It's 6:45AM. The coffee is brewing, the eggs are scrambling, the kids are dressed and you are simultaneously juggling oranges, mascara, plates, to-do lists and possibly an Ipad. There should be a club of sorts for parents who are at their wits end, struggling each morning to feed their children and let alone themselves, a simple and healthy breakfast. You are not alone if even as a "home-based/unschooling" parent, you are struggling with preparing, serving and actually consuming that vital first meal of the day.
Every medical journal and institution agrees that eating a nourishing breakfast not only contributes to good health, it may also stabilize energy levels, emotions, and ability to concentrate. It’s kind of a no-brainer. It appears that when your child’s brain and body are fueled, his learning experience may be enhanced and his overall performance is likely to improve. In your case, you are more likely to produce stellar ideas in that brainstorming session, remember to return all those calls and not look like you're coming down off a meth-high while catching up with your BFF at the farmer's market. Additionally, those who regularly eat breakfast tend to eat more healthily throughout the day and are possibly less likely to develop weight problems or eating disorders.
1. Breakfast Menu
Strapped for time in the morning? Call me neurotic, but I recommend organizing a weekly menu that is easy to prepare and will lure your family (and yourself) out of bed and carry them off into the world with full bellies. Seriously. Some experts suggest parents offer children two options for breakfast. “Not happening in my house!”, you say. Better yet, create a bistro-style menu board with daily or weekly specials. Each week you and your children can plan the menu, come up with fun food names; like Sarah’s Super Smoothie Surprise or Mom’s Mixed Berry Muffins and decorate the board with crazy colors and drawings. Real-life arts integration!
2. Breakfast at Night or from Last Night
Also, save time in the morning by making breakfast at night. Pre-boil eggs, slice cheese, cut fruit and pre-mix pancake batter. For those who are single parents, a similar menu board approach can serve you well. Write daily to-do notes to each other and take turns playing chef or begin your day with "Yes I Can"- Napoleon Hill affirmations and power foods. For instance: Monday Sweet Potato Egg Mash - "A goal is a dream with a deadline." And why does breakfast food have to be eggs and bacon? What about the quiche you ate the night before or the cheese and ham from that dinner party - a grilled ham and cheese with a touch of jam - yummy!
3. Breakfast to Go
While a healthy homemade breakfast is ideal, sometimes it's not a possibility. Try portable breakfasts like juice blends or smoothies. Map out breakfast pick-up spots on the way to co-ops, apprenticeships or tutoring sessions. Get a breakfast, 6-pack of yogurt, the occasional donut, something... really, seriously. Eat breakfast.