Interview: Back to School Essentials for Students of All Ages with REDBOOK Magazine’s Morgan Thompson

REDBOOK magazine’s Morgan Thompson joined me on Friday to discuss the must haves every student from elementary school to college needs, and simple ways parents (and students) can make leaving the nest easier on themselves!

Morgan Thompson of REDBOOK Magazine with the back to school essentials for students of all ages!

Candace Rose: With back to school right around the corner, what are some of the biggest must haves?

Morgan Thompson: “We’re going to start with lunchtime, and for kids, Lunchables has created a new line called Lunchables with Smoothie. It’s a great new line that comes in three different varieties including Deep Dish Pizza with Pepperoni, Chicken Strips, Turkey Subs. And each one comes with a Chiquita Strawberry Banana Smoothie. It’s a healthy option. It’s made from a half a cup of real fruit (no added sugar or sweeteners). These types of variety give moms choices they feel good about, and kids love Lunchables as well. They all come with a sweet treat and they really enjoy them. You can find them in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store for about $3.79 per pack.”

Lunchables with Fruit Smoothie

Candace Rose: How about for those heading to college?

Morgan Thompson: “For college we really love Bed Bath and Beyond because it’s the one stop shop for college students. They have a new free service called Shop Here Pick Up There where students will shop at their local store for all their dorm room essentials, but then they’ll pick everything up at the store near their campus. It makes everything so convenient for parents and students. It kind of cuts down on that stress level- we love that. It makes it so much easier. And then Bed Bath and Beyond helps us with organizing and that’s with a great product called Space Bag. Now these help maximize space in small rooms by compressing extra clothes and blankets and making storage so much easier.

Space Bag

      And then they have a lot of great gadgets like the iHome alarm clock radio. It’s under $100. You can use it as a regular alarm clock or you can connect it to your iPhone or your iPad and have a custom playlist.

iHome Alarm Clock Radio

     And then we have the HMDX Audio Jam Bluetooth Speaker. It’s under 40 bucks, it’s a wireless portable speaker. It’s tiny, but it has incredible sound quality- four hours of wireless play and up to 30 feet away from the Bluetooth device that it’s connected to, so you can take it out with friends, you can go to the beach or to the park and have that flexibility. And then finally you can’t go wrong with a Bed Beth and Beyond gift card. Every college student (in fact myself!) would enjoy to have that so they can go shopping and buy whatever they’d like.

     And then moving onto Adidas, they have a new personal care collection for men. We love their line- they have a lot of great deodorants, body sprays, body wash and especially we really like the hair and body wash. It’s a multipurpose product that comes in three different scents including: After Sport, Extra Fresh and Active Start. It cleans everything from the hair, the body- everything!

Adidas Hair and Body Wash

      And then we have the antiperspirant sprays from Adidas. They actually won the Men’s Health Personal Grooming Award, and they come in three different scents as well. You can get all the Adidas products for less than $4 at Walmart stores.”

Adidas antiperspirants

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips for families preparing for back to school?

Morgan Thompson: “I do. You want to stay connected and a great product from Skype who has partnered with Logitech is the Logitech TV Cam HD. It’s great for the whole family for back to school because it’s an HD camera that enables Skype video. It works with any HDTV that has HDMI input built in Skype capability. You can use WIFI or Ethernet to connect. It’s under $200, and the great thing about it is it has a really wide camera lens so anyone who is in the living room will be on camera so you feel like you’re right there. So it’s perfect for that homesick college student or first time empty nesters, the parents that want to see their kids again. And you feel like you’re right there. It’s a perfect everyday solution for that. You can actually go to for more information on that product.”

Skype Logitech TV Cam HD

Skype is great for families, especially those heading to college or “empty nesters”.

Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information on everything you spoke about today?

Morgan Thompson: “On everything I talked about here and great back to school tips, you can go to”



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