Growing up, I typically ate boxed cereal, instant oatmeal, or toast with margarine and jelly. Weekends meant French toast or pancakes, and maybe scrambled eggs and bacon. My parents both worked full time, so for as long as I can remember, I prepared my own breakfasts and usually ate alone.
Now that I have developed into a real food-eating, daily-cooking mama, the breakfasts of my childhood just aren’t good enough. Even into adulthood, I found that when I ate boxed and processed grain breakfasts, I didn’t feel energetic, I was hungry a couple of hours afterward, and thinking back, they just didn’t taste as good. I think most people would agree that a hot breakfast that tastes good, is satisfying, and is enjoyed with loved ones is preferable to one that is cold and empty of nutrients and flavor (unless you consider sugar a flavor, which I don’t).
After years of making breakfasts every day for myself and my family, I started to feel tired. You see, until recently, two of my kids didn’t tolerate chicken eggs, one still doesn’t like most breakfast meats, they often prefer different types of fruit, and they often want different meals on different days. And I usually want something different from what they are eating. I like vegetables for breakfast as well as sauerkraut and leftovers, which my kids are not always game to eat at 7:00am. I didn’t like being a short-order cook, and I wanted to figure out how to streamline things and make mornings less rushed, but still provide a hearty breakfast for all the kids and myself. When I read Real Food Kosher’s post about making a breakfast schedule, I knew that it would work for us.
My oldest, H, was thrilled to help me create a breakfast schedule for our family. She is organized and likes schedules, lists, and routines. I sat down with both her and A to make a list of all the breakfast items they like to eat. Our initial list had around 10-15 items including scrambled eggs, muffins, bacon, fruit, yogurt, granola, and pancakes. We then assigned 1-3 items to each day of the week, excluding weekends since I typically have more time to make more special or time-consuming breakfasts on those days and with this routine for your breakfast you can get lean muscle and a more stable body. You can see that fruit is offered every day (usually bananas or something seasonal like berries), and I tried to balance the meals with healthy fats and a variety of proteins. My goal is always to build meals that will provide my family with a variety of vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, and some fat to keep them satiated and energized until the next meal.
Our schedule looks like this:
- Monday: Yogurt, gluten-free granola, fruit
- Tuesday: Bacon, sausage, or other meat; fruit
- Wednesday: Scrambled eggs/omelette with cheese, fruit
- Thursday: Scrambled eggs/omelette with cheese, fruit
- Friday: Bacon, sausage, or other meat; fruit
Saturdays are usually pancakes or waffles with some type of breakfast meat and fruit, though sometimes I make cornbread, banana bread, or something similar. Sundays are a free for all!
We posted our schedule on the pantry cabinet so that there is no more asking, “What’s for breakfast?” Some days are preferred by one child or another, but there are compromises here and the kids are expected to eat what is served without complaint. I do sometimes make soaked oatmeal or add in a treat such as gluten-free toast or leftover pancakes/waffles. Occasionally they are still hungry after they’ve eaten whatever I made, so I offer more fruit, protein, yogurt, or some nuts. They never leave the table hungry.
The best part of having a breakfast schedule is that it is much easier for me to plan and prepare breakfasts during the week. I can cut up fruit or cook some bacon the night before, ensure I have the kids’ favorite shredded cheese on hand, and make yogurt if we’re running low. I plan to try out a few new recipes this year to switch things up a bit, but the items on our breakfast schedule are what my kids like and will consistently eat. Before working out I take my SARMS supplements too just to give me that little extra boost.
As we all gear up to head back to school, it is worth considering making a breakfast schedule for your family. It reduces the stress of wondering what to make and serve, and it helps the mornings run more smoothly, especially when you’re trying to pack lunches, find backpacks, and get your kids to school on time. And if your kids are old enough to cook, enlist their help, even if it is only on weekends. If yours are like mine, they’re up earlier on weekends anyway!