Set up your child for success in school this year by ensuring he or she has everything they need.

Between tools for the classroom and supplies for quick and nutritious meals, these ideas can help ensure you’re ready for what the new school year brings. (You can find more tips and solutions to make the back-to-school season easier at eLivingtoday.com.)

Get essential needs soon

Regardless of age, every student needs the essentials. Pencils, notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, scissors, rulers and glue are necessities for almost every grade level. Other items like crayons, markers, colored pencils, dry erase markers, supply boxes, headphones, tissues and hand sanitizer also find their way onto most supply lists. Specialty courses may have even more specific needs, and laptops or tablets are becoming common in most classrooms of all grade levels, though many school districts provide the technology for students to use. Check office supply stores — particularly for surpluses after South Carolina’s recent tax-free weekend.

Make calculating quicker

As students advance through the school system, they are introduced to equations, data and graphs that can be best visualized and computed on a graphic calculator. With a high-resolution display, built-in applications and equations, plus the ability to add grid lines, the right calculator can make it easy to explore the STEM concepts found in math and science. Available in a variety of colors to fit your student’s personality, many options are also approved for use on major exams, including the ACT, SAT and PSAT, and in advanced placement courses.

Keep gear organized better

Not only is a backpack a place for students to store belongings on the way to and from class, it’s a simple way to express style and personality. Available in a nearly endless array of colors, styles and patterns, look for an option built to stand up to wear and tear over the course of the year. With zipper pockets, dividers, padded storage for laptops and other electronics and additional built-in organizational tools, you can find an option to fit every student from kindergarten to college.

Make weeknight meals easy

Spend more time with family and less time in the kitchen this school year by using meal kits, such as those that blend salads. Many come with fresh lettuce, yummy dressing and something crunchy like cornbread crisps, Parmesan crisps or bacon bits. Pair the salad with chicken or salmon for a nutritious dinner in less than 30 minutes. If you have leftovers, just add the salad to a wrap for an easy lunch the next day. 

Simplify school lunches

When your child needs a meal that’s big on flavor but short on prep time, turn to a classic comfort food and family favorite: chicken and rice. You can buy fully cooked rice cups made with carrots, onion and garlic. They’re ready quickly and can be power-up loaded with flavors of chicken, vegetables and herbs with hearty rice. 

Add more veggies to meals

Even with the hustle and bustle of back-to-school season, eating well doesn’t have to be difficult. An option like veggie-based pastas make it easy for kids and adults to incorporate more vegetables into daily meals without sacrificing taste. The pastas are available in popular shapes like penne, spaghetti and elbow. They’re often made with nutritious base ingredients — lentils, peas and cauliflower, zucchini or sweet potato. These gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan pastas are also a good source of protein and fiber. Visit veggiecraftfarms.com for more information.

Family Features contributed to this story.

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