There’s oftentimes that moment of panic around here when we realize we are running about ten minutes behind in the morning: will we make it to the bus? Will Mommy leave for work on time? Will we remember to brush our teeth? And, while it would be so easy to grab a toaster pastry for my children and throw them in the car or on the bus, I know that I owe them a healthier start to their day than a sugar-loaded “treat”. While a pop tart may be better than no breakfast at all, there are quite a few easy and quick breakfast ideas that are good “standbys” on those mornings when time seems to be going against you!
Granola or breakfast/cereal bars – while these are merely a (small) step up from the Pop Tart meal, you can find some of these that are more nurtritious than others. Aim for those that are not covered in a frosting or glaze for less of a “sugar rush” (and less of a “sugar drag” later on). Keeping a box of these on hand can help out on those mornings where time is of the essence. These are more of a “treat” for my kids instead of the standard breakfast fare.
Bagels and spreads (cream cheese, peanut butter, etc) – whoever is of the school of thought that believes that “all bagels must be toasted” has obviously never fed a six year-old racing for the bus. Bagels can be filling without the sugar, giving your child energy throughout the morning. Couple it with a cheese spread or peanut butter for a protein or dairy addition and for added “fullness”.
Make-ahead muffins (and other tasty treats) – muffins are a special treat in our house for breakfast, and they don’t take any time at all in the morning. Make them one evening to keep on hand, especially when you know your schedule is tight. Storing them in the refrigerator can prolong their shelf life, and muffins can be made and frozen for weeks at a time. Choose muffins that have a high-fiber, high-grain content for maximum benefits.
Breakfast taco on the go – when I make fajitas or other Mexican food for dinner, my boys ALWAYS ask me to keep a few tortillas back for breakfast tacos the next morning. However, I don’t always have time to scramble eggs and cook potatoes for a stuffed breakfast taco. So, we’ve learned to improvise. My boys love to slap a slice of cheese on a tortilla and roll a couple of pieces of bacon up for their own version of a breakfast tortilla. Bacon can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for days, eliminating the need to grease up the kitchen the morning of. Or spread some peanut butter and jelly on the tortilla for a PB and J taco for breakfast.
Fresh fruit – there’s nothing simpler than a banana to fix for breakfast in the morning. Simply peel and eat! Or toss a small apple or pear in the mix for your child’s breakfast. Any fruit is a good offering at breakfast time. The natural sugars take longer to digest, and most kids love the fruity goodness of a fresh piece of fruit.