. Experience learning through doing. We all do too much for our little people.
    7. Point 6 applies to all facets of kids daily life…the more we do for them the more we are disenabling them. Thinking of a friend who was still putting her year 2 son’s socks and shoes on for him !
    8. Keep it simple and enjoy every day of your kids school life .. As we all know it goes by wsy too fast.ReplyCancel

  • Jess

    Three things I would suggest as a teacher: 1. Velcro shoes for littlest 2. Label everything (even undies if swimming) you would be surprised how many kids don’t know their own undies. 3. Practice opening all lunch containers, wraps before school. It is okay to open one for your child, but try 20-30 in the 10 minute eating time.
    As a mum I colour code all subjects for my grade two daughter who is responsible for belongings in class ( no time wasted finding books etc.)
    For my soon to be Prep boy I have just really focussed on him recognising his full name on each of his belongings and letting him pick and new bag and lunch box so he can pick his from the crowd. He is also a bit nervous ( young preppie) so we are having a back to school day where we will make bag tags, decorate/cover books, practice putting our uniform on and have a picnic with our school lunch .boxesReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    I would like to know how other parents handle homework. My eldest started school last year & getting him to do homework was a nightmare. I tried spreding it over the whole week, doing it all in 1 day, no play until it was finished, a reward system but no matter what we always ended up arguing. My youngest starts this year & the thought of 2 lots of homework terrifies me.ReplyCancel

    • Kiki

      My eldest is going into Year 6 this year. I stopped arguing with her about homework when she was in Kindy. It was so stressful and counter productive as she didn’t learn anything and it was a total waste of everyone’s time. She knows that it is her responsibility to do her homework, that I will not write any notes to the teacher excusing her for not having done her homework. She would have to take on whatever consequences the teacher deemed fit if she didn’t do it.

      Now she is a bit older she does the homework she can independently and then after dinner when the youngest is in bed and things are quieter we work on the parts she needs help with.

      Part of the problem is that she had undiagnosed dyslexia as well as processing issues with her eyes not working together to read which made it hard for her to concentrate. If you continue to have issues with homework and if he avoids reading, it might be worth looking into things other than homework being the issue. I wish it had been found earlier in her schooling, would have saved all the catching up we’ve been doing this last twelve months and ongoing.ReplyCancel

      • Kirsty Godschalx

        Definitely agree. Don’t fight about it, it is not worth it to make home life stressful. Reading is the most important thing, and if they don’t like to read to you then you read to them.ReplyCancel

        • Maggie

          I used to have a terrible time trying to get my youngest to do his homework when in Yr 2, it would take an hour sometimes of nagging to get him to do what only took 5mins, sigh! Then at the end of the year I found out that he was the only child in his class that had completed all the tasks set, in fact the nearest child had only done half. Yes, it was good that he’d achieved everything but at what cost? I was so cross with myself that I’d gone through all those arguments with him thinking that the homework had to be done when in reality he was the only one doing it all! I now lay off big time, I recognize that some days he is just way too tired after a day full of learning to do any more work and by pushing him to do it I’m creating a monster (me!). I share this in the hope that others can learn form my mistakes!!ReplyCancel

    • Robin

      As a teacher I have to say that the only homework that is truly essential in the early years is reading, and if your child doesn’t want to read to you DON’T fight with them over it. Read to them instead. But please, read real books, not only the little reading books the kids bring home from school. Have a stash of either your own picture books or those you borrow from a public library and aim for 20 minutes a day, either while resting after school, or at bedtime, or even to settle in the mornings before school. Be willing to re-read your child’s favourite books many, many times and sit where you can both see the pictures and the text. Run your finger under the text while you read. Take time to explore the illustrations together. Many literacy skills are developed by watching and listening.
      Three other points.
      Make sure your child can manage their own clothes to use the toilet (overalls can create real problems).
      Make sure your child can manage to get their own shoes on and off without help.
      Make sure your child can manage to open and close their own lunchbox, that they know which food is their snack, and their lunch. Practise eating your lunch at home from the lunchbox several times before school starts.ReplyCancel

    • Nadine

      Hi Lisa,
      My eldest started prep last year and brought homework home in 4th term. My attitude to homework (and this comes from my experience as a lower primary teacher pre kids) is that homework in prep should not be necessary – it is a school based decision. If your preppy is tired and has used up all their ‘goodness’ at school I would read them the book and maybe turn about a page. It should take no more than 10mins. Year 1 and 2 homework should be no more than 15mins. I always set reading, spelling and sight words and the kids had optional number facts which the majority wanted.
      Our homework routine this year will be arvo tea, homework and then play. If he is too tired we will do the book as part of bedtime story.
      Basically it is important to remember that homework is practice – books should be easy. And if things are a real struggle talk to the teacher too – they may say to focus on something on one particular thing.ReplyCancel

