The return to school brings on the anxiety of a frenzied morning rush. Eating breakfast can become quite an issue for many families, yet it is vital for a productive and focused day. Teachers can tell when your child was handed a pack of doughnuts and a hug before heading out the door. Children need some strong nourishment and so do you.
Teaching and inspiring children every day—at school or in cooking classes—allows me to see food through their eyes. Foods need to smell good, look fun, have a fairly homogenous consistency and be free of large “chunks” of anything, especially green. Breakfast is no different. This meal has to be quick to make and ready to eat with appropriate portion sizes. Each bite needs to include adequate amounts of healthy stuff.
Here are five simple breakfast recipes, all of which you can prepare ahead of time. Spend part of your weekend cooking ahead and encourage your kids to help. These are energizing and tasty recipes that your family will love. They store well and can be reheated quickly.
Yogurt with Blueberries and Granola
2 cups Greek yogurt with honey (found at Sprouts, Trader Joe’s or Fresh ‘n Easy)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup granola cereal
1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger (optional)
Separate yogurt into four small containers with lids. Top with blueberries and cover. When ready to serve, top with one to two tablespoons of granola. Makes four servings.
Breakfast Trail Mix
1 cup walnuts or almonds
1 cup dried raisins or currants
½ cup dried bananas or pineapples
½ cup toasted oat cereal or rice squares
1-2 tablespoons dried, unsweetened coconut
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and separate into four or more plastic baggies, depending on how much your child eats. Store up to two weeks in a sealed container. Makes four servings.
Cinnamon Pancake Puffs
1 cup flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir with a fork. Add egg, buttermilk, butter and maple syrup then stir again. There will be clumps. Let mixture rest. Preheat pancake puff pan on medium heat for two to three minutes. Spray with vegetable oil. Pour scant 1/4 cup pancake batter into each small round. Let cook for one to three minutes, depending on the heat of pan. Flip gently with spoon or fork. Cook one to two minutes on the other side until golden. Remove and repeat with the rest of the batter. Eat immediately or let cool and store in sealed container in freezer or refrigerator. Makes 12.
Egg, Cheese, and Veggie Burritos
½ cup ground sausage, cooked
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 small tomato, washed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ small bell pepper and onion per serving, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 small whole-wheat flour tortillas
Use cooking spray on skillet and place over medium high heat. Add veggies and garlic to pan and saute for two to three minutes. Combine cooked sausage, eggs, milk, pepper, thyme leaves, and salt. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with wooden spoon. Cook for four to five minutes or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Remove and scoop onto four to six tortillas. Let cool and wrap individually in plastic wrap for a quick meal. Keep in refrigerator for up to four days. To serve, warm each burrito in microwave for about 30 seconds. Makes four to six servings.
Egg and Cheese Sandwiches
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons salsa
4 slices cheddar, Swiss or provolone cheese, cut in half
4 whole wheat or multi-grain English muffins, toasted
Scramble eggs in skillet, add salsa and cook until eggs are firm. Split muffin. Place a half slice of cheese on one side of the muffin. Top with a large spoonful of eggs and then another half slice of cheese. Cover with other side of muffin. Let cool about 15 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap tightly and refrigerate up to four days. To serve, reheat in microwave for 30 seconds to a minute, depending on the size of the sandwich. Makes four servings.