September brings different things for everyone but every parent shares the bittersweet ‘back-to-school’ days. It’s joyful because it means the kids are no longer at home and you can finally have a cup of coffee in peace, but it also means the beginning of the dreaded school run. It’s the beginning of ‘have-you-done-your-homework’ evenings and last minute ‘I-have-a-test-tomorrow’ revision sessions. To try and reduce some of your workload, our theme this month will be kids; more specifically, how to make sure they are eating enough of the right foods.
This week: Breakfast
Forcing your kids out of bed and wrestling them into uniforms is a hard task, especially early in the morning, so having to making sure that they have had a nutritious breakfast before being thrown onto the bus or into the car is often just one step too far.
Although it adds another hurdle to the morning race, breakfast is important for both our kids and ourselves. Feeding your own body is crucial in order to be able to handle the antics of bubbly little people and hundreds of studies have proven that encouraging children to make a habit of eating breakfast will help put them into a good place as they grow and their metabolisms change. Feeding your child’s body in the morning is key to their development both mentally and physically and is thought to help their concentration – a trait that most little ones need some help with in school!
But children don’t always want to eat food first thing in the morning and if they don’t want it to happen, it definitely isn’t going to happen! Whilst many don’t usually want our complex-to-cook and highly nutritious breakfasts, I think you’ll struggle to find a child who isn’t always up for some sugary goodness. Of course, sugary cereals and biscuits aren’t exactly the nutritional meal parents want their kids to have. Not only are these shop bought foods heavily processed but they also make a mess that no parent wants to deal with before school time.
Fear not, though! We have got plenty of recipes that are easy to prepare, enticing for kids and require no extra cleaning up later on.
Chocolate. That’s pretty much all you’ll have to say to your child before they snatch it from your hands and run happily towards their ride to school. With bananas, peanut butter and milk, this shake allows you to cover all the bases for your kids.
Bananas are high in dietary fibre (perfect for the developing tummies of young children), high in potassium to help regulate blood sugar and support bone growth and filled with fuel shown to help your children’s minds work to the best of their ability. Peanut butter is filled with protein and healthy fats that will also help with the development of your child’s brain and milk… Well, milk is the nutritional king of them all.
Tip for making sure that this stays a minimum-mess project: Give your kids the drinks in sealed smoothie bottles with built in straws as this will stop them from covering their car-seat in chocolatey goodness.
Blueberries are part of the newest health trends but despite now being marketed as an adult, weightloss super food, their health benefits are just as kind to children.
Adding one of your kid’s five a day into breakfast eases the pressure to provide a nutritious dinner, filed to the brim with vegetable that your kids may or may not eat. This smoothie is also sweet enough to entice them as well as fill them up so that they don’t start feeling hungry during their first lesson at school.
Think of this as an updated version of the traditional bowl of oats. The update gives you the ability to skip the ‘sit-down-at-the-table’ drama as well as the ‘just-wait-till-it-cools-down’ tantrums.
Preparing a box of these on the weekends will make you job in the mornings infinitely easier: simply open the box, take one out and send it with your child as they step out of the door. Due to its fudgy consistency, the bar won’t leave too much of a mess and the natural sweetness will make sure your kids are happy to chomp down on them at any time of the day or night.
If dates and oats aren’t quite nutritious enough for your liking, this fruity treat will definitely win you over. With a variety of different nuts providing your family with plenty of protein and energy, you can’t get much better than this. The rolled oats provide a nutritious base to the bar which is far better than the overly-processed breakfast bars that are found at the supermarket and are therefore much healthie for the family.
Another meal-prep recipe, this one can be made on the weekend and kept safely until five minutes before the school run begins.
Some final tips for these recipes
- Introduce these foods to your children BEFORE the school rush begins, perhaps as a weekend breakfast of evening snack. This will give them a taste of the foods and encourage them to want more in the mornings. No one wants to be bombarded with new flavours or scents as soon as they wake up, so give them time to familiarise themselves with the food and develop and cravings for the food, just as they do with ice cream!
- Enjoy the foods as a family. There’s no need to cook yourself a separate breakfast – in fact, that defeats the purpose of quick and easy breakfasts! These recipes are made to satisfy the entire family in terms of both taste and nutritional requirements so save yourself some time and energy and grab another bar or make two smoothies in one go.
If you have any other recipe ideas for breakfast share them in the comments below. It will help other busy parents get ideas and variations.