I recently teamed up with Playtimes magazine in Hong Kong and dished my secrets for whipping up delicious and stress-free breakfast meals. These three tips are a major lifesaver for my family and will hopefully make your mornings uncomplicated too!
Eating a delicious breakfast first thing in the morning sounds like a great idea until you wake up and actually have to make it. Between getting the kids dressed and out the door for school, and running around to make yourself look and feel presentable, the mornings can get pretty hectic. As a result, many of us get overwhelmed and skimp on breakfast. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
By creating a weekly breakfast menu, you take the guesswork out of, “What should we eat?” at rush hour. You also tend to get more creative and versatile with morning meals when you plan ahead. I even like to print my breakfast menu, put it in a pretty frame, and display it in the kitchen for everyone in the house to see. Try it! I promise it will transform your morning routine.
Before you begin creating your own menus, check out my top three success tips to make breakfast a breeze:
1) Think About Your Family’s Lifestyle
Does everyone in your household need to get up and rush out the door first thing in the a.m.? If so, consider meals that you can cook in advance. Fill your menu will easy, on-the-go dishes that won’t make a big mess—like muffins, protein bars, parfaits, or mason jar meals. More of a smoothie kind of person? Set aside your fresh fruits, veggies, a blender, and a to-go cup before you shuffle off to bed. That way, in the morning, your meal will be ready in minutes.
If your family typically has time to sit down at the kitchen table and enjoy a meal together, you have a little more freedom to play with menu options. But it’s still a good idea to prepare your meals in advance. Pancakes on your menu? Mix the flour and set aside all other ingredients so preparing the batter is as easy as one, two, three. See a nourishing veggie hash scheduled for tomorrow morning? Slice your vegetables the night before so you don’t waste time in the morning.
2) Take a Healthified Spin
A good breakfast shouldn’t weigh you down. Rather, it should leave you feeling energized and ready to concur the demanding day ahead. So when you’re creating your menu, think about how you will put a healthified spin on each dish. Add vegetables whenever possible. You can slice and cook them as a side dish, or disguise them in a quiche, frittata, or an omelet. Try incorporating protein powders and superfoods into your pancakes and smoothies. I keep hempseed, chia seeds, flax seeds, almond flour, and more pantry staples in the freezer, so I can add boosts of goodness into baked goods and comfort foods. Make sure your breakfast menu is diverse and incorporates cheat foods like muffins. Just make them better-for-you!
3) Be Prepared to Modify Your Plan
Every good plan is meant to be broken. Planning and structure somehow gives you the confidence and the freedom to change things up when life pulls you in different directions. Before you head off to the grocery store to stock up on all new ingredients, take a quick peek in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Figure out creative ways to use up leftovers to save you time and money. For example, a plate of cauliflower “rice” can be recast as a side dish for morning eggs; leftover veggies can be used to stuff a frittata. Use your menu as a default plan, but be prepared to veer from course when it makes sense to. The possibilities are endless, you just have to be flexible!
My Sample Menu
While yours may not look exactly like my mine, here was my breakfast menu a few years ago. It has changed a lot as my kids have grown, but it still sits on our kitchen table!
Need more breakfast ideas? I have a ridiculous amount of sunrise recipes right here on my blog. From fluffy blueberry pancakes to a light yet satisfying parfait, there’s a little something for everyone. Also, be the first to get new flexible recipes by connecting with me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
This article was originally written for Playtimes.