Every morning you can hear me yell “vaaaamoooonoosss!” as I need my children to hurry up and finish whatever it is they decided is more important than being on time for school. As a working mom, at that moment I may be on the phone with a client, while trying to slip on my heels, juggling a cup of coffee in one hand, an infant on my hip and also checking that I have everything I need in the diaper bag. When my two older kids finally barrel down the steps, they collect their bags and give me that inquisitive look that means: What’s for breakfast?
At that point I buckle everyone in the car and run back in to grab something “to-go.” I do believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When kids skip breakfast, they get grouchy and end up getting distracted in class because they are hungry.
Read Related: 10 Healthy Snacks You’ll Love
It’s hard not to fall for the quick grab-and-go toaster/instant/on-the-go products that are pre-packaged and claim to be nutritious. Stop and think for a moment: should you be relying on these packaged items filled with who-knows-what ingredients to feed your children?
Being a busy full-time working mom has its challenges but daily nutrition is non-negotiable. The occasional treat? Yes. Daily and routine meals? Not often.
Here are some ideas and tips for quick, healthy breakfast options:
Cook once, eat multiple times. When you’re whipping up pancakes or waffles over the weekend, make an extra batch. You can freeze them for a quick grab-and-go for busy mornings. Simply put them in the toaster or in the microwave for 30 seconds and breakfast is ready! Take it up notch by adding some banana and peanut butter (or alternative nut spread) to your batter—now you have a nutritious, protein packed breakfast that will be a great start to their day!
Make your own granola bars. Have you every stopped and read the ingredients on the store bought bars? Eeek! It’s so simple to make your own. You control what goes in them (how much sugar or honey) and the kids can have the favorite add-ins. Granola bars can be made in all shapes and sizes too, making them fun options for everyone’s appetites.
Amazing eggs. Boil a batch of hard-boiled eggs ahead of time. They can be ready in the refrigerator to grab and go, when needed. They’re low in sugar, but high in protein Pair them with a piece of fresh fruit to start your day off right!
Put some fruit on it. Add ½ cup of blueberries to their favorite breakfast cereals. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and help your memory too. Don’t like blueberries? Try strawberries instead. They’re loaded with vitamin C and good for your eyes.
Smoothie time. I take a few spare moments on the weekend or an evening to make nutrient-packed smoothies. I then freeze them in reusable, plastic freezer cups that are great to place in the fridge the night before, so your drink is ready by morning.
Here’s a simple smoothie the kids will love.
½ cup of Greek yogurt, a splash of OJ, fresh berries, and half a frozen banana. Want to pack it even more? Try adding fresh baby spinach. It’s tasteless and the berries will mask the color. The kids won’t even that you’ve just given them all that added vitamin A in their breakfast.
If you are an on-the-go family, make sure you have easily portable containers in which you can take most of these items. By the time you pull up to school your kids will have devoured their healthy breakfast and be nourished. Do you always eat breakfast at home? Don’t rule out prepping items the night before so they are ready to serve in the morning.