In our house breakfast is done individually depending on when the kids get up. The key to breakfast is easy, easy, easy. We just do not have the time and I don't have the energy to do a big breakfast on weekdays. On the weekend we do the whole shebang, but M-F is simple meals. Generally my youngest two are up first so I help them get their breakfast. My oldest is nine and able to prepare most of the breakfast choices himself, but depending on what is for breakfast I will prepare it and have it set out for him when I am getting the littles.
Each week I offer certain choices for breakfast and place them on the menu. In the evening I will ask what the consensus is for breakfast, generally I try and get them to all agree on one thing. However, since most of the breakfast items are quick and easy it is not a big deal to prepare more than one of the choices. I try and lay out any of the items we will need on the counter for the next day (unless they need to be in refrigerator/freezer).
I have one shelf dedicated to breakfast items in my kitchen, this includes cold cereals, oatmeal, cream of wheat, pop tarts and any other shelf stable breakfast item. My oldest is nine and able to prepare any of these items himself (and will prepare for siblings, if asked). I try and limit the cereal choices to 2-3 at a time on this shelf (extras are stored in the pantry) and only keep what is being offered for a choice that week on the shelf.
Bread items are stored in a drawer in the kitchen: English Muffins, Bagels, Bread.
I use the weekends to make up extra servings of breakfast items that can be frozen and reheated: pancakes/waffles, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, burritos. These are really easy to take out of the freezer and heat in toaster or microwave in the morning. Some of our favorite recipes are listed below.
I have a plastic cup with lid and straw for each kid. I pour them a cup of juice the night before and place in the refrigerator. Once the juice is gone they can refill with water on their own for the rest of the day until dinner. Having the drinks prepared in the refrigerator is nice. Since I have two little ones who sometimes want to get up SUPER early, I can send them down to get a drink and put on a TV show while my slow achy body gets awake and ready for the day. Using the cups with lids and straws in the morning came about after one too many spills happening in the morning when we really don't have the time to mop! I try and use regular cups at dinner.
More Tips/Tricks to make the morning easier:
- Fill a large shaker with a cinnamon/sugar mix that can be put on buttered toast/bagels/Eng. Muffins and kept on the breakfast shelf for easy access. They also sell a premixed cinnamon/sugar spice shaker at the dollar store that is handy and can be refilled with it runs out.
- If your kids like butter on their pancakes/waffles try melting butter in the syrup over the stove before putting it on your food. This way there is no need to try and cut and spread the butter on everyone's plates but they still get the butter taste.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut waffles and pancakes to save time.
- Make a kid level drawer with plastic bowls, plates, silverware, cups so kids can help set the table or get their dishes out in the morning.
Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins: My kids LOVE these and have no clue its filled with Veggies :)
Oh and I don't think I've ever showed you MY favorite area of the kitchen.....a Coffee Bar, just for mom! Cause lets be honest, nothing is happening till I've had my coffee :)