Summer-time… endless season of children eating and snacking. Want to feed your kids so they STAY FED? Today I’m sharing my favorite healthy breakfast hacks to meet one or more of these requirements:
- Ideas that work to simplify breakfast time.
- Healthy, delicious, kid-friendly breakfasts.
- Feed a morning crowd with minimal prep and maximum fun.
- Most importantly- these ideas do NOT involve your children coming back ten minutes after breakfast saying- “Mom, I’m hungry!” Even though these are filling/sustaining/yummy foods we’ll be talking about, I cannot guarantee a lack of whining. I have caught my three-year-old– sitting in front of one of her favorite meals, whining- “I’m hungry mom..!” Oh toddlers! Nonetheless- these ideas I’ll share today that work well in our home and have been tried and true. 😉
1) Breakfast Menu Schedule
Once Summer hit this year I noticed a lot of decision fatigue happening on my part. I would tinker around in the kitchen each morning wondering, “Is it ok to sneak in another morning of cold cereal? Should I make oatmeal? Oh wait… I made that yesterday. Oatmeal is way better with strawberries- Oh, we’re out!” And on and on… I decided to make a breakfast schedule for what makes sense with foods we enjoy. Here’s why this schedule is valuable to me:
I spent a little bit of time in the beginning thinking about, figuring and deciding what a good balance would look like with our breakfasts. Now, I no longer spend my energy deciding every morning! I have figured out:
- What meals do we enjoy? And keep us full too?
- How often can I rotate these meals?
- Are there any fresh ingredients I need to have on hand?
- Can I do prep the night before?
I wrote down all the things we like to eat and placed each menu item on the day that made sense. I like to get groceries on Tuesdays, so on Wednesday we have fresh berries for our overnight oats. Getting to church is hectic, so we use cold cereal on those mornings as a fun weekend treat.
I post the list on my fridge to refer to and it’s SO nice! I can be flexible with the list if we’re craving hash-browns and eggs, but I like having a starting point.
Here are some of our favorite menu items:
2) Overnight Oats
This is one of my favorite breakfasts because it takes one minute to put together the night before and in the morning it’s all ready to eat. Delicious!
Here’s how I do it:
- Find a tupperware big enough to feed the family.
- Pour in raw oats (quick oats, or regular rolled oats) 3/4 full.
- Pour in milk to cover oats with about an extra inch on top.
- Sweeten to taste. ( I add a couple heaping tablespoons of sugar)
- Add vanilla extract, fresh berries or both!
- Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
- It’s ready to serve and refreshingly cold! (If it looks dry, add more liquid 🙂 )
3) Healthy Yogurt Parfaits
These are sooo satisfying and filling. We recently served these at two separate family reunion breakfasts for 40-85 people and they were such a hit both times 🙂 We served parfaits in clear cups for the reunion, but here’s how we do it at home:
- Scoop out a half cup of your favorite yogurt into your bowls.
- Add Grape-nuts cereal. Let them soak for about one minute so they’re not overly crunchy. Adding a little milk makes the texture perfect. Grape-nuts are high in fiber, have zero sugar, and are as filling as heck.
- Add fresh fruit like bananas, berries, grapes or even some whipped cream for extra fun!
- Some extra delightful add-ins we use:
When we did our family reunion, we served the yogurt bar with omelets in a ziplock one year and eggs and sausage another- both times at a campground pavilion.
4) Coach’s Oats
If you’ve tried steel-cut oats, you know they are fab. Coach’s Oats are this limbo between regular oats and steel-cut and the result is amazing. I get a big bag at Costco for about $8— I will say I’m a little sad I tried them because it’s hard to go back to the regular oats- Coach’s Oats are just sooo tasty and they cook quick!
5) Rice Cereal
We cook hot rice cereal twice a week in the rice cooker. It takes about 15-20 minutes start to finish. We like both jasmine rice and short brown rice, also quinoa on occasion. Here’s how we flavor it:
- coconut, almond, or vanilla extract
- cinnamon and brown sugar
- pure maple syrup
When I scoop the rice in our breakfast bowls, I always add milk to cool it down and make our breakfast creamy.
K, that covers all the weekday rotations. Onto the weekend menu!
6) Applesauce Syrup
Maple Syrup… not my favorite item in the pantry with kids. It’s sticky, pure sugar and either highly processed, or highly expensive if you use pure maple. Enter: Applesauce Syrup. Two steps and you’re done!
- Pour some applesauce in a small pot on medium heat.
- Add your favorite breakfast syrup to taste and heat it up! (I do about a 1:1 ratio)
My kids don’t mind the change and it takes the sugar content, the stickiness, the processed junk, and/or the expense down! Add a little cinnamon in the Fall and it is lots of fun and more delicious than Aunt Jemima!
7) German Pancakes, with a crazy twist
German Pancakes are my FAVE! I love making German Pancakes because I don’t stand over the skillet watching and flipping pancakes like I do with regular pancakes or waffles. German Pancakes are so rich and yummy! The recipe is easy to memorize with nice even numbers:
- Place a couple tablespoons of butter in 9×13 casserole dish, and toss in the oven while preheating to 400.
- Crack six eggs into a blender and add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of flour, and 1 tsp of salt.
- Blend thirty seconds.
- Pour batter into dish with the melted/browned butter and return to the oven for 20 minutes!
These pancakes come out fluffy, which I still think is fun even though I’ve made them dozens of times. Top with the applesauce syrup or whatever you feel like!
Here’s where the twist comes in…
A friend mentioned she makes German Pancakes with ham, cheese, or anything savory she has on hand. I’ve diced up onions and put them in with the butter to saute a little, and then poured in the batter with diced turkey lunch meat, ham, spinach, etc! I love these! My kids get disappointed when they aren’t going to be loading these ones up with sweetness, but they’ll eat em. So- I usually make two casserole dishes. I have my kids eat one piece of the savory first, then they can eat the traditional German Pancakes with syrup ’til their gone! They are good reheated too.
Hopefully you’ve found a new idea to enhance the breakfast scene at your house! What is your favorite thing to make for breakfast right now?