Working mornings are, for many of us, a bleary-eyed race against the clock. There are kids to get up, sports kits to find, lunches to make, briefcases to pack… and you need to get yourself dressed and ready, too.
So the last thing you want to do is make things even more difficult for yourself. The good news is that it is entirely possible to have a daily breakfast that is quick, simple and easy – as well as delicious, nutritious and varied.
It just takes a little planning. Here then, are some tips for how to get ahead with breakfast and kick-start your day with a fantastic meal.
- Think ahead. There are tons of tasty, nutritious breakfast recipe ideas out there. So take a couple of minutes and plan a week’s worth of family breakfasts ahead. Add the ingredients to your shopping list, and make sure you’ve got everything you need. If you want, to make breakfast-planning even easier, pick a particular ‘type’ of breakfast for each day of the week. For example, Mondays = eggs, Tuesdays = smoothies, Wednesdays = pancakes, Thursdays = sundaes (layers of crunchy granola, fruit and yoghurt), Fridays = beans on toast… you get the idea!
- Get the family to help out. If you write the breakfast menu on your calendar, (if the spaces are big enough – or stick a list on the fridge), everyone will know what’s for breakfast. Older children, teens and partners can then help out getting breakfast ready in the morning. It’s amazing how hunger (combined with the prospect of something delicious) can motivate! You’ll be surprised and delighted to see how much the family welcome a change to the early morning gastronomic routine.
- Make your freezer work for you. You can freeze milk, juice, bread, muffins, bagels and pancakes. Supermarkets sell a range of frozen fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, melon chunks etc. If you’ve got any bananas that are over-ripe, peel them, cut them into chunks and store in the freezer. They make a wonderful, ice-cream-like base for yoghurt smoothies. Another way to use the freezer is to make ‘breakfast-ready’ meals. If you soak bread in beaten egg, for example, and freeze it on a cookie tray, you’ve got oven-ready French toast that can be baked straight from the freezer while you’re getting dressed. Ring the changes by adding cream, sugar, nutmeg etc to the egg mixture.
- Cook /prepare/store in bulk. If you set aside a couple of hours once a month, you can batch-cook a load of pancakes and freeze them in separate, family-sized bags, or stew up a discount bag of apples for apple puree. You could also ready-pack freezer bags with a combination of frozen banana and some other fruit in the right quantities for your family, ready to grab straight from the freezer and throw into the blender to make a tasty smoothie.
- Get ready the night before. It doesn’t take long to set the table, get the bread out of the freezer, find the pancake pan or put the blender out, measure out the porridge oats, but it’ll make the world of difference to how quickly you can get started in the morning.
So as you can see, all it takes is a little bit of planning. Once that’s done, you can relax and forget about breakfast. Everyone knows what’s on the menu, it’s all ready to throw together in the morning. And above all else, you know that your family is getting a varied, nutritious breakfast every morning. And you couldn’t ask for a better start to the day.
Who knows? With such a tasty start to the day, you may find your hungry brood getting themselves up in the morning all on their own!