Let's be honest, getting young kids off to school in the morning in a streamlined fashion can be a challenge! Depending on what time you need to be out of the house, there can be a lot to do in a short amount of time, and eating breakfast is one of those tasks you don't want to skip.
Breakfast is known as “the most important meal of the day” for a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need for physical and mental energy. Without breakfast, you or your kids will be less resilient, both physically and mentally.
How can you get out the door on time but ensure your kids get the nutrients they need to start their day on the right foot?
Morning Nutrition Tip #1
If you pack lunches, I strongly recommend packing them the night before. This will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning. By making lunches the night before, you have more time so they’re more likely to be well-balanced and healthier.
Morning Nutrition Tip #2
Plan your breakfast meals in advance to ensure you have the ingredients you need, which is a huge convenience and time saver. Be sure to include plenty of protein and healthy fats on your grocery list, and avoid the juice and empty calories.
Morning Nutrition Tip #3
If you make smoothies, it saves a ton of time to build the smoothie in the blender container the night before. Simply store the container in the refrigerator overnight, and in the morning all you have to do is place the container on the base and blend. Here are tips for building a smoothie that's nutritious, balanced in carbs, protein, and fat, and filling.
Morning Nutrition Tip #4
Simplify the breakfast routine by keeping things simple. Don’t stress about needing to provide a lot of different options for yourself or your kids. The one goal is to provide protein and some healthy fat so the meal "sticks" with you and your kiddo for a couple of hours.
Here are some ideas for a quick, nutritious breakfast:
- Prep overnight oatmeal, which will be ready first thing in the morning. There are many overnight oats recipes online.
- Make a Smoothie using a protein powder.
- Hard-boiled eggs plus toast with almond butter
- A handful of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans) with ¼ cup raisins.
- Chia seed pudding
- A bowl of plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup granola, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Don't forget the berries, such as blueberries or strawberries.
Morning Nutrition Tip #5
If you make waffles or pancakes, prepare the batter the night before. Also, prep the equipment you will need the night before. Get out the griddle or waffle iron, and place it on the counter. Once breakfast time hits, all you need to do is preheat the griddle and pour on the batter. Easy! If there are leftovers, you can freeze them and use them another morning. To ensure your waffles and pancakes provide adequate protein and healthy fat, here are ideas of higher protein/fat ingredients to add to the batter: nut butter, protein powder, ghee, butter, hemp seed hearts.
Morning Nutrition Tip #6
Make healthy “cookies,” energy balls, or egg quiche ahead of time and grab one for breakfast.
You’ll feel so great about yourself when you offer your kids a healthy breakfast and still get them out the door on time. What quick tips do you have for streamlining your morning routine when it comes to eating breakfast?
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods