Archive for the ‘cereal’ Category

Note: This will be my last breakfast post for a while.
Toast is my morning savior. Especially at 6:30 a.m. when I have two starving children clamoring to be fed and I can hardly think let alone create a meal. Pushing two kids and two adults out of the house before 8:00 a.m. five days a week requires efficiency and a game plan. And I am not willing to get up at the crack of dark to get everyone ready. That means breakfast needs to be quick, healthy and easy. Toast never fails me, except when I am out of bread. But really, that is just me failing to go shopping. But toast can get boring so I try to limit how often I reach for the bread box. I am sure that my kids would be just fine with a repetitive breakfast, but in an effort to get a variety of nutrients into their diet I try to change it up a bit.

A loaded pantry and a fridge full of seasonal fruits will keep me from having to think too hard about what to feed my kids. I match up a couple of breakfast foods to provide balance and help keep my kids from falling into a food rut. Fruit added to cereal, soygurt or in a bowl alone rounds out a breakfast based around toast. I like apricots and cherries in the spring; peaches, nectarines and melon (cut it up the night before to save you time in the morning) in the summer; apples and Asian pears in the late summer to fall; and raisins, homemade applesauce and Satsuma mandarins in the winter. Bananas are a great staple to have in the house year round as any parent knows.

If you struggle with mornings as much as I, refer to the list below for breakfast items that your body can make while your head still thinks it’s in bed surrounded by pillows. Most of the suggestions can be made on the fly and only a few require minor preparation.

Toast or bagels and ?
Obviously we eat lots of toast and bagels. Scott usually bikes over to Noah’s Bagels on Sunday mornings to buy a dozen bagels for the rest of the week. Noah’s bagels will stay soft for a good 3-4 days in freezer bags before they start to go stale. Refrigeration will increase their shelf life by a couple of days.

Smother with:
Smashed avocado sprinkled with a touch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutritional yeast
Earth’s Balance margarine and nutritional yeast
Peanut butter and jam
Almond butter and jam
Tofutti cream cheese
Hummus (hummus is a staple breakfast item in many Middle Eastern countries)

Vegan friendly cereal you can buy bulk at Costco and fruit
Many of the cereals at your local health food store, co-op or Whole Foods are vegan friendly but they are incredibly expensive, taste like cardboard, turn soggy after two bites, and are loaded with sugar. Just because something is labeled organic doesn’t mean it’s good. Also, take time to skim the ingredients list if you are going the vegan route. Many manufacturers add non-fat dry milk or whey to their cereals.

Old favorites:
Cheerios (I don’t know how you can have a kid and not have this item in your house)
Raisin Bran
Rice/Corn/Wheat Chex
Grape Nuts
Rice Crispies

Soygurt, the soy equivalent to yogurt, is a breakfast favorite in my family. Calla and Lennon love it so much that I can’t feed it to one without feeding it to the other. After trying every brand on the market, I’ve decided Whole Soy has the best consistency and flavors.

straight out of the carton
with cut up bananas added to the carton
parfait style with bananas or fruit and granola or grape nuts sprinkled on top

Vegan Frozen Waffles and ?
Frozen waffles aren’t the healthiest items for breakfast but they are quick and require no prep time. I like the Van’s no dairy, eggs or wheat version because they taste like a waffle and provide a nice alternative for parents who need an allergy-free product.

Top with:
maple syrup (of course!)
margarine and jam
homemade cinnamon applesauce
peanut butter and jam
fresh seasonal fruit

Homemade Oatmeal
Even when you are in a time crunch there is no reason to eat gummy gloppy instant oatmeal. To make homemade oatmeal, add soymilk, thick cut oats, cinnamon, honey and dried fruit or chopped apples into a cast iron pan (for added iron). Heat until it boils and then drop to a low simmer. Cover and adjust the soymilk to desired thickness. We like our oatmeal thicker and add soymilk to the individual portions. My father likes to make his oatmeal without sugar and then lets everyone add spoonfuls of brown sugar to their own bowl. Total cook time is 5-10 minutes.

raisins, dried currants, dried cherries
chopped apples

Smoothies (See July smoothie post)
They take 5 minutes to make and the food burying possibilities are huge.

Breakfast and some forethought
Baking, cooking and prep work are easily done the night before when you are actually awake and have time. If you are feeling inspired to bake or you are tired of the items above, try creating something during the evening or on the weekend for the coming week. I do some of my best baking at 9:00 p.m. at night. Quick breads, muffins and pancakes can be made and frozen for future breakfasts and snacks.

What are your favorite quick breakfasts? Feel free to add them to the list.

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