Striking a Healthy Work/ Life Balance Back to School Edition

By Genelle Chetcuti - VP of Marketing

I am confident that I speak for many working parents when I say that the back to school season is an extremely crazy time of the year. Striking a balance between work, and the domestic responsibilities of filling the lunch boxes with healthy foods, coordinating rides to soccer practice, getting the homework done, and what to make for dinner, all while trying to maintain sanity has been the ultimate challenge for me with my own three children. As we head full force into this new school year, I wanted to share some thoughts on my experiences in achieving work-life harmony, while setting a good example for my kids of living a healthy lifestyle and instilling values of both family and a strong work ethic.

As I ponder what lessons I learned in my youth about work ethic and values – I would like to share some of my reflections in how I’ve shared these values with my children:

Involve your kids: Hands on education is invaluable! Take advantage of letting your kids visit you at the office and be a model for them by demonstrating that a good work ethic goes beyond the basic functions of the job, it's also about being honest, respectful, and positive. There is much to be said about learning through experience.

Lead by example: Be your kids’ best teacher! Parents play a big role in shaping work and academic habits by being interactive and supportive. However it is also crucial to show commitment to their career whether it be in or out of the home.

Strike a Balance: I’ve come to realize that striking a balance is a vital part of a happy life. Planning ahead works for me, so I can make sure I have enough time for myself, my family, and all of the day to day “must dos”.

I was lucky enough to learn from the best! My parents, Robert William (RW) and Margaret Garcia launched RW Garcia when I was just a tween. Now in our 37th year of operation and well-established as a national brand, I have strong memories of my 12 year old self along with my brothers distributing chips out of the back of a van. To make a long story short, intentional or not, my folks instilled the value that if you work hard and work smart, the impossible becomes possible.

So on the topic of healthy eating when it comes to kids, here are a few ideas that have worked for me:

• Get Your Kids Buy-in: Involving kids in planning, shopping, and preparing meals is an opportunity to guide your child into healthier eating habits rather than dictating what they have to eat. My kids are much more likely to eat foods they had a hand in bringing to their lunch box or to the table.

• Model Healthy Food/Eating Behavior: Be mindful of your own relationship with food and model healthy eating behaviors. Ultimately if you want your kids to grow up making good food choices and incorporating healthy behaviors like exercise, you have to walk the talk and show them how it’s done. The old adage “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work with this generation of kids.

• Plan for those Snack Attacks: Ask any parent, and they will tell you that their kids stand in front of the pantry, or with the refrigerator door open waiting for a snack to magically appear. So, I shoot for having healthy snacks readily accessible in both of those locations.

Let’s face it, many families rely on “convenience” foods to fill up their pantries, but convenient doesn’t have to mean unhealthy! Providing tasty and healthy snacking options remains the cornerstone of RW Garcia and as you can imagine my kids are quite familiar with RW products! Some of their favorite healthy snack combo’s that I make readily available in our pantry/fridge snack arsenal are:

• Skewers with grapes, cheese chunks, and turkey bites with a handful of Sweet Potato Crackers from the pantry for a salty, sweet, crunch.

RW Garcia Sweet Potato Crackers Charcuterie

• MixtBag Tortilla Chips from the pantry pairs well with Guacamole, Hummus, or salsa (prepping individual portions for both guac and hummus to make it extra easy for lunch on-the-go)

RW Garcia Mixtbag Blue Yellow Tortilla Chips

• Our new Cheesy Crackers are a great addition to the RW Garcia stable of products! This healthier version of a certain iconic square cracker is chock full of real cheese, cassava and Non-GMO corn for a great gluten free alternative. Thrown together with some salami or apple slices and you've got a timeless after-school snack.

So, to all the Moms and Dads out there gearing up for back to school – I wish you good luck and happy snacking!

Created By
January Riss