You wake up realizing the alarm didn’t go off, jolt out of bed, yell at the kids to get moving, grab a coffee or Coke to get going, and toss out Pop-Tarts like Frisbees to the kids as you load them up in the car. Sound like one of your days?
Well, as a mother of three kids, I know raising a healthy, happy family can sometimes pose a challenge. We all know the importance of a healthy breakfast for our kids and ourselves, but somehow reality gets in the way.
Let’s break this chain of events and look at some healthy starter meals and snacks to fuel you and your kids throughout the day. Let’s face it: You need to be functioning on all cylinders to be the superwoman/superman you are every day.
- Sunday is a great day to review a schedule with your kids and plan out a few simple meals. Do your shopping ahead of time to have the ingredients for those meals in
the fridge or pantry.
- Write the meals and snacks on a message pad or paper on the fridge for you and your kids’ sake. When the craziness hits, you can quickly make an egg sandwich for breakfast (for breakfast tips, see box below) or maybe have an apple and some peanut butter for a quick after-school snack. We all know our brains turn off and our stomachs take over when we are hungry or rushed, so we need a plan to fall back on.
- Double check your alarm and your kids’ alarms the night before. Plan at least 15 minutes for breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day. You won’t get far if you drive off without gas, just as your kids won’t function well if they don’t have good fuel for their brain. Quality is important (sugar cereal and Pop-Tarts don’t count)! Just like putting premium grade fuel into your tank, you want premium fuel to help your kids with their math test and for you to get through the day.
- If your kids don’t want to eat, try giving them a few choices with one being they can either eat or drink their breakfast, and make a gross-looking green shake as their second option. If your kids are like me, they may like that option anyway.
- Plan a healthy snack for when they arrive home, or send a protein bar in their backpack to eat before sports practice and have some chocolate milk ready afterward for a great “refueler” for the muscles.
- Make sure you have healthy snacks in your purse and work places so you can eat while you are on the go. A little trail mix goes a long way.