Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That goes double for your children. They need a good start. They need to have energy in their body to learn, play and socialize. You can help them get started with a healthy breakfast. Even busy parents can get the job done.
I'm a busy single gal though, and breakfast is tough for me. I don't like eating in the morning and never have, but by preparing a few things ahead of time that I really like, I find I make more time for breakfast. I love my pancakes. I use spreadable fruit on them rather than sugary syrups and they are delicious.
Here's how I manage a healthy breakfast every day in less than ten minutes.
Step One: Prepare For The Week Ahead
The weekends are the time when most people get their errands done. That means grocery shopping for the upcoming week. Sit down for a few minutes and plan the week's breakfasts. Think about what you can make ahead. Great make ahead ideas include:
* Whole grain waffles - pop them in the toaster in the morning before school. If you flavor them with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, they may not even need syrup.
* Fruity pancakes - pop them in the toaster. Add apple chunks or other fruit to the mix. Then your children can eat them by hand on their way out the door.
* Oatmeal - steel cut oats warm up nicely in the microwave.
Other quick breakfast ideas include:
* Yogurt with granola and fruit topping (You can cut up the fruit ahead of time)
* Egg sandwiches. Try English muffins, a slice of American cheese, and scrambled or a fried egg.
* Smoothie with protein powder. A smoothie is delicious, and with a yogurt base and lots of fruit it can also be healthy. Add a scoop of protein powder to the mix to make sure your children have enough energy to get them through their morning successfully.
Step Two: Shop from your list
Once you've decided what to serve you or your kids in the morning, make a list of the ingredients you'll need. Head to the supermarket and make sure you shop from your list. The challenge here is to avoid all the processed breakfast foods. This is about making a healthy breakfast quick.
Step Three: Do what you can ahead of time
Spend an hour on Saturday or Sunday night preparing some meals ahead of time. For example, you can make a double batch of waffles and pop them in the freezer. In the morning all you need to do is put them in the toaster and serve. Breakfast in less than ten minutes. I also pre-pare oatmeal and freeze it in bags. I fill containers with fruit, chopped and ready to go. For smoothies, I keep all the ingredients in one spot, throw them in the blender, and it's done.
Step Four: Commit to the process
I really try to stick to this weekly. That way I get the nutrition every day that I need. I also try to enlist others when I can. Yes, you're busy. Find ways that your children can help you prepare breakfast. For example, can they slice fruit? Can they stir the steel cut oats? Can they set the yogurt toppings on the table? Get the whole family involved.
Somehow I have managed to do this for several weeks now, and I have noticed I have more energy throughout the day. Breakfast was something I thought I would never enjoy. You can teach an old dog new tricks!