Joan Lunden, mother of 7 and former co-host for "Good...

Joan Lunden, mother of 7 and former co-host for "Good Morning America" recently launched a new cookware line called Twiztt at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Credit: Handout

Back-to-school means something different to every mom. But I think most will agree, when it comes to this time of year, the one word that comes to mind is busy!

As a working mother of seven, Joan Lunden, former "Good Morning America" co-host, knows what busy really means. Her latest venture is a line of healthy, nonstick cookware sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond called Twiztt by Joan Lunden, which feature “twists” that allow for easier cutting, measuring and cooking, perfect for busy parents.

I recently asked Lunden for her tips on how to help parents navigate successfully through the school year. Here's what she had to say:

1. Create a family calendar. Be sure to include all of your school and day care arrangements, after-school activities, carpool days, etc. ahead of time so you are 100 percent organized when the first day of school sneaks up on you, said Lunden. "Now everyone will know who is going where and how they will get there!"

2. Pack up your kids backpacks and lunches the night before. "I recommend even laying out their clothes and any equipment for after-school activities or sports practices," she said. "This eliminates any last minute stress and running around in the morning."

3. Set a routine. Teach your children about what time they need to get up, how to get dressed, where to put their shoes, etc. before school starts, Lunden said. "This helps them get into the school day routine and teaches them how to get ready themselves," she said. "Self-reliance boosts their confidence. We even have a star chart where you get a star if you put your shoes away, hang up your coat, etc. and at the end of the week if you have the most stars, you get an incentive like picking the Friday night movie or weekend dessert."

4. Don’t take on the morning drill sergeant role. Make morning time a fun activity for the whole family by allotting extra treats or privileges to the one child who gets ready the fastest, she said. "If you have an only child, time them and tell them if they beat that time, they will get an extra treat/sleepover/more TV time/later bed time, etc. My kids will do anything you ask of them if they feel it's a competition they can win!"

5. Create weekly theme nights with your family. Planning dinners ahead of time and buying food/snacks in bulk saves you the stress and the time. "I like to let the kids help plan the menu with fun theme nights like Taco Tuesday or Meatball Monday," said Lunden. "This involves your kids in the meal plans and gives them something to look forward to. And, you may even be lucky enough to have them ask you to help out in the kitchen!"


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