By Tiffany McAvoy
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As a teacher, I see firsthand the effects of not having a good breakfast has on kids. They tend to be irritable and sluggish, and it’s hard for them to stay focused.
Even though I know this, mornings are quite hectic at our house. It would be easy to grab a box of sugary cereal bars, but that is just setting kids up for a sugar crash later in the day.
In order to prevent this, I have started preparing healthy breakfasts ahead of time.
• On weekends, make pancakes or waffles for breakfast, and make a lot of extras. It doesn’t add much time and the mess is already made, so it just makes sense to cook as many as possible.
•Prepackaged mini-muffins from the store are pretty expensive, so make your own mini banana muffins and package them into individual servings in plastic baggies.
• We love breakfast burritos, but don’t have time to run through a fast food restaurant in the mornings. Instead, we make several ahead of time and freeze them. Just take scrambled eggs, turkey sausage and cheese and roll it up in a whole wheat tortilla.
• Make fruit smoothies ahead of time and freeze them in plastic cups. Heat them up for several seconds in the microwave to just soften them enough to eat.
Here’s how to get the best results from freezing and thawing food:
• Flash freeze by laying the cooled food on a cookie sheet and putting it in the freezer.
• When frozen, take the food out and individually wrap in freezer paper. This keeps food from sticking together.
• When you heat up a portion in the microwave, completely wrap the food in a damp paper towel. This keeps it from drying out and getting hard edges.
Making healthy breakfast ahead of time saves time and money, and it allows you to control what ingredients your kids are eating.
Tiffany McAvoy is the mother to Tristan, 20, Abby, 13, and Tori, 9. She is an elementary school teacher in Madison County and writes about her family’s adventures with food on her blog