Breakfast can often seem like the most frazzling part of a busy family’s day, but there are simple tricks that you can do that can ensure that your family gets a healthy meal to start their weekdays. With a little forethought and planning in the early part of the week, you can have nutritious breakfasts in a flash during the week.
The easiest way to prepare for the coming week’s breakfasts is to take a couple of hours on the weekend to shop for and partially prepare the meals for the days ahead and put them in the freezer. If you are short on time (and who isn’t these days?), you can employ the help of your spouse or children to lend a hand, and consider it a fun, family chore. You can also spread the tasks out over the course of a couple of days, and just throw things together whenever you find a few free minutes. However you manage it, this advance preparation is the key to less stress during the week, and that’s bound to bring a smile to everyone’s face!
Certain things, in addition to the main breakfast dishes that you are prepping in advance, can be made ahead also as complimentary parts of your breakfasts. Hash Browns, for example, can be made in a big batch and then broken down into smaller portions, wrapped in foil and frozen, then tossed into a preheated oven during the week, while you ready yourself and your family for your day. Fruit can be washed, sliced and put into an airtight container in the refrigerator. Nuts and seeds can be toasted and put into a small container. Smoothie ingredients can be portioned off and put into individual resealable bags and placed in the freezer. You get the drift. A little advance work is all it takes, and believe me, it’s worth it!
Here’s a list of some nutritious, meals that you can prepare in advance for your family, for weekday mornings when everyone seems to be in a rush. Now with a little advance planning, at least the breakfast part of the morning can be a little less hurried.
Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
Make your egg the way that you like it, and slightly toast an English muffin. Put the egg on the muffin, add a slice of cheese, top with muffin and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in freezer. To eat, simply place in microwave for 1 minute, flip sandwich, heat 1 more minute.
Sausage, Egg and Cheese Roll-Ups
Cook eggs and sausage. Unroll can of crescent rolls, and place cheese slice, egg and sausage in crescent triangle, and roll crescent. Place in foil, and then in freezer. To eat, place roll-ups in preheated (see crescent roll heat instructions) oven and cook according to package instructions.
Cook bacon. Prepare pancake mix. On heated griddle lay bacon strip, then top strip with pancake batter, cook as you would a normal pancake. Cool on cooling rack, then wrap in tin foil and place in freezer. To eat, reheat in foil and serve with maple syrup for dipping pancake strips. This is a great one to take on the go with you!
Cook eggs, meats, and veggies and heat a tortilla wrap. Then simply add ingredients and roll it up! Wrap in foil and store in freezer. To eat, place in preheated oven until warmed.
Pizza for Breakfast
Think outside the box, and serve them pizza for breakfast! Pizza can actually be very nutritious, especially when loaded with veggies! The best part is that some kids (and parents, too!) prefer their pizza cold, so a weekday breakfast could be as easy as pulling a slice out of the refrigerator! This is another one that is great on the go!
Oatmeal is nutritious and satisfying, and it’s easy to make a giant batch of it on the weekend to have throughout the week. Muesli is simply oatmeal with the addition of fruits, seeds and nuts. I like to mince a couple of Granny Smith apples and add it to the oatmeal as I am cooking it, along with a bit of cinnamon. Store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container, and during the week, you can pull some out, add it to a pot with a bit of water, and reheat. When cooked, put in bowl, top with some brown sugar, and seeds and nuts.
Having several sealable little containers makes this idea especially fun. Kids love to have their own special serving of something in its own container. Simply layer the yogurt of your choice with chopped fresh fruit (that has been tossed with honey to prevent oxidation.). To eat, simply top with some granola, stick a spoon in and you are ready to go!
Everyone knows this oldie but goody, but it’s worth repeating! Muffins are simple to make, can be made in a multitude of flavors, and can be very nutritious. I double and triple the recipe when I make them, because they last a long time in the freezer, if my family doesn’t eat them all right away.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packs
My kids like to make their own breakfasts sometimes, so this is a good alternative to the pricey supermarket varieties. You simply buy the half sized sandwich bags at the store, add quick cooking/instant oats (see serving size on container), and add in a sweetener (we use brown sugar usually), and the add-ins of your choice. Some that our family enjoys are raisins, walnuts, and dried fruit bits. We also add in ingredients such as powdered instant coffee (for the adults), powdered peanut butter, flax seed, and cocoa powder to give them unique flavors.
This can be almost junk food if it is not made the right way, but if you keep only healthy ingredients in and keep the sugar to a minimum, this can be a healthy meal if served in milk, on yogurt, or eaten out of hand. Some favorite add-ins at our house include crushed shredded wheat, pomegranate seeds, chia seeds, and trail mix. Occasionally, we add chocolate chips in for a treat. An alternative to this is to crush the granola and mix with a bit of honey and oil, add it to the bottom of muffin tins, top with yogurt of your choice, and add fresh berries to the top. Place in freezer until frozen. They can then be popped out of the muffin tin and placed in a resealable bag in the freezer for some quick and tasty Froyo Granola Bites!
These are just some quick and tasty ideas, but a great way to give your family what they like is to simply ask them. Before the week starts, I ask my family for ideas of what they would like to eat, then I try to incorporate as many of those ideas that I can. Leads to full bellies, less waste and smiles all around!