When I was little – and not even that little – my mum would wake us four girls up with a cup of tea before school.
We would wrap ourselves in duvets and stumble, bleary-eyed downstairs to the kitchen where the woodburner would be crackling away, candles would be lit (I guess this only happened in the winter!) and a big pot of porridge would gently cooking away on the Aga. Still wrapped in our duvets, we’d have porridge with sultanas and Golden Syrup by candle light before going off to get ready for school.
Of course – there were also the days of refusing to get out of bed until dad was revving the car outside and beeping and – on a couple of occasions actually leaving us behind to catch the bus, walk across town and make the excuses in the late book at school! Ha ha!
But mostly, school mornings were – thanks to mum’s Herculean efforts – calm and pleasant (yes, they are very big boots to fill!). She believed that the success of a day depended very much on a gentle start and a calm end – even now when we go and visit, breakfast is a leisurely affair with proper tea cups and boiled eggs and dipping soldiers. (Side note: she’s not a little blue-rinsed old lady, she’s a dynamic legal eagle with a penchant for a 7.30am swim in the sea!)
The point here is that mornings get a raw deal. They can so easily be a time of frantic tearing around and dashing out of the door – and whilst we certainly do still have those on occasion, how much nicer if that can be, instead, be ring-fenced as a happy, unpressured time.
All nice in theory but what if your little ones are as finickity as mine when it comes to eating breakfast? None of us want to let them loose on the high-sugar rubbish that fill many cereal aisles (which is not to say that they don’t – on occasion – have a giant bowl of Cocopops!) but what are the other options?
Here are some recent hits in our house:
- Drop scones (thick American style pancakes – they take no time really – especially if you whizz the batter up the night before and keep it in the fridge)
- Porridge with maple syrup/Golden Syrup/bananas, sultanas and honey/yoghurt and almonds
- Warm fruit with yoghurt (just buy a frozen bag of mixed berries, microwave and drizzle with honey)
- Add yoghurt and granola on the top (in a glass to see the layers) and you’ve got fruit parfait which feels fancy!
- Good old cereal – the odd multi pack of minis mixes it up and allows the sugary ones as a treat.
- Chocolate spread fiends are usually just as happy with a cocoa nut butter such as Raw Health Caco Brazil Spread (buy it on Amazon) and it’s a little more saintly than the usual stuff.
- Likewise Almond or Cashew butter might be a better choice – or even just add variety – for a peanut butter lover.
- You could go all-out and make some healthy fruit or savory muffins in a free moment if they are a favourite in your family – remember you can freeze a batch and just defrost what you need.
- Eggs can be fun – particularly if you cut a star shape in the middle of a bit of lightly fried break and fry the egg in the middle of it like a little window (again, you’re not doing this every day remember, it’s all about variety!)
- Sticks of fruit; melon, pineapple, apple etc dipped into Greek Yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.
Don’t forget – breakfast food can be anything you like! My friend’s son likes dinner leftovers reheated for breakfast (lasagne, anyone?!) – who says breakfast need be boring?!
Good luck! 🙂