Closing the door on summer for me means saying hello to more scheduling, routines, and homework, wah!
For a bunch of reasons this school year we kind of went in to the time machine and rolled it back to the early days when mom made breakfast. (I stopped making my kids breakfast several years ago. I thought it would spark independence. Well, it worked for the older two, but the youngers not so much.) Starting with the first day of school, every morning this year I've set my alarm to get up earlier and make my kids something to eat. And my kids’ job is to eat the food before running out the door in the morning in their quest to be on time to school.
"Could we please not get those truancy letters this year?" I begged.
Additionally, I told my daughter I was invested in her future self, and so we made an agreement. I would try to make her something healthy to eat every morning (more like gingerly present an offering of food), and she would try to eat it.
Once I decided I was going to try to do this, I needed some inspiration and had to build a meals list with variety and different levels of ease, especially for those panicked mornings when no one hears the alarm clock. Please tell me this happens in your house, too.
My list is not entirely sugar free nor in compliance with the health squad because honestly I just want them to eat something and we've got to have a little fun. Especially since mornings before school isn’t a highlight for my kids. Or me. Along the way I re-tooled breakfast on the go for myself, and to be honest I do feel better like my brain is ready to gear up for the day. Make your breakfast routine your own - what I say about sun protection applies here, too - the best breakfast routine is the one you can follow consistently. So make it as complicated or as straight forward as your schedule and family’s palate allows. You can go all out fresh from the farmer’s market or go get it done Costco style.
Keep it relatively healthy, fuel your brain and be on time to that first class, appointment or meeting of the day!
Morning Food Inspo List
This happened because one evening my son said, ‘Phillip had a panini sandwich for lunch today’…oh yeah? Game on.
Make breakfast and lunch panini at the same time using eggs, breakfast meats, cheeses, tomato, deli, etc
Tip: If you’re making panini for lunch, allow time for sandwiches to cool on a rack before packing them - otherwise they will get soggy.
Up the nutrition level with a whole grain tortilla if possible. And the cool thing about wraps is 1) you can include saucy things like salsa, guacamole and sour cream, and 2) it’s easy to take and eat on the go.
Tip: Sprinkle hemp seeds inside for added protein and nutrition.
Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries or Fruit and Honey (optional)
Plain yogurt will have the lowest sugar content and is best for you, but it’s not a crowd pleaser for everyone. We try to alternate between healthy plain and flavored yogurts.
Sugar content will vary by brand, so read the label! Otherwise this is fast, easy and full of protein to feed your brain.
She said, "Literally the best yogurt you'll ever have" - I was like ummm ok, but let me tell you, she's not exaggerating! This is the BEST EVER. And prep takes only a few minutes.
I like to sprinkle mine with chia seeds, raw cacao and pumpkin seeds, and a bit of yacon syrup on top.
Also called Flat Eggs in our house, this fried, sunny side up egg is made with a ring of kale sautéd around it as it cooks.
Tip: We use avocado oil in the pan and finish with pink Himalayan sea salt
Variations: Spinach Egg, Mega Egg (my son’s invention) - a timesaver if you're feeding a few, hungry teens, or sprinkle with hemp seeds or raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds
Egg Bites with Cheese and Grass Fed Ground Beef
We learned this recipe from another HeliGirl, Kimber. It takes longer to prep and make, but what works for us is to make it a family activity. Once you brown the beef, mix the eggs in a bowl, and grate the cheddar cheese (easier though if you buy shredded in a bag), it’s easy to assemble the egg bites in a non-stick mini muffin pan by layering the egg mixture, a spoonful of ground beef, and a dollop of shredded cheddar on top.
Bake the egg bites at 350 degrees till they are done in center, about 12 or so minutes (quantity of muffins in your pan will make cook time vary so keep an eye on these)
For variety: Add chopped fresh spinach or kale, or substitute with cooked bacon or sausage. Or go vegetarian and substitute artichoke hearts for the ground beef
Tip: Make these ahead of a busy week and store in the fridge. They take less than 45 seconds to heat up in the microwave.
Whole Wheat/Grain Bread Toast
Spread toasted bread with a generous spread of a nut butter like sunflower, peanut or almond butter, and add banana or berries plus hemp seeds on top.
Spread with a nut butter like peanut, almond or sunflower butter
Spread with a nut butter like peanut, almond or sun butter
Add apple sauce or fresh fruit or berries and sprinkle with few nuts, hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds on top
Awesome if you can use a whole grain tortilla with your favorite cheese
We make this in the toaster oven, and I generally can sneak in the whole wheat bread
This happened on a sleepy morning when I wasn’t paying attention and put way too much cheese on the bread. Realizing it was about to spill over in the toaster oven, I grabbed a tortilla and shoved it underneath the bread. Glue the bread to the tortilla with a melted cheese layer between the two, and you have a crispy tortilla surrounding a cheesy bread center. Go for whole grain if they’ll let you. This looks so funny and they ate it!
Hard Boiled Eggs
Super easy to make if you have an Instantpot - these are great on the go, too. I put a cup of water in the pot and cook mine for 4 min on Normal pressure then do quick release.
Use some of your hard boiled eggs to make egg salad and serve it on whole wheat bread.
A perenial kid favorite.
Wash the grapes before placing in the freezer.
You can buy these at Trader Joe’s or Costco.
Heat and eat on the go - these are plant based, lean protein with no added sugar.
A glass of 2% milk
For the mornings when no one hears that alarm clock and you’re desperate. Don’t overlook the obvious...
Steel Cut Oatmeal
Make in an Instapot and add any of these suggestions: cinnamon, diced apple, peach, banana or fresh berries, a handful of nuts, small amount of honey or maple syrup.
I do 2 cups of oatmeal to 5 cups of water, cook for 4 minutes on Normal pressure, then quick release. Butter and salt are optional.
Customized Trail Mix
It’s more economical and it’s easier to manage if you have food allergies to assemble your own.
We make ours with:
Conspicuously absent from our list is cereal and milk. Why? My kids prefer sugary cereals which are not a great start to the day (remember, we are trying to get to school on time with an awake brain able to focus) So we agreed to put cereal into the treat category and remove it as a breakfast option on school mornings.
Do you have a recipe or a favorite on the go breakfast idea to share like Trina and Kimber? I’m always looking for easy, fast, and healthy food inspiration and would love for you to share your ideas in the comments section below or send me an email! It'll help all of us 🤗
Thank you for being part of our community!Sharone,
Founder + CEO of H E L I A D E S
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