“Take your time, and eat this fabulous breakfast spread I’ve prepared”- said no busy mum ever to their kids in the morning! I do appreciate some parents who put in a lot of effort to create nutritious and elaborate brekkies, but I’m not one of them. The nutritious part yes, not the elaborate.
I choose to prepare something that looks “normal” – i.e. no bread with fancy shapes, no panda-looking buns or French toast on a weekday. Here are some of my ideas, which I hope will work for the busy mums. Like every recipe, these can be modified, and I’ll show you how:
1. 2-Ingredient Pancake
These are easy, but I must lower your expectations with the word ‘pancake’. They are more like crepes (in that they are thinner than pancakes) but oh-so-yummy. To me, they taste slightly like French toast with a soft and almost creamy-like bite. My kids love them.
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 eggs
- Makes about 8 small pancakes.
[Optional: Add a pinch of baking powder to make it fluffier!]
- Mash bananas well until there are no more lumps. It should be quite runny.
- Whisk eggs separately then pour into mashed bananas. Add baking powder and mix. The batter should be runny.
- In a non-stick pan, heat some butter. Pour in about 2 tbsps of batter for 1 pancake.
- Allow to cook for about 1 min before flipping gently. Cook for another minute or less.
- Remove from heat and add maple syrup, chocolate sauce – or just enjoy it on its own!
Nutritional Value: No added sugar.
2. Scrambled Eggs on Toast
- 3 eggs whisked
- Splash of milk into whisked eggs
- Salt to season
- Add some butter into a saucepan and let it melt over medium heat. Pour in eggs, and cook until thickened.
- Switch off heat before the eggs become set. The remaining heat will continue to cook the eggs.
- Butter toasted bread and layer eggs on top.
Nutritional Value: Eggs are the mother of proteins – essentially, fatty acids and Vitamins A, D, E and B12. This breakfast idea will keep your child full as they start their mornings in school.
Modify: Use hardboiled eggs and mash. Add some mayonnaise with a pinch of salt. Spread on buttered toast.
This breakfast idea can be so nutritious, giving kids a much-needed boost in the morning. Here is one of a million recipes you can find online, which I have modified to suit our taste.
- 1 cup frozen strawberries (I buy the Emborg brand from the frozen section in the supermarket)
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 nice and ripe banana
- ¾ milk
- Add all ingredients into the blender, adding milk last to prevent splashing. Blend and pour.
- Add straw (if that will make your kids drink it even more!). This smoothie is not too thick, as we enjoy it this way.
Nutritional Value: Greek yogurt provides up to double the proteins of regular yogurt, allowing little tummies to feel fuller for longer. Strawberries are also a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Modify: Substitute strawberries with what your child likes (my daughter is not a fan). The banana adds sweetness – if you don’t have any on hand, add some honey instead. I also sneak in some peanut butter to add on the calories.
4. Zucchini or Carrot Breakfast Muffins
These muffins can be made ahead and served reheated or at room temperature. This recipe makes around 7 muffins.
- 2 eggs and 40ml cooking oil [whisked together]
- 30g grated cheese*
1 medium sized zucchini or carrot, grated*
60g self raising flour*
Pinch of salt and pepper*
[* to be mixed together in a bowl]
- Preheat oven at 180°C. Grease 7 holes in a muffin pan with butter.
- Combine both mixtures. and spoon into muffin pan.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden-brown on top.
- Let muffins cool completely then remove. Store in an airtight container, and keep in the refrigerator.
Nutritional Value: The carbs from the muffins and protein from the eggs, will keep their tummies full through lunch.
Modify: Instead of carrot or zucchini, add chopped tomatoes or mushrooms.
5. Oats with Toppings
One way to get your kids used to eating oats (we use rolled oats), is to use a food processor and blitz them ahead of time. Not too much till they get powdery, but just into a finer texture. Store in an airtight container and spoon out when it’s time for breakfast. Add some warm milk and it’s ready to eat. There is no need to cook the oats over the stove or prepare overnight oats.
There are various nutritious toppings to consider like nuts, dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, pumpkin, sunflower or flax seeds. Go crazy on a weekend, and layer on some Koko Krunch or chocolate chips over the said oats.
Nutritional Value: Oats are a high-fibre food for kids. You can opt for instant oats (more processed, but the likelihood is, you won’t need to blitz this beforehand). It promotes fullness, and the toppings used are all highly nutritious.
- Tuna Melt – Open a tin of tuna, drain and transfer to a bowl. Flake and add some mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Mix well and spread on buttered toast, then add some grated cheese on top and pop into the sandwich maker.
- Peanut butter on toast – To jazz this up, add sliced banana and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Other options: toast with jam or with kaya. My girl enjoys toast with butter and sugar.
- Frozen waffles (bought from the frozen section in the supermarket) – these are toastable straight from the freezer. Top with butter and maple syrup or chocolate sauce.
Remember, parents: all these recipes still require time and effort. They are meant to be ideas which may work for you given how much time and help you have in the mornings. Keeping pantry staples like fresh milk, bananas, bread, cheese and eggs around will also help alleviate the guesswork for breakfast.
Good luck, and Bon Appétit!
by Hemala Devaraj
Hema loves spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes. She also shares simple and easy recipes which have worked for her at her website, The Sudden Cook. Together with her hubby, she is parenting twins and living in beautiful chaos every day.