A reader sent me an e-mail, asking,
“What do you typically make for breakfast for your kiddos? When I think of making breakfast, I think of bacon and eggs and pancakes and a BIG MESS in my kitchen. Most days we end up with oatmeal or toast, which is getting old. I would love to hear what’s on your breakfast menu!
Same for lunch… It’s always leftovers or a sandwich for us. I need some new ideas!”
My children eat quite a variety of foods at breakfast. Oddly enough, they aren’t fans of cold breakfast cereal, as most kids are, though they do like a few varieties. They generally prefer hot breakfast foods. Here are some popular breakfasts at our house:
Pancakes – regular and blueberry. I buy the D.E. Waffelbakker brand of frozen pancakes from Wal-Mart. A package of 24 costs around $3.00, and Bee usually eats 2, which is a very inexpensive 25 cent breakfast. I used to make scratch pancakes and freeze them, but the kids didn’t like them because they didn’t reheat well. I do make pancake syrup from scratch, though my kids prefer other pancake toppings, like whipped cream or cinnamon sugar.
Toaster waffles and fruit – one of Bee’s absolute favorite breakfasts is a toaster waffle topped with fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. When Eggo multi-grain waffles go on sale for $1.50 or less, I buy several boxes at a time and stock them in the deep freeze. I keep a bag of frozen berries in the freezer, and make small amounts of fruit compote at a time.
Fried egg and toast – I have a very small omelet pan, and I just spray it with cooking spray, crack an egg into it, break up the yolk, and cook it two minutes on each side, with a bit of salt and pepper. I serve it between two slices of buttered toast, with a slice of cheese. Sometimes, if I can find a good sale on English muffins, I’ll substitute one for the toast.
Baked oatmeal – this is a great, hearty recipe that can be prepped the night before, and baked in the morning. The kids love it because it’s reminiscent of dessert.
Oatmeal crumb cake – this moist cake is great for breakfast. It’s sweet and delicious, but also chock full of nutritious oats.
On weekends, we have more labor-intensive breakfasts, such as scrambled eggs and turkey bacon, or chocolate chip pancakes from scratch. Just an interesting side note – I recently heard on a radio program that people who eat protein with breakfast concentrate better at work/school, and are less likely to overeat. Since then, I’ve been trying to get Bee to eat a little protein before school, even if it’s just string cheese or a couple slices of turkey.
At lunch, our first priority is always to finish any supper leftovers from the night before, to prevent waste. However, on the occasions when we don’t have leftovers, I make some of our favorite lunches:
Tomato soup and grilled cheese – a classic. Filling and yummy.
Tuna melts – cheesy and delicious
Grilled peanut butter sandwiches – You make these just as you would grilled cheese. My husband introduced me to these, and I was skeptical, but they’re sooo good!
Macaroni and cheese, sometimes mixed with a can of tuna
Pasta salad. I have several recipes that I rotate.
Hummus with toasted pitas. My scratch hummus is so good that my husband calls it “yummus.”
“Snack lunch” – this is a variety of cheeses, crackers, fruit, veggie sticks, etc. Everyone just eats what they like.
Some snacks that my kids enjoy are:
Apple slices with cinnamon sugar
Peanut butter or cheese on crackers
100% fruit leather (I buy the Stretch Island brand on Amazon. Though it’s more expensive than fruit snacks, it’s also much more nutritious, because the only ingredient is fruit)
Homemade trail mix (equal parts salted peanuts or sunflower seeds, M&Ms, and raisins or other dried fruit)
Pudding or applesauce, and of course…anything I bake. They love cookies and cake, so I try to make baked goods with some nutritional value, like chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies, or chocolate applesauce cake.
I hope this post gives you some ideas you can use. If anyone else has ideas for this reader, please post them in the comments. Thanks![print-me/]