June Cleaver might have had time to stand over a stove flipping pancakes or French toast on a weekday morning, but for many of us, it’s all we can do to grab a cup o’ Joe on our way out the door. With breakfast being such an important meal for our kids, though, we can’t afford to let them run out the door without something nutritious to eat.
That’s where “make ahead” and “fast and easy” breakfasts come in. You can prepare “make ahead” meals the night before and just quickly get them ready the next morning. “Fast and easy” meals are simple to put together, even with just three minutes of prep time on a busy morning.
You can make burritos in large batches and freeze them individually for the perfect on-the-go breakfast for your kids. Scramble up some eggs with vegetables of your choice, and wrap them up in a tortilla, burrito-style. Then wrap each burrito in foil and stick them in the freezer. The night before, take them out and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. When you wake up in the morning, warm them up in a 350 degree oven for ten or fifteen minutes while your kids get dressed, and they’ll be ready to go!
A frittata is just a baked omelet, but it can be rewarmed, which makes it a great choice for a fast breakfast. Stir fry your favorite omelet fillers and layer them in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then mix a dozen eggs with spices of your choice, pour the mixture over the vegetables, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake the frittata for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, and cut it into large pieces when it cools. Each of these pieces will make the perfect breakfast, warmed up in the microwave the next morning.
Instant oatmeal is a shoddy imitation of the real stuff. But the real stuff takes too long on a crazy morning when you’re trying to get the kids out the door, doesn’t it? Not if you make it in the crock pot! Combine a cup of oatmeal with about four cups of water and some half-and-half or cream, and let it cook on low in your slow cooker overnight, for at least eight hours. You can mix in some dried or fresh fruits for a sweet but healthy treat in the morning!
Fast ‘n Easy
Yogurt is always an easy go-to meal that’s kid-friendly, but you can make it healthier and more exciting by adding some fun toppings! Top plain or vanilla yogurt with your child’s favorite berries and a handful of granola. You can mix a bit of agave syrup into the plain yogurt to tempt your child’s sweet tooth, or throw on some flaxseed or wheat germ to increase the nutritional value of this yummy morning treat.
Yes, you’ll have to wash out a pan after making these, but other than that, scrambled eggs are one of the fastest cooked breakfast dishes you’ll find. Throw in some fresh herbs, chopped tomatoes, or a sprinkling of cheese, and serve with whole wheat toast for a balanced breakfast.
Fruit and Protein
Cottage cheese, peanut butter, and even sour cream are all great protein sources, but people usually don’t think about incorporating them into a breakfast menu. Pair them with a fruit, though, for a taste your kids will love. That could mean apple quarters spread with peanut butter, leftover melon topped with cottage cheese, or blueberries mixed with sour cream. Let your kids try them out and choose their favorite combination.
By Keren Perles