The school year is well underway for many Austin parents, and that means readjusting to stricter schedules and sometimes more hectic mornings. Whether all your kids are in school together or at separate locations, the morning rush can be a struggle. According to HealthyChildren.org, breakfast eaters have better school performance and are in better overall health. Most parents know, though, that getting your child out the door on time can be tough, and breakfast can make it downright impossible. Here are five easy breakfast hacks to help you keep your timeline without compromising the most important meal of the day.
1. Involve your child in the breakfast decision making. Anyone who has kids knows that sometimes it can be a power struggle to get them to do what you want -- if you choose left, they'll go right. Instead of the power struggle that accompanies choices, allow them to choose one of two breakfast items as their main course, or ask them which fruit out of two options would they rather have with their eggs? There's something powerful about just having two choices, because choice overload is a thing -- especially with kids. See if they'd prefer pancakes or eggs, or grapes versus bananas. If possible, plan breakfast together the night before so the morning isn't a rush.
2. Hide the protein. One of the biggest issues in our household is that my kids almost refuse anything with protein in it -- they'd rather have things like pancakes and muffins over eggs and bacon. The struggle is real! We all know how important protein is, so I have resorted to hiding it. Kordiak Cakes are great to make ahead over the weekend and freeze, then use them as you need. Throw in some blueberries for a well rounded breakfast! My tween also loves Organic Valley FUEL Chocolate Milk Protein Shakes -- bonus, they're easy to eat on the way to school and can be purchased at Target or HEB. My toddler and preschooler love toast, but they aren't always great at eating nut butter. I spread on a layer of nut butter, followed by a smashed banana with a drizzle of honey -- they eat it all up!
3. Muffin Tins Are Your BFF. I can't even tell you how many amazing make-ahead breakfast recipes there are for muffin tins -- you'll find everything from mini pancakes to egg cups, all things that you can keep in the freezer and pull out during the week when you need a fast and healthy breakfast. Here's a great kid-friendly line-up of delicious recipes.
4. Dress Up Your Breakfast. It sounds crazy, but kids are all about visuals. Instead of your average piece of toast with almond butter, consider making a toast face with banana ears, blueberry eyes, and a strawberry mouth. Not only does this make it more fun for the kids, but it adds an extra pop of nutrition. Bonus: they will be more excited to eat it, which results in getting out the door faster. We love this animal toast treats tutorial! Replay plates also make for fun meals with an automatic happy face.
5. When in Doubt, Have A Pouch or Bar. The breakfast struggle is real. Sometimes if you can get out the door with a pouch or bar, that is an accomplishment -- and that's ok! We recommend having some ready made bar and pouch options for your kids at all time. Bonus: make them yourself to ensure they're free of unwanted ingredients, plus you'll save money. We love these no-cook squeeze pouch recipes and this line-up of healthy granola bar recipes for kids. Adapt the recipes for your dietary preferences and allergies, if needed!
What do you think, Austin mamas? Do you have any other breakfast hacks to share?
Jessica is an East Coast girl originally from Boston, MA but recently transplated to Austin, TX. She is a former OB Nurse Educator turned Content Manager and Brand Strategist. She recently founded Every Mama Birth Education, where she creates customized childbirth education courses for busy moms, in the comfort of their own homes. When she's not busy blogging or being a pregnancy and birth nerd, you can catch her chasing around her three busy kids and rescue fur baby. You can also follow her antics on Instagram.