Thursday, September 03, 2015

hot school-day breakfasts

During the school year, I make a hot breakfast for my kids most days. Here are some of the things we like to eat:

Eggs. At least one morning a week I make eggs - usually scrambled with a little cheese and a left-over roll as a sandwich or alongside a nice, thick slice of toast, or in a burrito. Sometimes I'll bake a batch of muffins (like these or these) for an after school snack and serve them with eggs the next morning for breakfast. If I am feeling really generous (or have some extra time), I'll make buttermilk biscuits to go with them. I suppose those could always be made ahead of time, but there are not many things better than biscuits fresh from the oven. We're avoiding white flour during the week (except in tortilla form), so these haven't made a school-day appearance yet. It only takes a few minutes to scramble or fry eggs, and giving my kids a big helping of protein before their long school day makes me feel like a good mom.

Pancakes. This is probably my kids' favorite hot breakfast. This school year I've been using Kodiak Cakes. We like the Whole Wheat Oat and Honey Frontier Flapjack Mix. I love that they are quick (you can just add water to the mix) and they are made from whole wheat with no added sugar. I've been adding quick oats and an egg to our batter to beef them up a little bit. My boys love theirs with peanut butter and homemade syrup. Sometimes I'll make a few extra to stick in their lunches. They are just as good cold as warm. You could even make a big batch and keep them in the fridge to reheat throughout the week if you really wanted to save time, but they are really quick to make the day of. I try to serve them with a little fruit on the side.

Baked oatmeal is one of my personal favorites. This is prepared the night before, then baked in the morning for 30 minutes. I like that you can make it as sweet or not as you like. Sometimes I make it with raisins, sometimes blueberries. Sometimes I serve it with banana slices on top. Because it is prepared the night before, it frees up my morning for making lunches and my kitchen from dirty dishes. I always feel really on top of things when this is baking in my oven.

Oatmeal. Elliot would eat a big bowl of oatmeal every morning if the other kids were on board. I set a pot of whole milk and water (with a dash of salt) to boil, then dump in some quick oats, give it a few stirs, put a lid on it, and set it aside while I make the lunches. When it's done cooking, I top it with a good amount of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a sprinkling of brown sugar. My kids don't like fruit in their oatmeal, but I try to serve it alongside. Peaches go really well with it, I think.

Cream of Wheat is a new one for us this year. I grew up on it, but my kids had never really had it before. It cooks up in just a few minutes and is very filling. We top ours with a bit of brown sugar.

German pancakes are a special Sunday morning treat, but could work for a school day, too. They are best when they are made from all-purpose flour, so that's why we save them for Sunday. But my kids gobble them up every time I make them. I've changed my recipe to make them a little heartier. I blend 8 eggs, 1 1/3 cups milk, 1 1/3 cups flour, and 3/4 tsp salt together while 4 tablespoons of butter are melting in a 9x13 inch pan in the 400 degree oven. Once the butter is melted, I pour the mixture in and bake for 18 minutes. We like ours best with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Sadly, our waffle iron bit the dust this summer. I'm putting this one on my Christmas list. But if I had one now, I'd be making pumpkin gingerbread waffles or these favorite waffles (subbing in whole wheat flour) at least once a week. Waffles are always great to make ahead of time and freeze. Then you can reheat them quickly on school days. I like to keep fresh cream on hand to whip with a touch of sugar and vanilla as a waffle topping. My kids prefer syrup, but it's so sugary! I like having lightly sweetened whipped cream as an alternative.

Some things that help our mornings run more smoothly: I always decide the night before what I'll be making for breakfast the next day. And I wake up early. I make sure I have plenty of time to exercise and still be in the kitchen by 6 to get breakfast and lunch packing started. We eat breakfast at about 6:35. Mabel and Oliver have to be out the door by 7, and I like to sit and read scriptures with them while they eat. Being up early helps me get all of this accomplished without feeling too frantic. Oh, and we totally eat cold cereal sometimes, too. Ha!


  1. Steph these are the things I fixed for breakfast when the kids were little then the got in high school and we tried to have a good b reakfast together before school but it didm;t always happen . It hot down to a milk shake with egg, banana, instant breakfast and anything nuturious that I could throw in. Enjoy to read your blog.

  2. I'm so lucky that my kids don't have to be out the door till 8:00. I wish I were ambitious enough to exercise before breakfast, but I haven't gotten there yet. I do a lot of these for breakfasts too. I like to top German pancakes with full fat lemon greek yogurt. Have you tried my oatmeal buttermilk pancake recipe? It is my absolute favorite, doesn't use a lot of flour but I bet whole wheat could be subbed in pretty easy, I'll let you know. I'd love your baked oatmeal recipe. My SIL did a baked oatmeal thing at Powell last week and it was amazing (eggs, berries and sliced almonds in it!). I tend to eat a slice of toast topped with PB a lot lately so I need to get back to cooking more in the mornings and be sure we get some fruit before school too.

  3. Thanks for this post! I was just thinking we need to get out of the cold cereal rut. Do your younger kids eat breakfast and read scriptures with your older ones? I am trying to figure out how to get my youngest on board with getting up earlier with my older three. I love your blog! You are such an inspiration to me.


    1. yep! i wake the little kids up at 6:30 to eat and read with us. it has made the biggest difference in our mornings. i used to have the hardest time getting stella out the door on time (she moves like molasses in the mornings). now, we don't feel rushed. she and elliot have plenty of time to get ready and even play before we have to leave. it's totally worth waking them up a little bit earlier. plus, now we get to eat breakfast as a family. thanks for your nice comment!

  4. I'm loving the no white flour during the week (sans tortillas!) rule…..great approach and I think that would be a good approach for us! (vs. all out no white flour that I do now….and it makes me sad). ;)

  5. It's one of life's simple pleasures sending them out the door with a belly full of healthy food, isn't it? Now if I could just get school to start!


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