How to Break the Fast
Smart moms choose…breakfast
A high-quality breakfast routine is essential for brain function. No breakfast – or worse – an empty calorie, sugar dump, will cause crabbiness, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating.
Low-sugar, moderate protein and a big wallop of healthy fat, on the other hand, sustains energy until lunch and prevents the late afternoon slump.
Shake Up Your Wake Up says it well:
“Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where its name originates, breaking the fast! Without breakfast, you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car with no petrol!”
Smart moms secrets to a smooth breakfast
Have a plan
When my kids were little, my husband left for work very early, so I ate with him. When the children woke up, I sat down with them, and they ate while I read aloud.
Reading aloud helped them focus on eating without dawdling, and it gave me something to do instead of trying to hurry them so we could get on with the day.
Life is always changing.
The routine that worked five years ago won’t work today, and today’s routine probably won’t work next year. An important aspect of our job as the mom is to keep tabs on the needs of the family and tweak our routines to meet those needs.
Now that my kids are older, they leave the house at different times. If I tried to do things the old way I would be a short order cook from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m.
No Thank You.
Developing systems to make life better, smoother and richer is a creative act of motherhood.
One breakfast menu
Everyone eats the same thing.
This isn’t a hotel breakfast buffet.
When cleaning up dinner, prep a little
Prep the eggs, add spices and store in containers.
Cracking eggs doesn’t take long, but getting little tasks out of the way reduces morning friction.
Likewise, mixing the dry ingredients for a batch of muffins.
Each small task out of the way will help the morning along.
Use the freezer
Freeze extras when possible. Leftover meat, beans, and rice can become breakfast burritos, for instance.
Sauteed bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach freeze well and add a burst of flavor and nutrition to scrambled eggs.
A little here and there, and you will have an excellent selection of last minute options on hand. I think of my freezer meals as money in the bank.
Cook breakfast meats ahead
Whatever you define as healthy, clean or nutritious in the meat category – veggie sausage, spiral ham or bacon – can be cooked just to the point of “done” and repackaged into meal-size portions.
I make bacon in the oven – 2 packages at a time. Once cool, we wrap these in wax paper bundles and store in a freezer bag.
Kate at Picklebums has a helpful list of 20 School Morning Breakfast Ideas
Functional. Nutritious. Fast.
Make ahead pancake batter
At the beginning of the week make a big batch of your favorite pancake mix.
There are paleo, keto, whole-grain, vegan options – something for everyone.
Store it in a big pitcher in the fridge for 4-5 days.
It only takes a few minutes to cook pancakes once the batter is ready.
To increase the nutrition oomph, we use cooked berries or spiced applesauce as a topping.
Easy to make in bulk and freeze.
Prepare your favorite ingredients – scrambled eggs, beans, sausage, bacon crumbles, sauteed vegetables – and mix and match.
These are perfect for family members that need to grab breakfast and go.
This is what my kids call our version of Mc…style breakfasts.
Take an English muffin, top with a scrambled egg, add a bit of ham or bacon and sprinkle with cheese.
These can be wrapped individually and stored in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer. It’s also a quick breakfast to make for a crowd.
Muffins, yogurt, and fruit
Mix the muffin batter the night before and let it rest in the fridge.
In the morning fold in the fruit or other last minute ingredients and pop in the oven. They will cook while you shower.
Extra muffins freeze well for lunch-boxes.
Quality bread and toppings
We love Dave’s Killer Bread. It is chock full of nutritious goodies and has an energy balancing protein/carb ratio.
Top it with peanut or almond butter, add a piece of fruit and you have a complete – and fast – meal.
There are many “hot cereal” options. Even the paleo and keto camps have grain-free recipes to choose from.
Set up a basket in the fridge with little jars of coconut, chopped nuts, berries, applesauce, flax and chia seeds and whatever other super-foods you like to use.
Each person can dress up their bowl to taste.
A little unorthodox – but healthy and hearty.
We love broth based soups on cold mornings. Chicken soup is a favorite.
Bean soup is also excellent with eggs.
A lot of nutrition can be packed into a pot of soup. I usually prep these during dinner clean-up and let them simmer in the slow cooker overnight.
For more ideas and yummy recipes check out my Pinterest Breakfast Board
Take it up a notch for extra credit
Eat outside if possible
Fresh air and daylight do wonders for our energy.
Energy: 12 Ways to Live Abundantly
Begin the day with thankfulness
Studies show that expressing gratitude leads to happier, positive days.
Our friends keep a jar next to the dinner table. Each day they jot down one thing to be grateful for on a slip of paper and toss it in.
At the end of the year, they have a ritual of pulling out the slips and remembering.
You could also keep a one-sentence journal.
Worth the effort
Planning an organized and healthy breakfast routine will get your family off to a great start.
Do you have a favorite weekday breakfast tip? If you have a breakfast related blog post, I invite you to link to it in the comments so we can all expand our morning repertoire.