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I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And in many ways, it’s true!
After not eating for several hours overnight, your body needs refueled. You need energy to get you through the day ahead.
But, when mornings are hectic, breakfast time can be frustrating. You may not take time to eat a healthy breakfast, or even bother eating at all.
If you’re struggling with breakfast time as a busy mom, there’s hope! Here are ten strategies I use to get a meal on the table each morning.
For even more help with breakfast, and all the other meals, I recommend the Evergreen Healthy Meal Planning Bundle from the amazing team at Ultimate Bundles.
1. Make Time For Breakfast
If your schedule is too full in the morning, making time for breakfast can’t happen consistently. When you’re waking up straight into overdrive mode, your brain is frantically trying to keep up with everything on your to-do list.
Breakfast can sometimes get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Don’t let that happen. You need to eat.
Put breakfast on your schedule if you need to. Wake up a few minutes earlier if necessary, so you have time to grab something.
I like to work backwards to figure out what time breakfast needs to be done by. If we’re starting school at 9 am, we need to be eating by 8 so we have time to clean up afterwards.
Early morning doctor appointment? Breakfast gets moved up.
By checking my schedule each evening, I have a good idea of what the next morning holds. Then I can adjust breakfast times accordingly.
It can take time to build a new habit, so if it doesn’t work at first, don’t give up.
2. Plan Breakfast in Your Menu Plan
Now that you have a plan for eating breakfast consistently, it’s important to know what you’re going to eat.
Make sure breakfast is accounted for in your menu plan. I love planning on an annual basis, using rotating meals. This means we eat the same breakfast every Monday all year long. Our Tuesday breakfast is different, as is our Wednesday one.
Here’s our current breakfast plan:
Sundays: Cold Cereal (We needed something super quick since we’re busy trying to get out the door for church.)
Monday: Yogurt & Toast
Thursday: Breakfast burritos
Friday: Biscuits and Gravy
Saturday: Pancakes and eggs
Other Breakfasts We’ve Enjoyed
Here are some other ideas that have been on our menu plans in the past:
- Dutch baby pancake
- Egg in a hole (toast with an egg)
- Homemade breakfast sandwiches
- Breakfast case-role
- French toast
- Scrambled eggs and toast
Whatever your family enjoys eating, plan for that. Just make sure you plan breakfast so you don’t have to stop and think in the morning.
3. Have Ingredients on Hand
Since you know what you’re going to be eating, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list. I go shopping once a month, so I make sure to buy enough ingredients to last for four or five weeks worth of breakfasts.
Not having to rummage through cupboards wondering if you have something, or hastily Googling substitutions can add chaos to an already busy time of day.
Buy what you need, and keep it organized so you can find it when it’s time.
4. Pick Simple Meals
One thing all of my breakfast choices have in common is that they’re simple. They’re easy to make, and don’t require a lot of thought. That’s a good thing when I’m cooking while groggy.
Find tried and true recipes for your meals, and stick with them. There’s no need to Pinterest search for hours looking for a better recipe when you already have something your kids will eat happily.
Stick with simple sides too. My kids know to grab a piece of fruit with their breakfast. Sometimes I set out frozen blueberries or something instead. It’s easy.
They typically drink water though sometimes I treat them to hot cocoa, especially on cold morning. If we’ve been battling colds, I’ll mix up some orange juice. Otherwise it’s water. Good for them, and easy on the wallet! 😀
5. Get in Some Protein
I’ve learned that when I eat protein in the mornings, my energy is much more stable throughout the day. It also keeps me full longer.
The same is true for my kids. Our bodies need protein!
When you’re planning your breakfast meals, think about the protein. If it’s not a meal with a lot of protein, consider adding the following:
- Peanut butter
- Extra eggs (works well in pancakes and waffles)
- Protein powder (highly recommend the stuff from Plexus!)
- A cheese stick for the side
- Bacon or sausage
As an added bonus to adding protein, this change really helped kick morning sickness out of my life when I was pregnant!
6. Involve the Kids
I’ve learned involving the kids in the meal planning and preparation process means they’re more likely to eat without complaint.
To keep this simple, I give my kids a day. On their day, they get to pick what we eat for breakfast (and the other meals.) They also help me cook on their day.
Some meals my kids can prepare independently. Yogurt day is easy! Almost all my kids can make their own toast to go along with it.
I’ve taught a couple of my kids to scramble eggs when they’re seven. Then as long a I’m in the kitchen to supervise, they can make eggs for everyone if that’s on the menu.
By alternating these kid cooking and independent meals with ones you have to prepare, you can lower the number of days you have to cook breakfast.
7. Make It Ahead of Time
Look for ways to prepare your breakfasts ahead of time. When you’re cooking dinner the night before, is there any prep you can do for the next morning?
Can you spend one day a week making breakfasts in advance? Here are five breakfasts that work well for making ahead of time and reheating or just grabbing in the morning:
- Overnight French toast casserole
- Easy breakfast casserole
- Muffins (we like these blueberry ones)
- Breakfast hot pockets
- Banana bread
You can also just partially prep breakfast the night before. Dice up some extra veggies for adding to your eggs. Mix up the dry ingredients for your pancakes.
Anything you can do in advance helps your mornings go more smoothly.
8. Cook in Bulk
Already cooking bacon? Make extra. Then you can freeze it until the next time you need it in a breakfast recipe.
Got the waffle iron out already? Double (or triple) your batter and freeze the extras.
The same goes for pancakes, muffins, or anything else that you can cook and freeze.
You can also make a big batch of something like yogurt or baked oatmeal, and then eat the same thing throughout the week.
Cooking in bulk helps you cook once and eat multiple times with less effort. It’s a great way to be efficient with your time.
9. Have Portable Options
Some days are just crazy! On those days, you and the kids may need to eat on the go. These days are why I always have some portable options in my breakfast arsenal.
The night before, I make sure everything is ready to go. Then in the morning, I finish up any prep and hand breakfast out for eating in the car.
Here are the best options I’ve found for kids to handle on the run:
- Breakfast burritos (go easy on the filling so they roll tight!)
- Smoothies (serve these in jars with lids and a straw to minimize spillage)
- Breakfast sandwich (we just use sausage patties and hamburger buns to keep it simple.)
You can even make some of these in advance (the burritos, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches), and keep them in the freezer. Then if an unexpected crazy morning happens, you can just pull them out and pop them in the microwave quickly.
10. Simplify Your Recipes
It’s crazy how complicated some recipes are. On busy mornings, you don’t have time for long ingredient lists or recipes with tons of steps.
The good news? It’s fairly easy to simplify most recipes without changing the end result.
- Use one bowl – instead of mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones in another, just combine them all in one.
- Make simple substitutions. Use sour cream in place of a homemade roux in creamy casseroles.
- Look for redundant or unnecessary steps that you can eliminate or modify.
- Don’t measure everything. A lot of cooking can be done with a pinch of this and a dab of that. You can eyeball many ingredients and have the recipe turn out great.
- Mix by hand instead of dragging out the bulky stand mixer with lots of parts to wash.
- Change up your cooking method so you don’t have to babysit the food. Cook bacon in the oven instead of the frying pan. Cook your oatmeal in the Instant Pot instead of in a pan.
Simplifying your recipes can save a ton of time, not only for cooking but also for cleanup.
Enjoy Your Breakfasts
I hope these breakfast tips for busy moms inspire you to cook breakfast, and take time to enjoy it.
For even more meal planning help, snag the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.