Now I have a husband and 3 boys and they need to eat, too! Edward eats at the Daycare Center, where I helped renovate the daycare’s menu with the daycare staff and Dayton Children’s kitchen staff several years ago. Check. But what about the rest of my family?
When things get crazy, here are some helpful tips to try the night before that have worked in our house to get us all fed on days we need to leave early:
- Pack my breakfast
- Set out the place mats, bowls, spoons and cereal boxes the night before
- Pour the milk ahead of time and keep it on the top shelf of the refrigerator OR place the empty cups on the counter near the refrigerator for easy access in the morning.
- If the following day will be a toast day, set the toaster out
Do I have Pop-tarts in my house? Currently…no. But, yes, we have bought them and the kids do enjoy them (treated as a cookie and eaten AFTER a meal).
So what do we eat for breakfast? Do we treat it as the “Most Important Meal of the Day?”
After a long night of sleep, we need fuel. Eating breakfast feeds our brain and improves behavior and performance at school (and work), while leading our bodies to a healthy weight. In our house, we focus on whole grains, a good source of calcium and protein for breakfast. Why these?
Whole grains: Fills us with fiber; makes us feel full. Research shows that feeding our guts with fiber can decrease risks of chronic diseases, may help with weight loss and improve satiety (fullness) levels. Aim for at least if not more than3 g fiber per serving ,no more than 5 grams sugar per 100 calories, and “whole grain” or “whole wheat” as one of the first ingredients listed.
Good source of calcium: The lack of milk in our diets can lead to more broken bones. Plus, milk is a great source of protein. If you don’t like milk, there are other options (please refer to the box below). Please refer to the fact sheet on calcium from the National Dairy Council for more information. Milk gives the extra bonus of added vitamin D. Vitamin D builds strong bones and boosts our immunity.
Protein: The “beef” about protein in the morning, or at any meal, is that it has been shown to improve satiety and keep our bodies functioning well until our next meal.
Bonus players at breakfast time: Fruits and Veggies! Adding these will add extra vitamins and minerals to the child’s daily intakes. What about veggies at breakfast? We add vegetables to scrambled eggs (sometimes not a happy face on the other end, but we keep trying) or make homemade pumpkin pancakes (these are a treat, see recipe below!). After a breakfast with fruits and veggies, I know we are ahead of the game for the day.
Mix together the following in a bowl. Make a well in the middle. Set aside.
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Combine the following in a separate bowl:
3 beaten eggs
3 cups skim milk
6 tbsp canola oil
1-15 oz can of canned pumpkin
3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl. Stir until moistened. It will be lumpy.
Warm a griddle on medium heat coated with butter. Pour 1/4 cup servings of the batter onto the griddle. Flip pancakes after you see many bubbles and golden brown. Recipe will make 24 pumpkin pancakes. Serve with lite syrup or eat alone. Plenty for freezing for later meals, too!
Nutrition information for each pancake: 113 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 3g protein, 5g fat
Please click the chart below to see some on-the-go breakfast ideas that we enjoy in our house!