Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy, Peasy.

Isaac had a very limited pallette when he was younger. For breakfast he'd eat a bananna, cheerios, or a vanilla yogurt. For lunch he'd eat noodles or a a crustless sandwich. And there was an entire year of his life where the only thing we could get him to eat for dinner was chicken and broccoli. I never really fought it because thanks to the good people at Ovaltine, V8 & Bayer (Flinstone's Vitamins!) he seemed to be getting everything he needed.

In addition to only eating a few foods - he never really ate ALOT of anything either. He wasn't finicky by any means. But a yogurt was plenty for breakfast. And his sandwiches at lunch were made with a single piece of bread folded in half.

Well, times have changed. My little boy has morphed into a garbage disposal. Long gone are the days of a single piece of toast or a yogurt before school. This mama spends more money on her child's breakfast food each month than she does on her car payment. Thats a true story.

But, the good news is: I've found some really simple, HOT breakfasts that fill the boy up and make me feel confident that he has the brain food neccessary to make it through the school day. Thought I'd pass them along. Enjoy!

(The pictures I chose to use for each recipe are obviously pictures that I stole off of Google Images ... because, lets face it, they're prettier than the pictures I took. Your recipes probably won't look like the pictures --- don't worry. Mine don't either. But my kid loves them (and me!) anyway!)

Also, these recipes don't neccesarily fit into the "low fat, low calorie" way of thinking that seems to be "the right way" of doing things. We feed our kiddo real food. We use whole grains, prefer real butter to margarine, and we don't skimp on the cheese. I am from the school of thought that believes its ok to eat real food as long as you enjoy real play time too. I'm just wild & crazy like that. Anyhooo ...

Breakfast Taco
Prep/cook time: 5 minutes

Beat 2 eggs and a splash of milk in a bowl. Pour into a hot skillet. Add salt and pepper.
Once the eggs are fluffy,  add a few chunks of pre-cooked ham.
Stir in the skillet for about 20 seconds.
Roll them into a tortilla shell, with a sprinkle of cheese & there you go!

Oatmeal & Berries
SO simple and takes about 3 minutes to make.

Whether you use Quaker oats or Instant oatmeal. Either way, a heaping bowl of oatmeal topped with berries is one of Isaac's favorite meals.

If you live somewhere where berries are affordable and easily accessible - then great! But if you live in a place like I do, where a pint of blueberries is currently 6.99, then I suggest hitting up the frozen food section. Frozen berries are better than no berries. I personally love the mixed berries from the Schwann's man. I run tepid water obver two heaping handfuls of berries and then plop the fruit on top of the oatmeal.

Pached Eggs On Toast
A little more effort but still a meal in under 5 minutes.

While the egg is poaching, toast the bread and cut a slice of tomato.
I butter the bread (you probably don't need to tho if you're looking for a lower fat version!)
Then I add the tomato and finally stack the egg on top.

This picture shows fancy green crap. My kid wouldn't touch it even if I paid him --- so I leave the fancy green crap off. But I do add a sprinkle of either Alpine Seasoning or Lawry's Seasoning salt.

Ike will eat 2-3 of these for breakfast if thats all we're having. (remember - he's not a small boy anymore. He's a garbage disposal.)

English Muffin Sandwich
Super easy & PACKED full of protein.
From start to finish - less than 3 minutes.

Throw the english muffin in the toaster.
Spread a layer of cream cheese on one side (yea - cream cheese. Delicious & full of protein. Plus, even though you & I are probably watching our weight --- our kiddos still need some caloric intake to get them through their day!)
Depending on whats in my fridge I may or may not add anything else to it --- tomato slice, some turkey, whatever I think he'll eat.

*** Another variation of this that is easy --- instead of cream cheese, tomato & turkey, use a poaches or fried egg, a slice of bacon or ham, and a piece of real cheese. This will take you less than 5 minutes ***

Leggo my Eggo
Pay attention to those commercials. They really do have some great recipes.

Two whole grain Eggo's in the toaster & a smear of strawberry cream cheese on top. It takes all of 60 seconds and my kid eats them right up. Easy, peasy.

If you're pressed for time in the mornings, throw your batter together the night before. Make it easy on yourself and keep it in a pourable container like this one:

In the morning turn on the skillet or griddle, pour a couple hot cakes & serve them up. From the time you turn on the burner until the the time your kid takes his first bite should be well under 5 minutes.

You can use syrup & butter if you'd like. But on school days I hate the clean up of syrup on my dishes. So I use butter and sprinkle sugar on top. (This idea thanks to Suzy Kadous, who made me her pancake girl somewhere around the 1st grade!)

The benefit to the butter & sugar idea is you can roll them up like crepes and send your little ones out the door if you're running behind. (I'm ALWAYS running behind.) Isaac has eaten many-a-hotcakes on the bus. :)

For me, the key to making hot, filling breakfasts for my family in the morning, is knowing I don't have a ton of clean up. It isnt the meal that seems daunting --- its the dishes. So think before you cook - don't create more hassle than you need to. Syrup is for weekend breakfasts. Cast iron skillets make for easy clean up. And most importantly --- ANY breakfast food can be made into a sandwich for easy portability! (Just be sure to keep tortillas, english muffins, and bread on hand.)

1 comment:

  1. Nicole, Thanks for the comment on my blog. It is so fun to watch all the families grow through the blogs. I too am always looking for healthy, hot alternatives to breakfast for Reece. When we make pancakes, we make a HUGE batch and then freeze them. That way all we have to do in the morning is throw them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Reece being the picky eater she is likes peanut butter, nutella AND syrup on her pancakes!!! We also add berries, fruit or pumpkin puree to the batter to give it an extra boost!

    You in the final stretch, we will be thinking of you as baby number two gets closer!