I was having a conversation with a couple of women last night at a baby shower about our breakfasts. One friend asked questions and seemed interested. My other friend said, “How are we even friends?” Haha.
So I thought today would be a good day to share the info with all of you as well. But a disclaimer first. This post is meant to be helpful and spark some of your own ideas. I am not a nutritionist and don’t have all the answers, However, this is what works for our family at this time with the knowledge and beliefs I have right now. I am continually making changes as I learn more about healthy eating. And to me, “healthy” means real foods — not highly processed foods. I am not concerned about fat grams or calories or cholesterol. I am concerned that our foods are not full of additives, chemicals, preservatives, dyes, GMOs, etc. Basically, I want to eat what grandma used to eat.
So here we go:
When I first got on this healthy, real food journey, it was too overwhelming to think of revamping our whole menu so I decided to start with just breakfast. Afterall, it is the most important meal of the day, right? I found I had energy in the morning and wanted my kids to start off on the right foot for the day. Plus there are less breakfast options so breakfast seemed doable.
My goal was to have breakfasts that included protein, fiber, fruits and veggies, and real foods — no processed stuff.
Some people serve cereal every day and others like to change breakfast up all month long. Neither seemed right for me. So instead I decided to come up with 7 breakfasts that I serve each week. Then I repeat the same 7 breakfasts week after week.
I like this rotation because I don’ t have to think as much and the menu isn’t a guessing game each morning. My kids know what they are getting each day so they complain less. And my shopping list is pretty consistent, but there is still enough variety.
Here is our breakfast schedule:
MONDAY- FRENCH TOAST
Mondays I serve whole wheat french toast, 100% maple syrup, and a fruit when possible. I try to throw in a veggie puree into the egg mix to add some extra fiber. This week I added pumpkin to the egg mixture and no one was the wiser. I add cinnamon and vanilla to the egg batter as well. I do sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on their french toast to ease the taste of the pure maple syrup. Milk is our stand by whenever syrup is involved.
Tuesday is Crew’s favorite day of the week. I serve what the world calls ‘sunnyside up eggs’ but what my kids call ‘dippy eggs’ because we dip our toast into them. Along with whole wheat toast and eggs, I serve fresh squeezed orange juice and whatever fruit that I have on hand.
If you know me at all, you know waffles would have to be on Wednesday. I use this recipe and we top them with peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam. We are still in the half and half stage with our peanut butter. We are slowly but surely making our way to straight up peanuts. This meal definitely takes the most time to prepare so I scheduled it on a slower paced day.
I try to make a batch of muffins also that morning because the mess and the ingredients are already out. Spelt pumpkin muffins are our go to muffin recipe right now. I save the muffins for after school snack or freeze them for another morning.
This is my kids least favorite day. I can’t decide if I am a terrible smoothie maker or my kids are crazy. What kid doesn’t want to drink something cold and sweet through a straw? My smoothies usually have spinach (3 cups), frozen banana, yogurt, orange juice, milk and then lots of misc. fruit depending on what I have around. Blueberries, pineapple, mangoes and peaches are some of our favorites. I usually throw in some flax to up the nutritional value. My friend suggested a hard boiled egg as well to add some protein to the meal. I would do smoothies twice a week if my kids wouldn’t complain.
Friday we do scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast and whatever fruit I have on hand. I like to throw in either spinach or pureed cauliflower with the eggs as they cook. My kids can see the spinach and they still eat it. You really can’t taste it. The cauliflower taste does not hide as well. If it is a good week I serve a muffin instead of toast just to add some variety and fruit to the week. In the summer, Elle and I like to add fresh tomatoes to our scrambled eggs.
Saturday is my day off. I don’t make breakfast so the kids grab cold cereal. There aren’t any great cereal choices out there. So for now we do Cheerios, Chex, Life, Oatmeal Squares, etc. They aren’t the fun ‘sugar’ cereals per say, but they aren’t much better. Sometimes my kids do Carnation Chocolate shakes with bananas and real peanut butter as well. There is room for improvement on this day.
I needed something filling and fast for Sunday mornings so I went with oatmeal. I use old fashioned oats and make it with milk. We top it with frozen blueberries or peaches and sometimes they get bacon to add protein.
So there you have it. 7 breakfasts.
This weekly plan might seem boring or maybe you think your kids would get sick of the same menu. But so far so good with my kids and I have been doing this for a few years now. I think the rotation works well because foods get changed up all the time. Every week the smoothies are a bit different depending on which fruits I want to use up. I have different oatmeal recipes that I use or you could change how you cook the eggs, etc. I will have an off day here and there where we do yogurt parfaits or banana bread or cereal. There is plenty of opportunities for variety.
If making 7 breakfasts from scratch each week is way out of your comfort zone or seems impossible, just start with one and see how that goes. When that meal becomes second nature, add in another. Add in more recipes and meals at your own pace. You just might surprise yourself with what you can do.
And just as an FYI we do breakfast on Saturday night as a standard dinner. But this is where I do the more fun and time consuming breakfast foods like German pancakes, breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, rollie pollies (crepes), etc.
My breakfasts aren’t perfect, but I have made great improvements over the years. It wasn’t too long ago that we were eating Lucky Charms and Eggos. So I feel good right now that my children are getting real food to start their day off right. And I like that I don’t have to think about what I am making each morning because it is all planned out.