Planning breakfasts for your family is a chore, but one that will pay dividends. Rather than scrambling in the morning to throw together a quick meal, deciding in advance what your kids will eat in the morning month-by-month will save you time. In addition, it will allow you to keep the right ingredients on hand to prepare healthy, balanced meals. Plan ahead to make breakfasts that taste great and that will give your kids the nutrients they need to feel energized all day.
Decide on a main food to center breakfasts around for each week of the coming month. This will allow you to simplify your grocery shopping for each week and use up food before it goes bad. Focus on categories of foods that are versatile and that your kids will eat, such as egg dishes, pancakes and waffles, cereal and fruit and bread or toast breakfasts. Write the category next to the week on your calendar.
Plan your week of meals for egg dishes and write them into the planner. Make scrambled eggs with cheese that your kids will love. Add some onions, celery and other vegetables. Sprinkle some dry ranch seasoning mix onto your eggs while you're scrambling them, then wrap them in a tortilla and serve as a delicious breakfast wrap. Include tomatoes and cucumber. Make a fast-food style egg sandwich on a whole-wheat English muffin, with a fried egg, cheese, tomato and ham.
Decide on pancake or waffle dishes for a week and write them down. Make healthy applesauce pancakes by adding applesauce to the batter. Use whole-wheat flour to make them healthier. Serve with strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Make French toast sticks, and give your children a small bowl of maple syrup or honey for dipping.
Plan a week of cereal and fruit breakfasts. Buy whole-grain cereal with low sugar content and serve with skim milk. Add raisins or dried cranberries for sweetness. Make your own cereal by mixing granola and dried fruit. Pep up the cereal by adding strawberries, bananas or sliced peaches. Prepare a hot cereal, such as oatmeal, during winter months. Add maple syrup or blueberries and brown sugar.
Map out bread-centered breakfasts for a week and mark them in your planner. Prepare a toasted whole-wheat bagel half with cream cheese. Top it with a "veggie face" -- two cucumber slices for eyes and a tomato slice for a mouth. Make an easy veggie and cheese sandwich for breakfast with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and cheddar. Top whole-grain bread with yogurt and nuts for a more experimental healthy breakfast.
Items you will need
- Monthly planner, paper or online
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- Health Castle; Smart Breakfast Ideas for Children; Keely Drotz; June 2008
- Simple Mom; A Basic Guide to Menu Planning; July 2008
- Wholesome Toddler Food: Yummy Breakfast Ideas for Toddlers
- Real Simple: Bagel and Cream Cheese With Tomato and Cucumber
- Martha Stewart: Whole-Grain Toast with Yogurt and Pistachios
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