The Washington Post

Breakfast: Stop the morning madness

 On Parenting will host guest bloggers on most Fridays. Today, Casey Seidenberg writes about eating well. She and partner Katherine Sumner run a company called Nourish Schools, aimed at advising schools, organizations and parents on the importance of childhood nutrition.

(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

To kick it off, I want to tackle the weekday morning. We’ve all heard, over and over again, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that feeding our kids a healthy breakfast will help them perform in school. But how does a busy parent pull this off when work e-mails are flooding in, library books are missing, the dog needs to go out and one child is still asleep 10 minutes before school begins?

I made it my personal challenge to conquer this morning madness once and for all. I want to send my boys off to school full of brain-building proteins and enough healthy carbohydrates to give them the energy they need to learn and last until lunch. And I want to do this without rushing, yelling, getting up at 4 a.m. or showing up to work with wet hair. So here’s what I did.

  Start planning on Sunday to make the rest of the week a breeze.  My husband makes a triple batch of almond pancakes or waffles and freezes the extras. Then during the week, I pop them in the toaster and onto my kids’ plates in a matter of minutes. My boys and I also have fun making power muffins that can be served in a flash on busy mornings.

Homemade granola is another easy breakfast to have on hand in your pantry. Make a huge batch one weekend a month and freeze half. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or a splash of almond milk, and give yourself another pat on the back for sending your kids off with a healthy, protein-rich meal.

Don’t forget about old-fashioned oatmeal. Make your own instant version by pouring a few cups of whole oats into a container and covering with filtered water. By soaking the whole grain overnight, it becomes quick cooking without losing the fiber that is removed from store-bought instant versions. It will last in the fridge for the week and will heat up in minutes!

End the morning with a big hug. When the morning rush sets in, the adrenaline starts to pump and the library book is still missing, remember to stop, breathe and hug your child. It seems to fill them with a kind of sustenance that is just as important as the food on their plate.

Casey Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company, and author of “The Super Food Cards,” a collection of healthful recipes and advice.



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