By Jane Blanchard
When my children were young, getting out the door in the morning deserved Olympic event status. Whether trying to get to school on a weekday or to activities like gymnastics, baseball or canoeing on the weekend, time seemed to drag before everyone got dressed, ate, grabbed backpacks and we shot out the door. (Just the memory of those rushed mornings makes me tired.)
Today, I look back on the morning chaos and realize that I missed a few chances to speed things along that didn’t include losing my sanity. Today, I wouldn’t have let my children have nearly as much sugar in the mornings and then wonder why they couldn’t focus. Today, I know more about the important role that protein plays at breakfast.
This is probably the most tried and true method to get breakfast on the table quickly. Either cut up fruit the night before or make an extra-large batch of waffles or muffins on the weekend for use during the week. You can prepare bacon, eggs and other breakfast meats the same way.
Make breakfast art
Cook something that your children love, then give it an artful twist. I used to make pancakes in the shapes of everything from dogs to robots. If you’re not creative, just make a shape and ask your children to guess what it is. (Hint – there are no wrong answers. Whatever they see, they’re right!)
Not sure you can produce art in the morning? Use a fun form to make a famous mouse. Or use cookie cutters to help form batter into the shapes of your children’s favorite characters or pets. Pancakes can be cooked ahead of time and frozen in a gallon size Ziploc in the freezer for up to two weeks. Same goes for waffles.
Keep a bowl of berries and chopped fruits handy for an easy helping of healthy vitamins. I know you’re in a hurry, but if your children turn a plain pancake into a smiling sun with strawberries and blueberries, they’ll get more nutrition and look forward to breakfast. If they look forward to it, they might dress and gather their things faster. (Mwaa-ha-ha-ha! Er….win-win)
On those days when there is no time for anything culinary, consider yogurt. You can add a variety of granola, fresh fruit, or berries to yogurt. Want more personalization? Invite family members to choose their favorites yogurt add-ins from the market. You can even prepare yogurt or oatmeal parfaits the night before in mason jars and have your kids take them on the road.
Lactose intolerant? No problem! There are several makers of lactose free yogurt. It’s smooth and delicious. (Speaking from yummy experience.)
These simple and easy breakfast tips will speed things along during any chaotic morning. Try them all and keep what works. Good luck!
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.