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Time to Hit the Books
August is here and that means summer is winding down, so many of us have children and friends who are returning to the school campus and the regimented schedule of the school week. We have some tips to help you get the kids (and yourself, too) slowly adjusted to the upcoming earlier bed times and up in time for morning routines. We also have some recipes to share and ideas for packing gluten-free lunches that are fresh and fun. Finally, we have discovered some recent words of advice for the daily, and often dreaded, homework time.

While we have dedicated this August issue to families with kids, we still know everyone can enjoy our new recipes this month! We'd love to hear your feedback on the newsletter or anything Pamela's. Feel free to contact me at newsletter@pamelasproducts.com newsletter@pamelasproducts.com
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Recipes for Summer's End
Here our new recipes for you to enjoy in this final month of summer. Make these sinfully delectable ice cream sandwiches as an indulgent treat to wrap up the summer. We also have this recipe for a tasty deep fry batter you can use with your favorite meats or vegetables.

Traditional Ice Cream Sandwiches

Deep Fry Batter

Flour, Pizza and Bread
Think Outside the Lunch Box:
Packing the School Lunch

When you are gluten-free, you often do not have the option of signing-up for the school lunch or ordering from the cafeteria, so packing a lunch from home becomes necessary. And every year, many of us parents struggle to find creative ways to keep our kids eating a variety of healthy foods and enjoying their meals. We compiled a few tips we have learned from friends, family and Pamela's fans to share with you for this upcoming school year.
  • Involve your children in the lunch-making process. With a little nutrition guidance, this can be a great way to ensure they will be happy with their meal. Even go so far as to have them assist in making the grocery list and doing the shopping. Often, they may have some ideas for some non-traditional lunch options you can incorporate during the week.

  • Parents should not restrict themselves to thinking inside the box, either. What about creating a mini salad bar in your kid's lunch that they can toss in a bowl at school and dress themselves? Or make a meat and veggie platter? Include slices of cold cuts, carrots, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, cheese triangles, and ranch or other dressing for dipping.

  • Don't ignore last night's dinner leftovers for an excellent lunch choice. Lots of meal options can still be delicious served cold.
Back to School, Back to Schedule
As it gets closer to the first day of school, is your child (are you?) ready to make the transition from vacation mode to school mode? With only a few short weeks left, it might be time to start making the conversion so everyone is happy and ready for the big first day of school. Here are a few helpful tips we found to ease back into the upcoming school schedule:
  • Ideally, start the transition schedule 1 - 2 weeks prior to the first day of school. This is your best bet to ensure everyone is well-adjusted and ready to go on the first day.

  • With all the summer activities, we often adopt the pattern of staying up late and sleeping in late. This can be one of the hardest adjustments. So, start re-setting your internal clock and get to bed at a time appropriate to wake up well-rested and refreshed on the school day.

  • Start adopting your regular school night routine. Do you have a schedule for dinner and nighttime prep of washing up and brushing teeth? Do you read in the evening or do other night activities? Start implementing those routines now in preparation.

  • The same goes for your morning school schedule. Start waking up at a time that will allow you to get ready and be at school on time. It is also a good way to find out exactly how much time you will in fact need as often routines can vary from year to year. Maybe even do a dry run to school during the week so you can gauge traffic and other factors during the morning rush.

  • Make the prospect of a new year of school exciting. Often, there can be disappointment in the prospect of returning to the books, so remind your children this can be a year to learn new things, make new friends, join a new club or school activity, and make it a memorable and enjoyable year!
Creating Healthy Homework Habits
Homework can be a source of stress and tension in many households, so encouraging good homework habits can be helpful. Here are tips for creating a routine that works in your household:
  • Location: Find a homework station that works in your home where your child can work free of unnecessary distractions. This can be a desk in their bedroom where they can work independently or a kitchen table if they need access to parents for help. Let your child explore the options, and together you can determine an optimal location.

  • Stock proper supplies: Make sure that the homework station is stocked with proper supplies to complete all assignments. Keep the standards on hand like pens, pencils, paper, tape, scissors, glue, rulers, etc. If you are using a kitchen table, perhaps you can clear a shelf in the nearby pantry to keep supplies. A portable basket or bin would also work well. It may be important to evaluate the weekly assignments first thing on Monday to ensure no surprises during the week and last-minute runs to the drugstore.

  • Decorate and personalize to motivate: Allow your child to personalize their space so it is comfortable and conducive to learning. My daughter likes to display some of her achievement awards which is a great way to keep her motivated. Even pictures or drawings can be a great way for your child to really feel a sense of ownership and importance in completing their assignments.

  • Set the schedule: Children do best when they know expectations and can plan for them. It is important that you set the schedule early on and commit to it. Set a homework start and end time that works for everyone and allows your child the proper time necessary to complete daily tasks. Depending on the child, it can be helpful to have the schedule posted and publicly displayed. Others may need to be incentivized by the habit of charting their progress and this can also be a good way to determine patterns or changes depending on how detailed you want to be. It can be as simple as a daily "sign-in time" and "sign-out" time. Or, as extensive as including room to list any struggles with assignments, if help was needed with a particular project, etc.

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