Starting your kids day off with a healthy breakfast is super important, but there is one problem…..I am NOT a morning person. Like, not even a little bit. I want down deep in my soul to be a morning person, and maybe someday? But for now sadly, I am not!
And I’m guessing I’m probably not alone in this. Being a mom is hard, and although I’ve always been one of those people that hit snooze about 5 times, it’s gotten even harder to get up in the mornings since I’ve had kids.
As a nurse that has worked in schools for many years, I know starting our kids out with a full tank of “fuel” is SO important. (Ask me how many peanut butter crackers that I’ve handed out over the years!) However, making those hearty & healthy breakfasts happen can be a real challenge.
I truly want to wake up early and have the smell of freshly made waffles (whole-grain of course) wafting thru the air as my kids come down the stairs, but instead they usually hear, “Hurry and eat! You have 10 minutes! We are going to be late!!!”
So, when you are short on time in the morning, having things made ahead can be a lifesaver! Here are some simple healthy breakfast ideas to get your kiddos out the door with full bellies (a.k.a fuel tanks) each day!
Freeze Healthy Breakfast Items
Making things ahead can be a great way to have a breakfast ready that tastes like it’s fresh! it’s great to have some things stashed away in the freezer to pull out and just warm.
Muffins are great if you flash freeze them (place them individually on a cookie sheet and freeze them until the outside is frozen, then place them in a freezer bag). There are so many great muffins. Try these Medley Muffins (or my version here) or these banana muffins, both with healthy ingredients!
You can also flash freeze waffles for a warm and hearty start to the day. Waffles don’t have to be sugary and full of simple carbs. You can always buy multi-grain waffles, but if your family is anything like mine, you’ll go broke buying frozen waffles! Sometimes, on the weekends, I will make a triple or quadruple batch of waffles to put in the freezer for the coming week.
Healthy Breakfast Tip: Serve Fruit With EVERYTHING!!!
Waffles with berries, muffins with apples, and breakfast sandwiches with oranges. It can be hard to get your child to eat enough fruits and vegetables, so starting the day off with a serving of fruit will give them a jump start!! Remember a piece of fruit actually has fiber in it that will help with digestion and keep your child full for longer. That’s something that fruit juice won’t do!
Healhty Breakfast Idea: Add protein
Never underestimate the power of protein! Protein can make the difference in being famished by 9am and staying satisfied until lunch time. Protein, fat and fiber will help keep your child full and prevent drops in their blood sugar. That is something that most cereal doesn’t do!
When I was young, I spent the night with a friend on occasion and her family had a special way of fixing their Cheerios. They would pour a bowl of plain cheerios, drizzle honey over the top, slice a banana, and finish it off with a spoon full of peanut butter on the side! Talk about filling AND delicious! Now this has become one of our family favorites!
So, if you have a die-hard cereal eater, try adding peanut butter to the side. Turkey bacon cooked ahead of time or yogurt (especially greek yogurt) can also be quick protein sources on busy mornings.
Mix it up!
There are millions of great smoothie recipes on the web today. There are many that will really boost your kiddos fruit and veggie intake for the day. Try adding a little spinach (even frozen works great) for some extra vitamins, your kids will never taste difference! There are also new protein powders coming on the market that are aimed toward kids that would make a wonderful addition to your smoothie.
You can even have all of your ingredients measured out in individual baggies in the freezer, so you can just add milk and mix!
Here is one of our family favorite smoothie recipes:
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup milk of your choice
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1/2 cup ice (if needed to thicken)
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Blend well, add extra milk if your smoothie is too thick. This is a filling and nutritious breakfast that can be ready in a jiffy!
Don’t Fight the Grazers
Some kids just don’t wake up hungry…. Or maybe they just don’t really WAKE UP fully until after they are in school for an hour! You can have some baggies ready to go with a simple breakfast trail mix in case they get hungry on the way to school or later in the morning.
Breakfast Trail Mix
4 cups of cereal (PB Puffins, Oatmeal Squares, Cheerios, etc)
2 cups of nuts or seeds (for my family it’s usually peanuts, almonds or cashews)
1-2 cup of dried fruit (dried bananas, raisins, cranberries, apples, apricots, etc)
Give your child a cup of milk or juice to go with it and they will have a pretty well-rounded breakfast… it just might be on their schedule!
Breakfast is such an important start to the day for our kids, but it doesn’t have to be stressful! With a little pre-planning and/or pre-cooking, your kiddos can have a healthy and hearty breakfast every morning, then they’ll be ready to rock the rest of their day!
What are your biggest challenges to getting a good breakfast on the table in the morning? Do you have any tips for quick, healthy breakfasts for busy mornings? Please share in the comments below!
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