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Back to School Must Haves (Grown Up Edition)

Back To School Must Haves Grown Up1

It's time to start thinking about Back-to-School!

For many of us, this is more highly anticipated "New Year" than the one that comes in January! It's a fresh start, a change of seasons, and a time to get back to a routine!

Here are some ideas about how you can embrace the new season and start off on a positive note!

Upgrade your meals.

Get Back into a Routine.

Get plenty of rest.

Upgrade your Meals

pink lunch box

Lunch Bag These lunch box designers have really stepped up their game! It's gorgeous! And it holds up to 12 cans, or 4 cans plus your entire lunch. It is super lightweight with vegan leather exterior and nylon straps with a waterproof, wipe clean inside that has lightweight but effective insulation. I can't wait to bring one of these to my next ... anything! (It comes in neutral grey and moody black with metal accents too!)

If you prefer a warmer tone, check out this stylish Igloo lunchbox! I honestly cannot believe how nice this looks, and that it still has Igloo's signature Max Cold Insulation! 

Or this bag style lunchbox which is a bit smaller but still holds your entire lunch and has room to spare for an afternoon snack to keep you going! Keeps cold for up to 12 hours (with an ice pack) when stored at room temperature!



Ice Packs My absolute favorite ice packs, we use them everywhere and have them in multiple sizes. Why do I get so excited about ice packs? Great question... I think it's because we finally found something that WORKS after so many trials and disappointments. These are so functional, and have lasted us almost 3 years so far with nearly daily use.

I'd choose the lunch size if you're a first timer! Super versatile, and stay frozen for hours, and cold for even longer. They usually come home in my kids lunch boxes still frozen after a full day of school! We put a few in larger cooler bags, or if we need something to stay frozen. Larger options are available to use in your full size coolers too! I recommend filling them following the package directions and then storing absolutely flat the first time. This will ensure they fit into your lunchbox nicely, and take up as little room as possible while offering as much cooling surface. 

Meal Prep Containers Love these containers because they hold a lot without being too bulky. Fill them with your entree on one side, and you still have another smaller section for snacks. Try fruits, vegetables, pasta salads, trail mixes, or any other snacks that can help you feel satisfied without the dreaded crash of sugary, salt-laden snack bar or convenience store foods. The rectangular containers stack nicely in the refrigerator maximizing space, and fit so nicely in a lunch box with my favorite ice packs to keep them cold. You can safely reheat these in the microwave by removing the lid!

stainless steel set is a lighter weight option, perfect for foods you'll enjoy cold or room temp. Silicone lids seal so nicely and prevent leaks but are still easy to open and are dishwasher safe! The set is even oven safe, but remember these can't go in the microwave for a quick reheat. If you have a few of these sets, you can definitely prep multiple lunches in advance to make your mid-day go smoothly, even if you're eating at home!

Insulated Food Jar Keep hot foods hot when you don't have the time to reheat or access to an oven or microwave! If you're using the lunchbox above with two compartments, you can pack this in the separate compartment and have the best of both worlds! 

Pro Tip: boil water and fill the empty container and pop on the lid. After 3-5 minutes, carefully dump the hot water out, dry the inside, and add your very hot food. Pre-heating the insulated container keeps your food hot much longer!

Use these adorable stainless containers to hold all your dips and dressings - small in size but can really increase the flavor and interest in your packed meals! Fill these perfectly sized cups with nuts or trail mix to snack on throughout the day, dips for veggies or fruit, dressing for your salad, even sauce for your entree! 

Healthy In Five Cover

Simple Recipes. Our collection of healthy, tasty recipes Healthy in Five is stocked with over 80 pages of gorgeous photos and streamlined recipes, so you are spending less time at the grocery store, less time prepping ingredients and cooking, and more time doing the things you love! Perfect for any day of the week, to get delicious, nutritious meals onto your table. 

Smart Snacking

For snacking on the go, try these lightweight stainless steel containers. They hold 8 oz (1 dry cup) and the silicone lids prevent leaks but are still easy to open. Bonus- they are dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe!


Check out these small glass snack containers with locking lids. Fill these with your favorite snacks and stack them up.  Pop one or two into your bag before you leave for the day, or as a way to stay on track with your wellness goals!


(If you prefer lightweight plastic, check these  outI usually recommend glass or stainless for food storage, but let's be honest. Glass is heavy. These 8 oz plastic containers are good for occasional use. They are recyclable if you decide to only use them once, but also washable (even dishwasher safe!) and reusable!