  • Diane

    Ideas for post school activities. Mine is so tired after nursery she vegitatea in front of the TV but I want to try to get her doing things but have no idea what or whether being so tired is normal ??ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Diane, Yes i remember when mine were younger and all they wanted to do after Kindy and even the first few years of school was to come home and sit in front of the TV. I think they are so physically tired from playing and being active all day that they just want to sit and do nothing. ~ KateReplyCancel

  • Goldie

    It seems that everyone one is using printed charts – I think I have to take the plunge and buy a family printer. Any recommendations people?
    ThanksReplyCancel

    • Tracey

      One that the refilled cartridges don’t cost a fortune, def check out the cost of the refills before buying, some refills are worth more than a new printer.ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    I would love some ideas on homework routines and healthy lunches that can be prepared in advance (that can be frozen).ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey

    Would love some ideas for afternoon tea, especially things that the kids can get for themselves and ways of organising the snacks. My youngest is 8mths so often needs a nap straight after school pick up which makes it hard getting the other 3 some afternoon tea before getting the little one down for a nap.ReplyCancel

  • Aims

    I love your routines/ lunches/ chores etc, last year they really helped me to get my head around starting school. However, this year is our first year of School, kindy and a toddler at home… tips on managing the paper flow, the bag station, all the STUFF (making, paintings etc) that come home from both kindy and school, all the drop offs, pick ups and food, food food! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jackie

    I’d like ideas for organising school papers.

    Also, what ideas can I get for making lunches without contributing to landfill waste? My DD likes wakame (Seaweed salad), yoghurt, but is not so keen on sandwiches now. Ideas would be awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Jo

    Ideas for nutritious quick breaky as my son will start kindy this year and will travel on the bus 45mins so have an early start.ReplyCancel

  • nicole true

    Would like to see some tips on how to reduce screen time

    When do your children complete their homework? Is it before or after school?ReplyCancel

    • Heidi

      My son is 7 and we during term we have a no TV in the mornings rule unless he is ready for school – dressed, brekkie done, teeth done, bag packed and ready. We do homework the minute we walk in the door after school and have a small snack so it’s over and done with quickly. It seems to work quite well :).ReplyCancel

  • Fiona

    My daughter is 13 and I’d love some advice and tips for high school aged kids.ReplyCancel

  • tam

    My kids are 18 17 14 and 12 and have been hanging clothes on the line for years
    Plus i dont fold there clothes either plus at 16 they start washing their own
    they take it in turn to empty the dishwasher,they have pets and also do the garbage and recycling
    my 18yr has moved out and my 27 tr does nothing
    for school my boys are in yr 7 and 9 the make their own lunch and i do up zip lock bags with treat in them and they grab one and s pc of fruitReplyCancel

  • Penny

    Get them to practice using their lunchbox and snackboxes at home before the first day of school so that you can see any problems and find solutions. Your child will be more confident and the teacher will love you :-)ReplyCancel

  • Penny

    My kids ages are 10, 8 and 5. After school routine is always the same, empty bags, snack then homework for older two while I listen to youngest reading. Youngest then hand washes lunchboxes while I listen to middles reading. Younger two then have free time until 5pm when we do baths and evening chores. Eldest is academically capable but often struggles with focus and attention to homework and I’ve found it’s usually best to walk away after 4pm. Evening chores include cleaning rooms, packing away dishes, setting table, feeding animals, taking out rubbish, and putting away clean clothes. Each child has a set list which rarely changes and takes between 5-10 minutes if they don’t fool around. We don’t have sport or activities yet as all three have various special needs and have needed various therapy with homework.ReplyCancel

  • Marie

    I would like to get organised and start freezing things for the kids. What’s containers would you recommend for the freezerReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Marie i use Vac Seal from Howards Storage World for the fresh fruit and in the freezer i use Tupperware and Snapware. Anything airtight is perfect.ReplyCancel

  • I would love to have some nice ideas for keeping my kids routine productive and keep them busy and interested!ReplyCancel

It was Teacher Appreciation Day recently. My youngest daughters teacher has been absolutely amazing this year and whilst I admit I forgot it was teacher appreciation Day until the night before I wanted to take the time with Miss 9 to put something together for her teacher. A little thank you from us for always […]

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  • Caroline

    I love these!My children are all grown up now but they would make good gifts for neighbours I’ll be making some for mine this year.ReplyCancel