Weekday Breakfasts

Do you find yourself struggling to find quick and easy healthy breakfast items during the week that don't come from a box or freezer bag? Whether it's back to school, early morning meetings and appointments, picky eaters, or your the type that drinks coffee for breakfast and doesn't eat before 10:00 am (I'm one of those), I think most of us find ourselves struggling to put a variety of healthy options on the table first thing in the morning.

We've all grown up with the message that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I do agree with that. I find that when I eat something, after my first cup of coffee, my day does usually go better. I don't find myself getting as edgy and that "hangry" moment seems to stay at bay.

For my kids, I find it especially important for them to have breakfast. Most of the time it is not a struggle to get them to eat. They are typically eating machines, needing food every couple of hours throughout the day. I try to keep them on a mix of fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains, but admittedly, there are more days than not, where the menu seems to be carb heavy. On those days, I often hear a lot of "I'm tired" and "I don't feel well."

We are all busy. I get that, but it's not an excuse. I go grocery shopping at least once a week, buying an assortment of in season fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains and proteins. The kids usually eat the fruits and veggies for lunch, snacks and dinner. I barely think about serving them for breakfast. Breakfast is usually about the carbs - hot oatmeal, frozen pancakes, waffles, fresh toast, etc. Every now and then I can get them to eat eggs and turkey sausage, but that requires that everyone is up in enough time, including myself, and the decision is made in enough time to make and eat it. We typically have an hour and 1/2 to get all four of us fed, dressed and out the door. Seems like a long time, but it really isn't, especially when it takes 15 minutes to figure out what's for breakfast. 2 minutes in the toaster over or the instant boil is always my friend when time is running short.

But that shouldn't always be the answer.

I thought about it and have come up with an idea, which I presented to the girls this morning. Each of them is going to make a food chart based on the nutrition guidelines we have from our pediatrician. They can can use whatever materials they want - paper, stickers, markers, etc. to create the chart, but it will represent what they should be eating in a day. The ideas is for them to see what they are consuming and when they are consuming it and then track how they feel based on what they ate. Please understand, this is not a diet. I'm not telling them what they can and can't eat. Rather it is an experiment, encouraging them to see how their decisions about what to eat and when make them feel.

As a result of this discussion, we also changed up our morning breakfast routine. We had strawberry banana smoothies, infused with a plant based protein powder (not soy based), cacao powder, lactose free milk, water and a little ice. In addition, they each had a small container of yogurt. This replaced their morning "carbarfic" routine of pancakes and french toast. While it may not be as initially fulfilling, I'll be curious to see if they feel better at the end of the day.

Recipe for the Strawberry-Banana Protein Smoothy

1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
2 ripe bananas
1 scoop of protein powder
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
1/4 scoop of greens powder
1/2 cup of skim milk (we use lactose free)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of ice.

Put all the ingredients in a blender (Ninja or Vitamix work really well) and blend till completely smooth. Makes 4 8 oz servings.

 

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On the Subject of Me

On the Subject of Me

I love to cook for myself, friends and family. I enjoy making delicious home cooked meals for the week on the weekend.

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