Insulated Mug While it's still warm, fill it with iced tea, lemon water or one of your other watertok discoveries. As the temperatures start dropping, you'll want to keep your warm drinks warm! This Simple Modern stainless water cup is spill resistant and insulated to keep your drinks cold (or warm) for hours. It fits in the cup holder of your car, and has a small footprint for your desk or mobile office for the day. It has a convenient, generously sized handle, and comes in some beautiful colors! (And it's about half the price of some similar styles with the same quality!)

Get Back Into Your Routine

yellow weekly planner

Planner for those of us who still enjoy a classic paper planner, this one is perfect! Get back into your routine by writing down your goals and start committing! Compact in stature at only 5' x 8" means it can fit into your bag with ease but still has space to write all your important events, tasks and activities. Has weekly and monthly views so you have a nice overview of the month ahead and a detailed picture of what's coming up next! Comes in so many cute colors, you'll have trouble deciding!


New Pens. Am I the only one who still gets excited for new office supplies? I hope not. I am still a pen and paper diehard, and just got these colorful pens. I couldn't be happier to pick one up and start scribbling away! There is something soothing about a nice ombre, and the ink is surprisingly smooth and substantial for such a good deal.

Happy Harvest Pouch

Pen and Accessory Case. If you're carrying around your new pens, a stylus, charging cords for your laptop and phone, and maybe a few other supplies, keep them neatly organized in this absolutely adorable zippered case from CampsNChamps, a new designer line of home, office and outdoor wares by artist Kate Lindeen. Featuring her gorgeous and often whimsical original artwork inspired by - and for - your outdoor adventures, find something to boost your spirits and remind you of your love of the outdoors - even if you're sitting in the office!


Smart Notebook - if you like the best of both worlds: writing and electronic storage, look no further! The Rocketbook notebook captures your notes and stores them electronically in the app, and can transfer to your cloud storage of choice! I'm using it to take notes for my next certification, but you can use it for anything. Note, save and share! 



Resistance Bands If you're ready to get back into some kind of movement routine, you need these! Compact enough to take with you anywhere, this pack even includes an intro guide with illustrated exercises if you need some inspiration! (Resistance band workouts are also easy to find by doing a quick online search!) Store and transport your bands in the provided bag and you can even use them on travel! 


Multitasker: A Towel that multi-tasks as a picnic blanket, a makeshift workout mat, a wrap as the evenings start to get chilly, and a thin blanket for sitting out by the fire pit.  If you haven't gotten one yet, you even still have time to use it this summer as a sand-resistant beach towel, hot car seat rear-end protector! These are my new FAVORITE STYLE of towels!

Portable Speaker  Take this portable speaker with you anywhere to enjoy your favorite sounds while you sit for a chill late-summer or autumn picnic, or bring it on a workout or tailgating. It's waterproof, bump-resistant and comes in some cute color options! Has a loop to clip it onto your bag or backpack (we use simple carabiner clips like these for everything!). We have had ours for about 5 years, and it's still going strong. The sound is rich and clear. You can play it loud, but get equal sound quality when you're trying not to blast out the people on the next picnic blanket or tailgating tent!

Get Plenty of Rest

eye mask

Sleep Mask. The sun didn't get the memo that we're back to turning in and waking up earlier these days. So while it may be light out for longer, you still need to get some quality deep sleep! Eye masks have been used for centuries to help people get restorative sleep, and this is one of the best I've tried (and I've tried quite a few!). It's a great value and oh so soft on the skin. 

Sound Machine. Environmental noise is reported to be one of the biggest factors that keeps people from getting a restful night's sleep. White noise, brown noise and even "green noise" have been foiund to help the brain reach a deeper state of rest because it blocks out the environmental sounds that keep our brain stimulated. Try this simple sound machine for a more restful night sleep, if you can't find a room with complete silence (but who wants to listen to that whistle in your nose anyway?)

ProActive Wellness Coaching is always seeking solutions, doing research and testing products to offer you the latest and best in holistic nutrition and wellness. I believe that all of our systems are connected, and identifying and addressing any imbalances helps us to feel better overall, giving us more energy, a positive outlook and a confidence to continue making decisions that help support our health and wellness. Are you ready take control of your wellness? Schedule a Holistic Health & Wellness evaluation call today!

This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive a small commission - at no cost to you - if you make a purchase. Rest assured, I recommend products I have used myself, or have researched and would use for myself or for my family. 

Cajun Salmon with Corn Salsa
Back to School Must Haves (Teen Edition)


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