Parents

These 3 hacks for meals and chores help simplify life with kids

Life as a parent isn't always easy, but it can become a whole lot easier than it is already. TODAY Parenting Team member Kristen Chase, CEO of Cool Mom Picks, is a mom of four and she has lots of tricks up her sleeve when it comes to making life with kids a little bit less stressful. She stopped by TODAY to share some her best hacks for parents on-the-go.

RELATED: 5 simple big-family hacks that will make life easier for families of any size

1. Make school lunches a breeze with the help of labeled bins

To help keep the pantry and fridge organized and minimize the complaining when it comes to packing lunch for school, Chase has an easy system in place. She has three labeled bins: Veggies, Fruit, and Snacks. In them she places different respective items, which kids then pick out to put in their lunch boxes. She says she takes care of the sandwiches, but the rest of the lunch is up to the kids thanks to this easy system.

2. Prevent fighting thanks to color-coded dishware

Getting the kids to sit down and eat without a fight is never easy, but Chase might just have the answer to all your dinner time woes. In her house, she likes to use color-coded dishware as a way to prevent fights over petty things like cups. She recommends giving each kid a color so there will be no fights over whose cup is the pink or blue one. She's also a fan of getting plates with the kids faces and names on them so then there's really never a chance for an argument.

3. Reward the kids with the help of a jar and some marbles

Forget about reward charts. If you have a jar, marbles and a label then you can start rewarding the kids for their good behavior now. She recommends having the kids use the marbles as a way to get screen time. In her house, it's 15 minutes of screen time for a marble. Chase loves it because it's an easy way to start teaching kids about budgeting, while still being able to monitor screen time. And she says the system works for getting kids to start doing all different chores around the house

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