When you’re trying to get yourself and your children out the door and off to work and school, it’s difficult to have a healthy, sit-down breakfast. Being in a hurry doesn’t mean that you have to rely on salty, fatty convenience foods for the most important meal of the day, however. By doing just a bit of prep work ahead of time or by taking advantage of healthy, quick options, you can provide a nutritious breakfast without making everyone late in the process.
Nature’s Convenience Food
The most convenient health-food available that’s good for breakfast is fruit! Buy a variety and encourage everyone to choose something from the fruit bowl each morning to add some filling fiber to their morning meals. While apples, bananas and oranges are favorites, try to pick up a couple of special treats, too, like cherries, mangoes, watermelon or pomegranates, depending on the season. If your children are old enough to handle whole fruit, this makes your job easier. If not, try cutting up fruit the night before as part of your evening routine; you can sprinkle cut apples and pears with lemon juice to delay browning.
Make-Ahead Breakfast Foods
If you have a couple hours of extra time on the weekends, you can put it to good use cooking ahead for breakfast during the week. Try making whole-grain pancakes or French toast, then freezing them individually. Once they’re frozen, stack them in large Ziploc bags. In the mornings, you or your kids can pop them in the toaster to heat them up for a hot meal in minutes!
Another food that freezes well is breakfast burritos. Scramble eggs, low-fat sausage and a variety of veggies, like onions, mushrooms, peppers, spinach or tomatoes together, then spoon into soft tortillas with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Roll them up and stack to freeze; heat these in the toaster oven for a few minutes and enjoy.
There is no law that says that only certain foods can be eaten before noon. Think about what you can make more of at dinnertime that might be enjoyed for breakfast. If you’re baking potatoes, making homemade dinner rolls, baking up a quiche or having homemade pizza for dinner, it’s usually not much more effort to simply make extra with the intention of serving it for breakfast the next morning. Even foods like soups, sandwiches and pasta can make perfectly delicious breakfast foods!
Talk to your family about what types of foods they might like to eat for breakfast, then see if you can make it happen by just making a few changes in the way you shop or cook during the less-busy times of your day. Keep a few quick-and-easy foods, like yogurt, canned fruit (packed in juice, not syrup, if possible) and low-sugar granola bars, to fill in on mornings when you really have no time; the goal isn’t perfection, just healthier (and easier) eating!