Tuesday's Tip: Back-to-School Breakfasts

August 16,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Since back-to-school is squarely at the forefront of many school aged parents, the next few several weeks I’ll be featuring back-to-school tips for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.  Each series of tips will provide tools and recipes to help you ease mealtime stress.  These tips will help make your days go more smoothly as you leave the easy-peasy-lemon squeezy days of summer to the more structured rhythm of school days.

This week, let’s talk breakfast.  When I was young I often heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”  I sometimes rolled my eyes (sorry mom), but both research and time has proven this to be true.  Since most school days start early, an easy-to-prepare and nutritious breakfast is key to helping your kids start off the day right.

Here are some tips to make school mornings or any morning’s breakfast go more smoothly:

*First, plan ahead.  Before school starts, brainstorm a list of breakfast foods you can prepare quickly.  On a tangent, while prepared, packaged breakfast foods are good in a pinch, or on the run, you’ll start the day on a more healthful note if you choose an easy homemade breakfast.

*Balance out your breakfast choices.  Be sure to include protein, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruit.

*Pick foods your child likes!  No one is going to be up for a food battle first thing in the morning, it starts off the day on the wrong note.

*Speaking from personal experience, breakfast is a good opportunity to load up your child before the school day, especially if they don’t eat particularly well in the school lunch room.

*Lastly…need some ideas?  Check out these great recipes to help breakfast be a success in your home:

Whole Grain Pancake Mix (Make a big batch, have it on hand and pancakes can be made in no time)


Baked Oatmeal (Can be made ahead the night before, and will last for several breakfasts)

Egg Braid (Make Ahead)

Smoothies

*When in doubt, a bowl of whole grain cereal, with skim milk and fruit makes a great start.  Other easy ideas include:  whole grain toast, with scrambled eggs and fruit, oatmeal with fruit and nut toppings, or a yogurt parfait (layers of granola, yogurt and fruit).

With these ideas in mind, your kids will start off their day on the right note!
SPC