Just passed the 100 days of school mark and I already dread packing lunches and planning breakfasts. Full disclosure, I starting dreading this after week one). When kids run nonstop all day long, cold cereal (although wonderfully simply) doesn’t provide adequate energy for their days. Getting myself up, showered, dressed, and finding keys, phone, and matching shoes is hassle enough – but getting two boys dressed, packed, and feed loads enough comical relief into our morning to write a sitcom. Last year we only had my oldest, but this year Rowan is off to Kindergarten and Graham is taking on the daycare scene. I fear mornings. There will be many days when back seat breakfast club is initiated. I am fine with crumbs on the back seat as long as most of the food gets into the bellies and powers up their brains for the day. If we are really being serious, I’m excited if most of the food gets in their mouths while they are seated around the table – so geographical location is the only difference.
Although the back seat breakfast club can be fun, if not entertaining, I prefer breakfast at home around our table. For that to happen, there has to be a plan to organize our crazy morning. I created a calendar with daily breakfast meals that eliminates the question of what to make or, even worse, leave it to the boys to decide! Before my coffee, I am not as creative as I’d like to be. So I made a calendar to provide variety to breakfast that yells out, “yogurt with granola and strawberries” as I step into the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, cereal is one of my options, but variety is the spice of life. Check out my March Menu.
When the calendar fails or one adamant boy refuses to put on pants and time is tested, plan B flies into action. When your kids are on their morning power trip, strike back with this tasty, back seat, treat filled with healthy stuff they won’t notice while gobbling them up. All super kids can be a super hero after one or two of these. I originally found the recipe on Domesticated Academic. I made a few changes that add a little more moisture.
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 cup oats–quick oats
•2/3 cup sugar
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 cup nonfat greek vanilla yogurt
•1/2 cup natural apple sauce
•2 large eggs, lightly beaten
•4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 cup fresh blueberries
Chef Finn Dinkle shared his expertise and humor on this recipe – Baking is never dull when he is in the kitchen. Thankfully the recipe is quick, because Chef Finn would have eaten all my blueberries.
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350°.
- Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium sized bowl.
- In a second bowl, whisk eggs together than add yogurt, butter, and vanilla.
- Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
- Gently fold in blueberries.
- Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
The recipe makes 24 muffins.
Double the batch and freeze half – you can defrost them in the microwave in the morning or pull a few out and place them in the refrigerator over night for quick, healthy, backseat breakfast club options.
Just when you think breakfast is in the bag, you realize followed quickly after breakfast . . . is lunch. I grew up on public school lunches and survived, but lunches from home were always requested. My oldest is provided yummy lunches at his school and I am relieved to not go down that ‘what to pack’ road for him (yet). Packing a toddler lunch is even more difficult. Just like breakfast options, variety is key. Choose a few staples and a few of their favorites and mix them into the rotation. Following the same format as my breakfast list, I created a two week rotating lunch guide for my toddler that eliminates me having to think without coffee so early in the morning. It is also a great addition to my grocery list so I know my refrigerator is stocked with what I need. Download the file (link above)and personalize it for you and your kids. In return, sign up to follow my blog and share it with a friend.
I hope the muffins bring energy to your mornings and the lunch list provides some relief from the lunch packing blues. Hey, pack a power muffin for yourself and have a breakfast or snack time power trip yourself.