Everyone agrees that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is often the one where the least amount of effort is made. It can also be hard sometimes to get kids to eat a decent breakfast, particularly if they aren’t ‘morning people’ and just getting them out of bed is enough of a battle.
As a result breakfast becomes boring, uninspiring and is more about getting something into their bellies. The key is to keep preparing and cooking breakast for the family as simple as possible, while still aiming to serve up a nutritional ‘jump start’ to the day. With a little planning, it is possible to take the ‘boring’ out of breakfast and actually start to serve up something they will happily get out of bed for.
I know this first hand as my daughter is Miss Fussy when it comes to breakfast. For quite a while it was a struggle to get her to eat anything except white toasted bread and butter. Now, she still has toast, but it’s good quality bread with lots of nutrition and it’s topped with avocado. She gobbles it up along with a glass of milk. She’s happy, I’m happy and she’s off to a great start for the day.
Here’s a few tips and easy breakfast ideas that I’ve used that help make breakfast time hum along nicely in our house. I hope they help you too
Plan breakfast, just the way you plan dinner.
We all know about how much of a time saver meal planning can be. But often, it includes dinners only. Adding breakfasts to the meal plan is a great idea, even if it’s just to plan for a few different options during the week rather than the same old routine. Also, take the time to plan a special breakfast on the weekend.
Once you’ve planned a few breakfast ideas, add any items needed to the shopping list and you’re all set.
Like anything, if it is planned ahead (which will only take a few minutes to do), it saves a lot of time, effort and angst later on. This is as true for breakfasts as for anything else.
Get organised the night before.
This makes life sooooo much easier as everything is ready to go in the morning. No need to try and get things organised when there is morning chaos and the need to get everyone ready for the day.
Firstly, if there is any preparation required e.g. soaking grains, chopping fruit get it done the night before.
Next, set out all the crockery, cutlery and glasses needed along with any condiments. Anything that will be needed that doesn’t require refrigeration can be organised the night before. It is amazing what a difference this can make in reducing the feeding frenzy in the kitchen.
Think outside the ‘cereal’ box.
Grabbing a box of cereal has become the standard breakfast fare, but most ‘boxes’ are full of sugar and offer very little in the way of nutrition. Similarly, a slice of toast may be quick and easy but it is very simple to make it more nutritious by selecting a good quality, nutritious bread and topping.
There are so many other great choices for breakfast that can be just as quick and easy. Some ideas for healthy breakfast options are here and if your family enjoys porridge, try some different ideas here.
If your family really do like their cereal (like mine), try making up big batches of homemade muesli or granola. These can be made using a variety of grains, fruits, nuts and seeds and mixed according to what your family likes. If you make up a big batch on the weekend, it will easily get you through the week.
Use fresh fruits that are in season.
Fruit is always a great breakfast option and it’s usually just a case of peel and eat. Consider preparing a platter of fruit the night before with a cut up assortment that can be easily served straight from the fridge. If it doesn’t all get eaten for breakfast, use the leftovers for lunchboxes, after school snacks or dessert.
Another option is to prepare a fruit salad. Served with yoghurt and a sprinkle of oats, nuts, seeds or muesli and it is a breakfast meal in itself.
The great thing about fruit is that it changes with the seasons so there is ongoing variety. This makes it possible to always be mixing things up and keeping it interesting.
Try having a few ready make breakfast items to offer.
Homemade goodies like muffins, fruit breads and some slices are a great breakfast idea. I’m not talking about sugar loaded, fatty store-bought items here, but nutritious homemade food that will have a lot less sugar (and often fat) than store bought options.
These are things that can be easily made ahead of time (again with a little planning), and either frozen (whip them out the night before and they’ll be good to go) or served fresh within a few days of being made.
Some suggestions include:
- Muffins – Fruity muffins are great for breakfast. They can be heated or served cold. Try Banana Spice Muffins and Strawberry Muffins.
- Slices – The types with lots of oats, fruits, nuts and seeds are the best option here. Try Anzac Muesli Slice
- Fruit Breads – Banana bread is always a favourite or try Strawberry Bread for a different twist.
Apart from the above, another great ‘readymade’ option is hard boiled eggs. These are particularly good if you don’t have the time (or inclination) to cook eggs in the morning. Have a few on hand in the fridge and the they can be quickly sliced over toast or simply eaten on their own.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so it’s worth making it run as smoothly as possible. Try some of the tips above to make it even better for your family, and if you have any you’d like to add, please leave a comment below.