Whether you’re trying to get something healthy into your kids’ bellies before they dash out the door to catch the school bus, or you’re attempting to feed your baby/pack his bag for daycare/take a conference call/flat-iron your hair all at the same time, one thing is certain: if you’re a mom, you need a few super-quick, healthy breakfast ideas in your back pocket.
Not just for them, but for you, too…because skipping breakfast isn’t good for anyone. (And it’s especially bad if you’re trying to keep your weight down, recent studies show.)
The good news is you don’t need to mess up a lot of dishes or turn on a skillet to start your morning off on a nutritious note. Here are 5 super-speedy breakfasts your whole family will love:
1. Go granola
The great thing about granola is it’s packed with both carbohydrates and protein, so you can start off your morning energized and satisfied. Granola is great with chilled almond milk, or for an even more protein-packed meal, I like it with Greek yogurt, some sliced fresh fruit, and a drizzle of raw honey. My go-to-granola is Bob’s Red Mill Honey Almond Granola (it’s a kid- and crowd-pleaser), and a somewhat more exotic option is KIND Healthy Grains Oats and Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut. Compared to other cereals, granola is pretty high in calories so I usually only serve out ¼ cup for myself and my 7- and 10-year-old…and offer just a few tablespoons to my toddler.
2. Crockpot porridge
I really love oatmeal, to the point that it’s a borderline addiction, but who has time to stand over a stovetop when you’ve got permission slips to sign, lunches to pack and not a single matching sock? That’s why every Sunday night, I get out my slow cooker, load it up with one cup of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats, three cups of unsweetened coconut almond milk (which is just slightly sweet and gives the oats a nutty texture), set it on “low” for 3 hours, and voila—4 servings of oatmeal are waiting for my family in the morning. My kids like their oatmeal with just a sprinkle of organic cinnamon, a little sugar and raisins. I add a tablespoon of raw almond butter to mine—with this kind of breakfast in me, I have absolutely no interest in donuts or bagels brought into the office!
3. Pop goes the pastry
Pop Tarts are yummy, but starting your kids’ day off with all of that refined flour is enough to induce a serious case of Mommy guilt. You’ll probably feel a little better about serving Nature’s Path Organic Toaster Pastries, which are made from organic whole grain flour and organic fruit filling. And with that sweet icing on top, kids won’t know the difference! (Yeah, we know that even with these more virtuous ingredients, this breakfast is hardly a spinach egg white omelet…but sometimes, let’s admit it—it’s just a pop-pastry kind of morning!)
4. Shake it up
No time to sit with a bowl and spoon or wait for the toaster to ding? No problem. Add a scoop of protein powder to frozen fruit and milk or a milk alternative, and breakfast is served! Here’s my 10-year-old’s favorite way to start the day:
- 1 scoop BSN Lean Dessert Protein in Whipped Vanilla Cream
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Natural Vanilla Almond Milk
I blend this together and he eats half for breakfast and half after school. It’s so yummy his little brother calls it “ice cream”!
5. Raise the bar
So you don’t have time to deal with bowls, plates, blenders or even cups? My in-a-pinch (and always in-a-purse) breakfast is a KIND bar. We’re all big fans of the almond and coconut flavor (in fact, on our last family vacation at a hotel that didn’t have a mini-fridge, that’s what we had for breakfast every day!), and I like that this variety not only tastes good, but is a good source of fiber, contains no GMOs, no trans fats and is low in sodium. Annie’s Homegrown Organic PB & J granola bars also make for a yummy breakfast, and are portion-sized for children.
Whatever you serve, feel good knowing that no one in your house left home on an empty stomach. They’re all set for school, play and whatever else life throws at them. Nice work, mama!
Jorie Mark is Vitacost.com’s Director of Marketing Communications and mom to three kids, ages 2 to 10.