A hot breakfast can power up your family for the day, but sometimes you don't have the time or energy to do all the prep work in the morning. Leftover pancakes may not seem appealing, but there are plenty of breakfast ideas you can prepare ahead of time and eat hot or cold later on, whether you want grab-and-go options or a sit-down meal.
You can cook eggs and meats and store them for about three or four days, so if you do the prep work Sunday night, you can have most of the school and work week covered. Cook scrambled eggs and sausage patties -- choose turkey, chicken or veggie sausage patties and egg whites or egg substitute for healthier options -- and cool them in the fridge. Once they're chilled, assemble the cooked proteins onto English muffins as breakfast sandwiches and wrap them in waxed paper. Pop them straight into the microwave in the morning, and in 30 to 45 seconds, you'll have hot breakfast in your hands.
Scrambles and Bakes
Scramble together eggs, sausage or bacon -- or healthy substitute -- crumbles, red and green bell peppers, onions and a small amount of cheese, then chill the scramble in individual serving-size bowls. Add some dry ranch-flavored seasoning mix to the scramble for kid-friendly flavor. If your kids don't like eggs, chop up potatoes into small chunks and toss them in olive oil, then bake them in the oven until lightly browned. Add your meat, veggies and cheese to the potatoes and dish it out. As with breakfast sandwiches, a quick spin in the microwave will have this breakfast steaming in seconds. To preserve moisture, cover the serving bowls tightly as soon as the food has cooled after cooking.
Bars and Breakfast Cookies
You can make dessert recipes into healthy breakfast bars and cookies by substituting healthier ingredients, although it may take some experimentation. Replace the butter or other fat in the recipe with applesauce, and cut down or eliminate the sugar entirely. The texture will be softer than the original recipe, but you can add egg white to help hold things together if necessary. Oatmeal cookies, granola-topped fruit bars and other whole grain desserts make a great starting point for breakfast treats. They are easy to grab as you send the kids out the door on busy mornings when sit-down breakfasts are out of the question.
Your first meal of the day doesn't have to be heavy or hot. Fruit makes an excellent day starter, and dairy products can provide the protein you need to keep yourself and the little ones moving. Mix together berries, grapes and chunks of apple, then toss them in low-fat yogurt for a healthy fruit salad. The yogurt adds protein and calcium, and you can toss in a handful of granola cereal just before serving in the morning for extra fiber and crunch. This can get watery if prepared more than one day ahead; prepare it the night before. You can also create yogurt parfaits the night before, layering yogurt, granola and fruit in tall glasses.
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