Heart & Home

Back to School Snacks and Kitchen Hacks with Colleen Burns

It's time for the Back to School rush and our favorite mom of SIX is here to share healthy snacks, tasty lunch ideas, and kitchen hacks to get us all through the craze!

Q: We all want to keep our kids fueled for the whole day, what are some hacks?

Foods packed with protein help your kiddos feel full longer, but they have to be convenient! For example, these Toufayan pitas and smart pockets can turn almost anything, including leftovers into a "to-go" meal! I like to pack a pre-split smart pocket with an omelet to-go on those crazy mornings, and they work great in a lunch box with chicken salad for example. My favorite variety is the “everything”, but you can get whole wheat and organic also. You need to look for them with other fresh breads in the deli section. Click here to learn more.

Another fun protein hack — these new products from Catalina Crunch. They LOOK like sugary cereal and snacks but they’re low carb with only 5g net carbs or less per serving, low sugar, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors of any kind. The sandwich cookies and cereals look so tasty AND there's no guilt! Just a smart and easy choice in the morning. The savory crunch mixes are great for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack. Click here to learn more.

Q: What's a good way to make sure you're connecting with your kids?

I often make an after school cheeseboard. Everyone has to gather to eat it! It’s a great way to talk about the day before the kids hit homework. I like to mix it up with different meats and fruits and vegetables but I always look for Wisconsin Cheese because it’s just better than other cheese. There's a reason Wisconsin is the state of cheese. It's won more awards than anywhere else in the world and if you didn’t know this— it's the only state to require a license to make cheese! I love this new product Cheddar Crunch Curds, think really addictive crunchy curds without the mess. I seriously hide them from my kids! Always look for "Proudly Wisconsin Cheese" to make sure you're getting the best quality. Click here to learn more.

Q: What's a tip for making sure you're maximizing family time?

I make a menu board each week. It cuts down on shopping, and I’m not scrambling after school to figure out what I’m going to make. I also learned a game changer from my dishwasher repairman. True story! Finish Quantum. I don’t have to rinse the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher and on those really hectic nights I can leave the dishes for the morning and they still get clean. It’s these three chambers that break down and lift the mess, cut grease and boost shine. Even better, committing to #skiptherinse you can save 20 gallons of water each time you wash, and together we can save up to 150 billion gallons in a single year. Visit to join the pledge!

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