Gen Z Back to School Shopping List

Back-to-school shopping is a fun way to start the year off on the right foot, so it’s time to make those back-to-school lists and check them twice! As a mom of two Gen Z-ers, here are our must-haves, broken down by category:

Lunch & Snacks

  • Insulated lunch bags – keep perishable, nutrient-packed foods, like dairy, safe during the school day. There are many options from small freezer packs to bags that go right in the freezer overnight to keep your lunch cold the next day.
  • Reusable water bottles – staying hydrated is a must and with drinking fountains not always an option, having a reliable, leak-proof water bottle is essential.
  • Reusable straws – straws make drinking easier. Find a cool-colored or collapsible straw for packing and to make drinking cold milk from the cafeteria carton more fun!
  • Reusable storage bags – while these are essential for packing snacks, they also have many uses beyond food to keep backpacks and supplies organized.

Technology & Safety

  • Headphones – having a fun carrying case can keep headphones from becoming hopelessly twisted or lost.
  • Wireless mouse – working on a laptop is so much easier with a wireless mouse rather than a touchpad.
  • Hand sanitizer – keep hands clean on the go by clipping a hand sanitizer bottle onto a backpack in a cool carrying case for easy access.
  • Masks – masks are still recommended for children, so stock up on your child’s favorite.  

Organization & School Supplies

  • Sturdy, light backpack – there are lots of options to help kids stay organized if they don’t have a locker.
  • Erasable highlighters & pens – today’s erasable products are much better than the past and come in an array of colors to make note-taking more exciting.
  • File tote – each child should have a place to keep all their important schoolwork at home and having it all in one tote makes it easier to find when needed.
  • Family calendar app – keeping track of schedules can be a nightmare, but a family app that everyone can use helps keep it all straight.

With this shopping list, your kids will be set for the school year and the only decision on the first day of school is which delicious breakfast to serve them to fuel them for the day!

Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD is the President of Dunaway Dietetics, Inc., a nutrition consulting business. Ann specializes in menu planning, recipe development, sports nutrition, and family nutrition.