The best back-to-school products and where to buy them in Chicago

Half of acing the first day is about showing up with the right goods. We review our favorite products of the B2S season and tell you how to get them in your backpack. (What backpack, you ask? Click to find our fave!)

It’s hard to find a backpack to fit your preschooler ortiny kindergartner, but Simply Good has come up with a winner withMy First Bag. Not only is it the right size for little bodies, ithas a separate insulated compartment for kids’ snacks or lunches.$27.50,

The perfect pack

The fight with preschoolers over getting more veggies intheir diets gets easier with Revolution Foods’ Mashups Fruit andVeggie Smoothies. The organic snacks hide the taste of veggies withthe taste of fruit in a fun, squeezable pack just right for littlehands. Pack Carroty Chop, Blueberry Blitz and Beetbox Berry in thelunch box and feel good about it. $4.99 per pack, or at Whole

Sneaky Snacks

End the tears and fights over combing your little one’s hairwith L’Oreal Professionnel’s Series Nature Tendresse Shampoo andLeave-In Detangler. We tested it on a child who has never had adetangler work before, but this one did the trick. No tears. Bestof all, it’s natural and smells nice. Shampoo $19, detangler $14, or select

No more tangles

If it’s time to get your older elementary or middle school childa cell phone to give you that added sense of security forafterschool activities or study sessions at friends, you might wantthe Pantech Crossover from AT&T. With a 3.1-inch touch screenand full sliding keyboard, the Android phone is easy enough to usefor calls and texts from mom, but allows kids all the fun of easilydownloading apps (Angry Birds, anyone?) when their homework isdone. $69.99

While modern moms and dads are turning to electronic calendars,nothing beats the old-fashioned way of keeping everyone on the samepage. The Organized Family School Year Calendar from Glow Babymight be the best calendar for your busy family. It gives everyonein the family a look at the month ahead, but also features anadditional 52 removable weekly planner pages to let mom or dad seethe details that make up the week. Filling it up is on you. $26,

Calendar Control

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