A few months ago I decided that I'd had it up to here with the lousy breakfast habits of my children (nevermind mine, do what I say and all that...). I really wanted to get them off cereal for many reasons; purchasing less milk, more nutrition, less processed food to name a few. We only ever buy Cheerios, so it's not like they were eating sugar for breakfast, but still, there are better things they could be eating first thing in the day. I tried nagging them, bribing them, beating them pleading with them, but none of those things work. Habits are hard to break when we want to, let alone when we're perfectly happy.
I finally decided that the only way to make this happen was to devise a menu and prepare breakfast for them each morning. I am not a morning person, so this is a major sacrifice for me. I finally settled on a weekly breakfast menu and put it into action. It goes a little something like this:
- Monday - Breakfast cookies
- Tuesday - Smoothie
- Wednesday - scrambled egg
- Thursday - pancakes and sausage
- Friday - oatmeal
- Saturday and Sunday - leftovers
This has worked really well for us for several months now and it has successfully gotten the kids off cereal, for the most part. I make a big batch of breakfast cookies on Monday because they can choose to eat them for breakfast any other morning until they are gone. On Thursdays I make a triple batch of pancakes and then freeze the leftovers so that they can pop those in the toaster oven when they want to as well.
I was very surprised when this method actually worked as well as it did. We're enjoying eating breakfast together most mornings and the kids really like that I have taken the time to prepare something for them to start their day on. If they really don't want to eat what I make (Olivia doesn't like smoothie and Benjamin hates oatmeal, for example) there will always be leftovers from another day that they can eat.
I love that I can control that much more of what goes into their bodies and that I don't have to fight them about it. Now, that may be because they're too groggy, but hey, I'll take what I can get! I know I could buy toaster waffles or or organic pop tarts, but by giving it that much more effort, I ensure that they get sinple, nutritious food with only ingredients that we can all pronounce.
So, the next big step for me is implementing a lunch menu. I have been waiting until I really got the breakfast thing down before I attempted preparing an organized lunch. When I get that going, I'll let ys know!
And just because I know you'll ask:
- 1 c. butter, melted (i often use 1/2 c. butter + 1/2 c. coconut oil)
- 3/4 c. honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/2 c. plain yogurt (or milk or buttermilk or kefir)
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 c. rolled oats (NOT steel-cut oats)
- 1/2 c. coconut
- 1 c. raisins
- 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips(or whatever your preference is)
Mix the first 11 ingredients together and then add in the raisin and chocolate chips. Scoop large (really big, I use one of those ice cream scoops with the scooping arm thing, very easy!)) spoonfuls of batter on to baking tray, bake at 350F for 18 minutes. yields 12-15 cookies per batch (I've have actually found that I get more like 20 some cookies per batch, but that probably is just the way I scoop or the added coconut or something). Lately, I have been leaving out the raisins (Olivia's request) and adding in about 1/2 of peanut butter. The kids really dig this. Enjoy!