#36 - School Success Starts Here: 5 Areas to Consider for Back-to-School

Aug 06, 2023
#36 - School Success Starts Here: 5 Areas to Consider for Back-to-School

Welcome to Episode #36 of the Food Explorers Podcast.

I wanted to start today by thanking you for hanging in there with me for the past couple weeks during the Camp Food Explorers, and Food Explorers Membership launches. 


I know there’s a lot of extra information and emails during those times, but thank you for being here, thank you for listening, and thank you for sharing it with your friends. 


Now we’re heading into a new season - both literally and figuratively. Fall is just around the corner as is back to school.


I’ve got SO much planned for this next couple months, and a ton of new products coming your way. 


Last week’s podcast episode with Scotti had me thinking about back-to-school and what a stressful time this can be for parents, especially when your child has sensory and eating challenges.


So I thought it would be really fun and helpful to do a back-to-school series over here on the podcast. We’re going to have 3-4 episodes on sensory strategies, lunchtime, handwriting, and more.


I might even try to bring in some OT friends who specialize in different areas. 


For today's episode, let's start by covering five essential areas to consider as we enter the month of August. These pointers will help you lay the groundwork for a successful back-to-school experience:


  1. Speaking with your child’s medical team: This is your reminder to book your back-to-school physical if you haven’t already. But we’re not only talking about your pediatrician here. This is a great time to check in with your occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist, dietician, psychologist, or any other medical professional your child works with. 

    Back to school is always a nice, new start and we want to make sure we help kids get started on the right foot. One way to do this is to ask your medical team what supports would benefit your child this coming school year. 

    The reason I’m saying to start this early, is because sometimes it’s hard to think about this on the spot, and they may also be working on this for other children. Likely your therapist, or doctor is going to want to go back and think about it a bit. Requesting a letter with their recommend supports can also be incredibly valuable, that way you can physically hand it to the teacher, or ESE specialist. 

  2. Reflect on the past school year and this summer: Take a moment to assess the previous school year and the summer break. What observations can you make? Identify the supports that proved to be particularly beneficial for your child. Did specific routines or accommodations work well for them? On the other hand, pinpoint the areas where your child encountered challenges. For instance, some children with sensory issues struggle in classrooms with rigid routines and little flexibility. Armed with this information, you can proactively engage with teachers and administrators to ensure your child has a supportive learning environment.

  3. Start thinking about your morning routine: The morning routine sets the tone for the entire day. Reflect on how last year's routine functioned. Did it flow smoothly, or were there areas that could use some improvement? Consider your child's waking habits: are they raring to go from the moment they wake up, or do they need a bit more time to transition? Tailor the morning routine based on your child's preferences. For those who find transitions challenging, a slower-paced morning with time for cuddling or relaxing on the couch might be ideal. On the other hand, energetic children may benefit from incorporating movement activities to ease into the school day. Additionally, think about how you can streamline breakfast to make mornings less stressful.

  4. Packing lunch: This is always a big pain point for my clients. Children with sensory challenges often struggle with lunch, because the texture and temperature changes in the lunchbox.  I would pull out of piece of paper and write - which lunches were a hit last year? Which ones didn’t work as well? I would also write down a list of every food your child eats right now, and make a lunchbox menu from there. Also consider which way of packing lunches might be best. I’m a huge fan of the bento boxes, because it keeps food divided, and lets you give tons of little options.

  5. After school routine: Often, this period can descend into chaos, leaving both parents and children feeling overwhelmed. Remember, school days can be physically and mentally draining for kids, so consider what your child needs when they return home. Do they require a snack to recharge? Some quiet playtime before tackling homework? Perhaps they need to release some energy by engaging in physical activities.  So often as adults we’re hyper focused on getting through our routines, that we don’t stop to think about whether the routine actually works for our child. And instead, we spend that time with them frustrated, rushing, and fighting. But if we took a second to meet their needs as well, maybe we could spend that time more usefully, connecting with them and supporting them. 


Ok, so this was a quick one today, 5 simple things to start thinking about for back-to-school. Over the next couple week’s were going to get much more in detail on these topics, so make sure you are subscribed to the podcast, so you don’t miss them! 


Before you go, I do have a favor to ask you. If you have been listening to and loving the Food Explorers Podcast, could you leave me a review on Spotify or Apple? If you don't have those, you can also send me a DM on Instagram to @DrSamGoldman. I get so excited every time one of you does and I love hearing what you all think and how it’s helping you.


Thanks again for being here with me today, and I can’t wait to help you get ready for back to school.



***This post/podcast is not sponsored. The opinions and content of this blog/podcast are unique to the writer unless otherwise stated. No compensation is received for the links shared. All contents of this episode are based on our personal opinions and experiences.

Disclaimers: The information provided by SAMANTHA N. GOLDMAN, LLC (“we,” “us” or “our”) on theot4me.com, http://drsamgoldman.com , and http://samantha-goldman.mykajabi.com (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. The Site cannot and does not contain medical advice. Any medical information is provided as my/our personal experiences is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical advice.


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