Mornings are crazy at my house. It seems like we are always rushing around, tracking down homework that has been left all over the house, packing lunches, and finding shoes and sweatshirts (yes, we have a central place to put these things, its just that they never seem to end up there).
Oh, and then there’s the distraction of half-built lego sets, cute dogs that just want to play, and finding just the right hair accessory or the comfiest pair of socks. Some mornings, getting out the door on time is an accomplishment. The last thing I have time for is making a homemade breakfast.
And with one picky eater on my hands, my kids don’t always like the exact same breakfast food. While my daughter loves oatmeal, egg bagel sandwiches, and well, almost anything, my son, let's just say not so much – but he never met a pancake or waffle he didn’t love.
But with a make-freeze-and-reheat system, my kids get a “made to order” homemade breakfast most mornings – usually with under five minutes of prep time; filled with organic ingredients; all at half the price of store bought heat-and-eat breakfast food.
The key to simple, healthy, inexpensive breakfasts is a small amount of weekend preparation and a freezer. On the weekends, when I have time to make breakfast from scratch, I just double or even triple the batch (of pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, etc.) and freeze the leftovers.
Here are some examples – my kids’ breakfasts from this morning.
My daughter’s breakfast:
Steel-cut oatmeal, organic bananas and strawberries, organic milk.
With the oatmeal, I freeze individual portions in glass containers (like the Glasslock line made by Snapware). Once I take it out of the freezer, I just remove the plastic top, stick the glass bottom in the microwave, and then serve it straight out of the container – you don’t even need to dirty a bowl so clean up is super easy.
My son’s breakfast:
Whole grain pancakes, organic bananas and strawberries, organic milk.
Pancakes and waffles freeze very well. Just let them cool off and put them in a freezer-safe plastic bag, or even better, a reusable freezer-safe container.
The other benefit of this system is that I save a ton of money. Consider the cost of one pancake (store bought or homemade):
Store bought – package of 12 pancakes $2.99. That’s about $.25 per pancake
Homemade (cost of one batch of 12 pancakes):
- Multigrain baking mix – $0.52
- Cup organic milk – $0.37
- Organic eggs – $0.56
- Tablespoons oil – $0.07
- Total – $1.52
That’s about 12.6 cents per pancake – half the price of store bought. Half the price even with whole grain, organic ingredients – ingredients not found in the bleached-white-flour, store-bought pancakes full of additives and preservatives.
So with just a little preparation, you can serve healthier breakfasts, save money, and have less stressful mornings.
Do you have any breakfast recipes or tips that makes your mornings easier? I’d love to hear them. Especially quick, healthy breakfasts for picky eaters. Please share.
Allison is a former green business owner, currently taking a break from the office to stay at home with her kids. She still enjoys blogging and talking about all things green and eco-friendly. You can follow her on Twitter at ocgreenmama.