Mealtime 101: avoiding back-to-school chaos

Go to the top of the class with these mealtime tips and tricks from Fairy Platinum, to help alleviate mealtime madness now the kids are back in the classroom.

It's been a long hot summer and you've done your best to keep the kids entertained as much as possible (even if it did mean seeing that new up-and-coming boy band - what was their name?). As summer draws to a close, you can't help but leap for joy when you hear those three magical words: back to school.

You may feel like a small weight has been lifted off your shoulders, but are you really ready to get back into the school routine? Even with the kids away at school during the day, mealtimes are still tough. Research from Fairy Platinum has revealed that 5.42pm is officially the toughest time of day for parents.*

Don't stress: you have time to prepare. Take a look at some of Fairy's 'study' tips for getting back-to-school ready this autumn.

Get snacking

Nothing's more annoying than hearing "when's dinner going to be ready?" over and over again. Escape this broken record by preparing and dishing out treats for the kids during the school run.

A simple trail mix with dried berries, bananas and nuts will help tide them over until dinner time rolls around.

Don't procrastinate

It may seem easier to put off telling the kids to do their schoolwork until after dinner, when all seems calmer, but then you risk homework time spilling over into bedtime.

Avoid the eyelid droop by getting the kids to make a start on their schoolwork while you prepare dinner. This way, they've already done a chunk (if not all) of their work when you go to check it after supper.

Plan ahead

A throwback tip from your school days: plan, plan, plan. Map out what your week will look like and plan your meals accordingly - do you have to run the kids to sport practice? A school play?

Not only will doing this help you decide what to cook and when, it will also help you ensure you're not repeating the same recipe over and over again. Try a simple recipe like chicken and brown rice with a side of veg for when you're on the run - and make sure to pack some treats for anyone who has to tag along!

Make it a group project

Get the whole family involved in mealtimes, from planning out the dishes to the clean-up afterwards. It will not only make dinner much more enjoyable for everyone, but the kids will feel like they've contributed to dinnertime and will be more likely to eat what's on their plate (maybe even the broccoli).

Make the clean-up fun again by creating a chart for after-dinner tasks and rewarding each kid that helps out with a star. Whoever has the most stars at the end of the month gets to pick a special dinner out at the restaurant of their choice!

Don't let the back-to-school blues get your family down. With Fairy Platinum's tips and tricks, everyone will be in the swing of things before you know it.

There's no need to spend hours scrubbing away at stuck-on food, so make the clean-up even simpler: Fairy Platinum helps you cut washing time by cleaning even the toughest grease and grime left behind on dishes best first time with ease - giving you more time to spend with the family.

Have you tried Fairy Platinum? Why not leave us a review to let us know how we've helped take the toughness out of your mealtimes!

* Survey commissioned by Fairy Platinum and conducted with Censuswide in September 2016 (500 UK, 500 Turkish, 500 Polish consumers)