Sophie Falkiner has a rule she follows when packing her kids' lunchboxes.

As a working mum, balancing my hectic schedule and family responsibilities can be challenging at times. Add to that a recent house move, and it’s safe to say that this year’s back to school period has been even more chaotic than usual.

I’m lucky to have two beautiful children, Isabella, who is 13 and entering the teenage years, and my ten-year-old Jack. Pairing two kids with a job I love means it’s really important to make sure we’re all organised, especially when all of our weeks can get so busy.

I find that getting into a routine when the school term starts can be one of the most difficult times of the year – for both myself and the kids. Although I’ve had a few years of experience now to make sure we’re prepped and ready for the year ahead it doesn’t get any easier.

This Glorious Mess discusses: if your kids are taking a popper and a cupcake to school, prepare for a note home from the sugar police. Post continues after.

Want to hear to more? Subscribe to This Glorious Mess.

The week tends to fill up quickly as I have a busy schedule and so do they. Between school, sports, after school catch ups with friends and my work commitments, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. I’m also blessed to travel frequently, so making sure that the kids and I are as prepared as possible is crucial.

Having studied nutrition in the past, a healthy and balanced lifestyle has always been really important to me and has helped me maintain a successful career over the years. Working in television can be physically demanding, so maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is one of the ways I keep my energy levels up for filming.

The importance of a healthy lifestyle for energy is something that I try to pass onto Isabella and Jack as they get older and head into more demanding years at school.

sophie falkiner
Sophie Falkiner and her ten-year-old son Jack. Image: Instagram.

I try and make sure that I pack a balanced lunch for them and like to make up wholemeal rolls, or wraps packed with salad and healthy proteins. Seaweed, carrot/celery sticks and hummus also typically make an appearance in my kid’s lunchboxes.  I include as many colours in their lunchboxes as possible and sometimes I also put lemon or lime slices in their water bottles (or a dash of apple juice) to ensure they drink enough water during the day.

As they’re constantly learning, growing and developing, children and teenagers don’t just need nourishing food to get them through the school day, they also need enough energy for their after school activities and homework – which is where healthy after school snacks come in.

Some of our family’s favourite after-school snacks include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and home made guacamole with brown rice crackers. I also always make sure we have plenty of types of fruit on-hand, whatever is in season. I find if I cut it up, and put a little lemon juice on it, they tend to eat it.

When the kids get home in the afternoon, they are usually starving, so I have almonds on hand (their favourites are smoked and tamari flavour) which really gives them the energy and sustenance they need to complete their homework and make it through to dinner time. That's why I've become an ambassador for Australian Almonds as they're a favourite of mine and the kids.

Almonds are a great after school option as they are an easy snack to just grab a handful of and have great benefits including being rich in calcium, which is important when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and bones, and vitamin E which is great for heart health.

What are you favourite after school snacks for you and the kids? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Sophie Falkiner has partnered with Australian Almonds as part of the Helping Handfuls campaign.