Breakfast for a Busy Morning

By Nora Heston Tarte

It’s easy for a morning to get hectic. Between searching for lost tennis shoes, arguing about proper hygiene, and refereeing hallway quarrels, the rush to get off to school can leave parents feeling harried at best. I’m sure we’ve all once pushed a small human out of the front door with a Hulk backpack swung over one arm when the words, “but what about breakfast?” come out of their mouth. Oops.

Make breakfast fun and healthful in the mornings without adding to the chaos. Few moms have time to whip up homemade pancakes and sausage biscuits before lugging the brood off to school, at least not everyday. Check out these tips—and recipes—on how to step up the before-school breakfast game to something that isn’t cold cereal.

Prep the Night Before

It’s not that we have copious amounts of time in the evenings either, but with the kids off to bed (hopefully) it may be easier to do a little meal prep in the quiet of the night, preferably with your favorite new Netflix binge playing in the background.

Take advantage of overnight cooking in a Crockpot or prep overnight oats—a no-cook version of oatmeal—to leave in the refrigerator before heading to bed. Not only does that limit your morning breakfast duties to putting something in a bowl (with no other prep), but also these meals are more balanced and will keep kid’s tummies fuller than a bowl of Captain Crunch.

Serve Dessert

If kids tend to fight what is served for breakfast, stop bickering and play the game. Instead of insisting on bowls of fresh fruit and scrambled eggs, get creative. Cutting down on the breakfast negotiations will help mornings go smoother.

Consider this a win for everyone. Add chocolate to a healthy recipe to pique a child’s interest, or offer (healthy, home-made) popsicles for breakfast. Here is why it works: you aren’t really giving into dessert for breakfast; you’re just dressing up that healthy meal you want to serve.

Try Lazy Cooking

This is what I call it when you’re only half-cooking something. Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods offer semi-prepared options that cut down on cook times.

Instead of slicing and dicing in the morning, take advantage of these pre-prepared items by throwing a handful of frozen, sliced bell peppers or riced broccoli into a batch of scrambled eggs. Dress up a bagel with that famous Everything But The Bagel Sesame seasoning, or top toast with a flavored butter spread not made from scratch.

These extra ingredients may cost a tad more than doing it on your own, but when you’re scrambling in the morning you’ll be happy that all you have to scramble is a carton of eggs.