If the thought of your family sitting down to eat a wholesome, nutritious breakfast together while still having time for everyone to get to school or work makes you laugh, you are not alone.
If you are like a large number of the families that I have met, your desire to provide healthy foods in the morning is outweighed by the need to get all of your morning tasks done and everyone off in the right direction on time.
You’d love to feed your family healthy foods, but the chaos and time restrictions leave just enough time for instant oatmeal, sugary cereal, and toaster pastries.
Maybe when the kids are older and I have more time…
Just like every empty space on a teenager’s bedroom floor will eventually end up full of dirty clothes, your time will always be filled with more and more ‘to dos’. As soon as you get one thing off the list, another comes along. That is how “someday” becomes farther and farther into to the future and you never end up having more time.
Instead of getting stuck chasing the “someday carrot” that is always just outside your reach, a bit of planning and organization now can help make sure that a healthy and nutritious breakfast is part of the morning flow, not something you hope will suddenly appear from the chaos.
Are you tired of playing the victim to time?
Sometime last year, after having sent a rushed email reply to someone who wanted more information about my services, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed at not having provided a more thorough response to their questions.
Instead of having my full attention on replying to that email, my mind was divided between the tasks of tidying up the office between clients, checking phone messages and emails, while simultaneously putting away a new order of herbal remedies. My response to the client had suffered because I was just “too busy” with other things to make time to do it right.
When I sat down to decide what it would take to really do it right, I found it took less than 20 minutes to write a series of email templates that would answer the most common questions asked by new clients.
By taking the time to set up some very basic protocols, I was able to reach my goals without without feeling rushed or worry that I missed something important.
Are you ready to create your own success story?
While sitting down to farm fresh scrambled eggs, a tall stack of flapjacks, and a pitcher of very freshly squeezed orange juice before getting the kids off to school may not be a realistic goal (unless you want to start getting up an hour or two earlier!), you can set yourself up for success by completing the steps below.
1. Start with what you know
Make a list of the foods that you and your family enjoy in the mornings. Include all of the foods you eat – healthy, not so healthy, quick, and more time consuming.
Example: your list might include things like toast, pop-tarts, instant cereal, fruit, bacon and eggs, pancakes, etc. List everything you like to eat, even if you don’t have it very often.
2. Review and modify
Review the list and identify which of the foods are healthy options already. Are there any foods on the list that have healthier alternatives?
Example: if you eat instant oatmeal with lots of added sugar, you can use a plain oatmeal and add your own real maple syrup, fruit, or nuts. Instead of Eggo waffles with table syrup, choose organic, whole grain waffles and add nut butter or real maple syrup.
3. Add new ideas
Add to the list any additional ideas that you can think of to include
Example: You might include boiled eggs or cubes of cheese for protein, toast with nut butter and fresh honey, plain full-fat yogourt with fresh fruit and honey, etc.
4. Finalize what works for you
Finally, narrow down the list into breakfast ideas that are both healthy and can be prepared in a reasonable amount of time in the morning. Pin this final list to the refrigerator to be used as both a grocery shopping list as well as a “menu” to help keep you organized. Older kids can easily use your posted list to make their own healthy selections in the morning.
An example of how this list might appear:
- Whole grain toast with: nut butter, honey, melted cheese, etc
- Boiled eggs (can be prepared ahead of time)
- Fresh fruit and cheese cubes
- Yogourt with fresh fruit and honey/real maple syrup
- Oatmeal with: real maple syrup, fresh fruit, nuts, raisins, etc.
- And so on….
And voila! You now have a set of your own “breakfast templates” to help make a healthy breakfast part of the flow of your morning routine instead of a well-intentioned thought that gets left behind in the morning rush.
Have you got any of your own great ideas for quick healthy, breakfast? Share your ideas in the comments section!