Like it or not, back-to-school season is hurtling toward us at breakneck speed. And though the summer sun continues to warm our face and take the edge off the swimming pool’s icy waters, it’s time to start thinking brown bag lunches and grab-on-your-way-out-the-door breakfasts. The easiest way to stave off the September Scaries is to make sure your freezer and pantry are good to go in terms of quick and easy staples that will make your mornings magnificent (instead of monstrous).

Our number one pantry staple recommendation is a big ol’ tub of dry oats. Whether you prefer old-fashioned or quick cooking, plain oats are easy to make as a stand-alone meal or use as versatile ingredients for numerous breakfast and lunch items. One of our favorites? Grape-Oatmeal Cups from the Pretty Lady recipe page!

Other pantry items you shouldn’t live without include canned tuna or salmon (unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, of course!); nut butters and nuts (this can be tricky if your child’s school has restrictions, but nuts make for great breakfast staples as well); fruit or applesauce cups; trail mix; veggie potato chips/puffs/sticks; crackers; dried fruit; and tortillas. (Phew! And that’s just to name a few…)

We may be biased, but in terms of freezing, grapes and berries are at the top of our list. Grapes make amazing icy treats when frozen, and frozen berries can be tossed into everything from smoothies to the aforementioned oatmeal! Veggies (tossed into a quick omelet? Yum!), bagels, and other breads are also great freezer items. Any foods that can be used frozen or thawed without hassle are great to keep on ice—fears of spoilage, be gone!

And now that you’ve taken the first steps toward back-to-school meal prep, go reward yourself with a Mai Tai out in the sun.