Back to school meal planning tips

02: Back to School Meal Planning Tips from Jessica of 6 O’clock Scramble

Wondering how to keep kids eating nutritious food during the crazy back-to-school time?

Jessica Braider of the 6 O’Clock Scramble joins me today to dish out magic tricks (and simple tips) for breakfast, snacktime, dinners and all things meal planning. You CAN keep your kids eating healthy (and being involved in the process) even when they’re at school or homeschooling all day. Here’s how!

Find the Scramble here. (That’s my affiliate link from which I will earn commissions.)

Definitely try the 14-day free trial and you’ll also receive a free ebook to make getting dinner on the table even easier!

Can’t see the video? Click to watch “Back to School Meal Planning Tips” on YouTube.

Back to School Meal Planning Tips

  • 0:14: How the 6 O’Clock Scramble and meal planning helps busy families.
  • 1:08: Jessica shares her healthy eating journey
  • 1:50: How Jessica started the 6 O’Clock Scramble.
  • 3:10: What does Jessica’s family eat?

My goal is really to make my house a place where people can come and gather around the table and see how delicious healthy food can really be. -Jessica Braider

Wish you didn’t have to feel nervous when your kids ask to use knives?


  • 5:16: Jessica worked one-on-one as a health coach with many individual families before starting her meal planning service. The two biggest common struggles she has witnessed in the families she has worked with are lack of time and confidence.
  • 6:33: One of Jessica’s favorite analogies is that learning to cook is like learning to drive a car. All of the information can be so overwhelming at first, but over time it becomes more natural and eventually maybe even fun!
  • 7:34: You can be more confident in your cooking abilities just by believing you can do it!
  • 8:22: Why one of Jessica’s beginner favorites is a skillet pasta sauce to boost kitchen morale.

Inspirational quote about food relationships

  • 9:44: We get into the back-to-school season!
  • 10:22: Jessica’s recommendations for nutritious and easy school lunches. Her top two tips are using leftovers from dinner and batch cooking.
  • 12:06: Getting your kids to help pull together their own lunches is life changing! Jessica shares how she guides her kids, teaching them about what a balanced lunch looks like and then trusting them to make their own choices.

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks

  • 100% Grass-Fed Beef & 100% Pasture-Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

Inspirational quote about kids packing their own lunch

  • 15:11: Learn how you can view your child’s lunchbox as a communication tool between the two of you using Katie’s rule “everything goes home.”
  • 17:11: Let’s talk mornings! Even when you have lunches packed at night, you still need to get kids fed and out the door in the morning. Jessica does a lot of make ahead breakfasts at her house. She has made it a part of their weekly routine to batch cook breakfasts so that she has an on-going stock pile of breakfast foods in her freezer.
  • 20:13: Jessica shares all the details about the 6 O’Clock Scramble meal planning service and how it helps busy families simplify healthy dinners.
  • 21:52: Here’s one feature of the 6 O’Clock Scramble recipes that will particularly appeal to Kids Cook Real Food parents!
  • 23:30: Before wrapping up, we touch on snacks. Jessica likes to keep acceptable snacks at kid level. She also has a rule that in the hour and a half before dinner, only fruits and vegetables are allowed for snacking.
  • 25:56: We chat about providing the types of healthy foods you want your kids eating and letting them learn balance and quantity by choosing their own snacks,

Find out more about Jessica and start a two week free trial of the 6 O’Clock Scramble to see how it can help your family!

Jessica Braider

Jessica is the CEO of The Scramble, an online meal planning service committed to helping busy people get quick, easy, and delicious meals on the table every night.

Jessica loves to develop recipes and write about food, cooking, and eating–all with a focus on balance, enjoyment, and humor. Jessica is also workshop facilitator with over 13 years of experience. She has developed and facilitated engaging and dynamic workshops for groups from 10 to 300+ people. She offers workshops on healthy food and balanced living, including: Raising Healthy Eaters, Healthy Lunches in a Snap, Dinner in 30, and Healthy Breakfasts in a Flash.

Back to School Meal Planning Tips

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

Katie Kimball

I interview experts about kids’ health every week – stay in the loop with a quick Saturday morning email:



2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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