I often find myself robed and slippered, still in glasses, concocting fun smoothies for my kids before they run off to school. Admittedly, the grating sound of the blender first thing in the AM is hardly music to my ears, but as there’s a veritable symphony of yummy, healthy stuff whirring inside that glass container, I’ve learned to love it. The morning smoothies at our place are a perfect start to the kids’ school days and for the adults in the house who chug the remainder, it’s a terrific start as well.
After 8-12 hours of fasting (which is my blog-y way of referring to nighttime sleep), children need to refuel. They must feed their developing brains and bodies, and starting off the day with whole grains, fiber and protein is a great way to do that. With math class, gym and choir practice on the horizon, children need the proper attention/energy/attitude; good morning fare can help in those departments. Heck, we all know that being famished is hardly a mood enhancer.
And when it comes to weight control – for kids and adults – eating a morning meal is right up there on the list of things-to-do to maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that eating a good breakfast can keep a person on track, helping him stay physically active and reducing the risk of obesity. So those few extra minutes of sleep instead of a meal can turn into a few extra pounds if it becomes a habit.
Now you’re probably saying to yourself: Are you out of your bloggin’ mind Jen?!?! Who has time to make a wholesome breakfast and still get the kids rolling out the door on time? Well, you do!! Because here’s the thing — there’s no need to be that perfectly coiffed family sitting around a table with grapefruit halves and stacks of whole grain pancakes at the ready (although my kids do enjoy good whole grain pancakes…but they’re reserved for dinner). Believe me, mornings at my apartment don’t look so neat. But the goal should be that each junior heads out to school with a tummy that is happy and healthy. And you can make that happen…in a jiffy.
And in even better news, you can be somewhat casual about measurements. Just focus on a nice combo of ingredients and you’re golden. Here are a whole bunch of healthy, quick and very tasty breakfasts you can whip up for your kids – the very same kids who will actually make the morning bell.
- Grind up a tablespoon of flaxseed in the blender. When it’s smooth, pour in 1/4 – 1/2 cup of organic milk, around 1/2 cup of plain organic yogurt, a frozen (or fresh) banana halved and 1/2 cup of organic frozen strawberries and/or blueberries. Blend. If it’s too thick, add more milk and blend again.
- I found this next smoothie online at yummy mummy kitchen. Pour 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk into the blender. Add 1 cup of frozen pineapples, 1 cup of frozen mangos and a handful of fresh organic baby spinach. Scoop in plain organic yogurt and blend. If the blender is stopping, add more milk. (Add a dash of agave if it needs a kick of sweetness. You can also add some cubes to make it icier.) Yes, this smoothie is green, but as promised, it’s also yummy.
- Grab a tall glass and scoop in some plain organic greek yogurt. Spoon on some organic fruit (blueberries, peaches, strawberries, bananas, mangos). More yogurt on that. Then granola. Then yogurt. Then fruit. Honey on top. And it looks real pretty.
- Make oatmeal a breakfast staple — it’s an awesome way to start the day. You can make the stovetop kind (which takes about 10 minutes total) or go for instant. Once prepared, top it with chopped almonds, walnuts, fresh organic fruit or fruit preserves. Cool it off with some organic milk.
- Toast a whole wheat english muffin or a slice of whole what bread. Spread on some organic nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew), soy nut butter or sunflower butter. Slice some bananas on top. You can also swirl on a bit of honey.
- Place a whole wheat tortilla on a warm frying pan lightly oiled with EVOO. Throw on some lowfat cheese (cheddar, muenster, swiss) and, after a minute or two, slice some organic apples on top — Granny Smith apples work great with cheddar. Fold and let cook until fully melted. Voila!