Starting The Day On Track

With the school year just around the corner, I’ve gotten a number of requests for healthy breakfast recipes and tips for starting the day smoothly.

The most important thing is preparation. If you plan in advance you will succeed – I promise! Whether you’re trying to follow a healthy diet, fuel your kids or just find a stress-free way to start your day, preparing breakfast in advance will help you succeed.

What makes a healthy breakfast?

To start your day off right and fuel your body, you should eat a balanced meal that includes protein, fat, and complex carbohydrate. I recommend eating from at least 3 food groups. This variety helps fill you up and keep you full longer. When you eat just carbohydrate (cereal and milk with a banana) you will get a sugar spike followed by an insulin spike that might make you feel energetic initially, but will leave you feeling sluggish and hungry. It may also lead to more cravings for carbohydrates throughout the day.

Some examples of a healthy, balance breakfast include:

  • plain yogurt parfaits
  • egg bake or quiche
  • breakfast sandwich
  • cereal with milk and nuts
  • omelette

I do NOT believe there needs to be “kid-friendly” breakfast options. Kids will adapt to their environment (think of babies from other cultures who commonly eat curry or hot pepper for breakfast). Your kids should be offered the same things you eat. How else do you expect them to be healthy, varied eaters? I highly doubt your child is going to ask for vegetables in his omelette if you don’t ever offer it to him. Food manufactures spend millions of dollars on research to learn our palettes and what hooks us. They want us to crave their product and keep coming back. If you always offer your kids processed convenience foods these will become their taste preferences.

An example – we have only given our children plain yogurt. Most adults give me a look of disgust that we eat plain yogurt, because once you’ve tasted flavored yogurt, plain yogurt is far from enjoyable. But this is all our kids know. Occasionally we will give them a flavored yogurt if we are out and that is all there is available. And believe me, they ask for flavored yogurt at the store, but we know what is best for them and stick with good old full-fat plain yogurt.

 

Breakfast Meal Planning

The ideas above sound great, but making them happen before 7am for you, let alone anyone else in your family, can be a challenge. That is where meal planning comes in! Planning in advance will prevent the last minute convenience options and will set you for success. And when your morning starts right you are much more likely to have a successful day moving forward.

You should decide on your breakfasts for the week in advance. There are hundreds of healthy breakfast recipes on pinterest. I’ll just list a few ideas here. Pick 1 day on the weekend to pre-plan your school-day breakfasts. Bonus points if you get your kids involved!

Simple Yogurt Parfaits

yogurt parfait glass

Ingredients

  • Large tub of plain yogurt
  • fresh or frozen fruit
  • homemade granola or oats
  • Nuts – ex. slivered almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews
  • Seeds – ex. pumpkin, sunflower

Directions

  • Collect enough cups/containers to fill for the entire week (5 for each person)
  • Portion 6-8oz of yogurt into each container
  • Place 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh fruit on top
  • Seal container and place in the refrigerator
  • Dry toppings
    • Place in either a large container for the entire week and keep a 1/2 c scoop nearby
    • OR pre-portion (about 1/4 cup for granola and 2Tbsp nuts/seeds) into individual containers

101 Cookbooks Chia Seed Yogurt Parfait – http://bit.ly/300IzDa

Grab & Go Chia Yogurt Parfait

PB Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds by the minimalist baker – http://bit.ly/2ZZPYTd

Jar of Peanut Butter Overnight Oats for a delicious vegan breakfast

Berry Overnight Oats by Pinch of Yum – http://bit.ly/2ZX2TWh

Berry Chia Overnight Oats in a glass with a spoon.

Mini Egg Bakes from Eat.Drink.Love – http://bit.ly/300anaT

Low-Carb Egg Muffins

Homemade Larabars from my recipe page – http://bit.ly/302ptwK

banana protein bars (7)

Energy Balls by Lean Green Bean – http://bit.ly/30014Yt (other variations on her site)

My Go-To Energy Ball Recipe is perfect for kids, nursing moms, athletes and anyone looking for a healthy snack. They're full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats and easy to prep ahead of time to keep your freezer stocked.

Breakfast Sandwiches by a Sweet Pea Chef – http://bit.ly/300nuZw

Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches | Easy to make, healthy and delicious, these Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches will make your busy mornings easier and tastier | A Sweet Pea Chef

Egg Bake from my recipe page – http://bit.ly/2ZX6J1q
photo (3) 

Easy Breakfast Roll-ups by Home Cooking Memories – http://bit.ly/2ZX7CHi

Easy Breakfast Roll-Ups -- a quick, on-the-go breakfast idea for busy mornings. Inspired by breakfast burritos, but the egg is cooked flat like an omelet, instead of scrambled. Less mess because small egg pieces don't fall out!

Quiche Cups by Gimme Some Over – http://bit.ly/2ZXYvX5

Easy Spinach Artichoke Quiche Cups | gimmesomeoven.com

 

 

What is your go-to breakfast recipe? Do you get the kids involved?

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