healthy school lunches

Healthy Back-to-School Lunches

Welcome to a new school year! Back-to-school is an exciting time—make sure your kiddo is fueled with nutritious, yummy food to excel every day.

Michael Pollan, a well-known author and foodie, believes there is no “practice less selfish . . . than preparing something delicious and nourishing for the people you love.” Packing healthy lunches and snacks for your child as he or she sets off to one of Sienna Hills’ top-notch schools can and should be a rewarding experience. Whether you fill a lunchbox each morning or devise a system that works for your schedule (pack the night before? prep everything over the weekend for easy grabbing throughout the week?), realize the tremendous benefit of providing healthy, delicious lunches and snacks for your child’s school day.

Here are some simple ideas to keep lunches interesting, nutritious, well-rounded, and satisfying:

Jazz up the Classics
Classics are easy to make, travel well, and satisfy the body. Keep them interesting by offering a fresh spin on a trusted standby. PB&J . . . why not add bananas, or roll up in a tortilla instead of sliced bread?  Tuna sandwich . . . consider cutting into the shape of a fish, and pair with cheesy Goldfish crackers.

Make It Bento
Organizing food into portioned compartments adds visual interest for a child, and may increase the amount consumed versus wasted. Add color and variety by offering green sugar snap peas, red watermelon, orange baby carrots, and yellow golden delicious apple slices.

Just-right Snacks
Snacks are essential to keeping kids energized and focused throughout the school day. Liven up the presentation of healthy foods—cheese and meat kabobs, no-bake granola bars, sliced apple and peanut butter towers—and know you are providing a tool for success.

For limitless ideas, tips, and healthy recipes for school lunches, check out Pinterest; your kiddo will thank you. Happy eating!


Sienna Hills is a planned community of new homes in Buckeye priced from the high $100s. Families enjoy quality schools and spectacular recreation opportunities. Visit us online to learn more about our location in “Arizona’s Biggest Small Town.”

Back-to-School Tips

August means back to school, and for many, school has already begun. Oftentimes the transition from summer to a new school year can be difficult for the whole family. We came up with a few of our favorite back to school tips to share to hopefully make the transition easier and to help make this school year one of the best yet!

Tip #1: Sleep Schedule
Late summer nights can make early school mornings difficult and unpleasant. We’ve found the best way to combat grumpy school-goers is to ease into the transition by starting the new schedule early. It’s going to be much easier if you start a few weeks before school even starts (if you have the time). Start by going to bed early and waking up earlier, as opposed to just getting up at 6am right off the bat. Set timers and alarms, be strict, and even try to implement the schedule on the weekends.

Tip #2: Utilize your weekends
While the weekends are a good time to relax and catch up on some R&R, they are also a great time to prepare for the coming week and get ahead so you don’t fall behind. Plan and prep school lunches and dinners, so that busy mornings are easier and packed school nights run more smoothly. The weekend is also a perfect time to get a jump on the kid’s homework and plan for busy nights, where schoolwork could potentially be put off. Anticipating a hectic schedule will make life a lot easier in the long run.

Tip #3: Organize the Closet
For those who wear uniforms, consider yourselves lucky to be able to skip this step in the morning. Planning the whole week of outfits on Sunday night eliminates your kids standing in front of the closet for 20 minutes screaming “I have nothing to wear.” Another tip is to pack any clothing or equipment that will be needed for after school activities in the morning, to eliminate stress or forgetting anything.

Tip #4: Make a Central Landing Pad
Once you’ve gotten everything together, i.e. lunches, backpack, homework/important papers, after school bags, put them all in one designated place. The worst thing is getting a call from the school that something important that your child needs was left behind. If your family gets in the habit of putting everything in the same place everyday, nothing will get left behind, hopefully!

Tip #5: Communicate
The key to any successful relationship or task is communication. Talk to your kids about their days and how they are feeling about the school year. Talk to the teachers to make sure your child is performing at their best and to make sure no problems are arising. Being involved and up-to-date on your kids’ lives and activities is going to make everything run more smoothly.

We hope that everyone has a fantastic and safe school year. We can’t wait to see all the fun activities and accomplishments the Sienna Hills Community will have over the next year!

summer activities for kids in buckeye

Can’t-Miss Summer Activities and Camps in Buckeye

Get ready, summer is just around the corner! For residents at Sienna Hills, the awesome community pool and parks provide all-day fun, but check out these enriching summer activities for kids in Buckeye and make this break from school one your kids will never forget. With so much to do in Buckeye, which summer activity will you choose?

City of Buckeye – Youth Summer Camps
Stay sharp over break and learn something new, explore STEM activities, make crafts, play games, master cooking projects, and so much more!

Camp Zoo
This can’t-miss learning adventure at the Phoenix Zoo offers up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences, hands-on activities and games, and in-depth investigations your child will remember for years to come.

The Goddard School Summer Camps
If you’ve got a kindergartner through 5th grader, enrich his or her summer experience with STEAM-based activities offered at The Goddard School. Day camp activities include cooking, game play, performing, critical-thinking puzzle solving, and much more.

Buckeye Public Library – Summer Reading Program and Events
All branches of the library offer free events throughout the summer to keep kids engaged and always learning. Check out the events calendar for a fun activity near you, and be sure to sign up for the always-exciting summer reading program.

Anderson Institute of Music & Performing Arts (AIM)
Whether it’s through music or theater, indulge the performer in your family with camps designed to unleash his or her potential.

For residents of Sienna Hills, enjoying life is a way of life. After all, its prime location affords opportunities to hike in nature or take advantage of Buckeye’s bustling activity lineup. So get out there and experience it all! Hello summer!!

Odyssey Preparatory Academy Opens a New Charter Campus in Sienna Hills

For parents who live in the Sienna Hills community, getting their elementary-age kids to school just got a whole lot easier. The Odyssey Preparatory Academy has opened a new campus for grades K-5 right in the neighborhood! Located at 2400 N Sienna Hills Parkway, the modern and fully-equipped building is opening its doors for the first time to welcome students for the 2016-2017 academic year.

While this location is new, Odyssey schools have been around since 2009, when they were first granted a charter by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. Initially operating from a strip mall in Buckeye, the school quickly grew and is now composed of five campuses that serve approximately 3,000 students in grades K-12.

Among the reasons for Odyssey’s growth and popularity is its strong commitment to its Core Beliefs:

  • Every scholar matters
  • Growth isn’t always measured by test scores
  • Scholars are challenged and feel safe to explore
  • Positive communication

Every classroom and every activity is designed with these core beliefs in mind, and with a forward looking focus to better prepare students for university and beyond. Students are encouraged to try new things, even if they fail, because the learning process and the growth that comes about from it are far more important than simply getting the answers right.

Quality schools that are close and convenient are just one reason Sienna Hills is a perfect place for families. Parks, a swimming pool, and a tightly-knit community are also reasons why families at Sienna Hills love that they can relax and focus on what matters most.

Take a tour of one of the model homes today and explore what life is like at Sienna Hills! Models are open daily until 6:00 pm. Click here for contact information and to see sales office hours and locations.