6 Quick Breakfasts for Busy School Mornings

Sep 2, 2016

It can be rough come September to shake the family out of its lazy summer schedule and back into the Monday-to-Friday groove. For us, most of that struggle is in the morning. It’s essential to start the day with a good breakfast for maximum functionality until lunchtime and this is especially true for growing kids who need to be alert at school (without relying on multiple cups of coffee like some of us parents do). Here are a few ways you can plan breakfast ahead of time for rushed mornings, grab to go, or make quickly when precious morning minutes are ticking away.

If You Have 2 Minutes

Breakfast Biscotti

Twice-baked biscotti are great for breakfast; play around with this basic recipe for Orange-Almond Breakfast Biscotti, adding nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and flavourings like orange, lemon and vanilla. It makes a large batch and they store well, making them ideal to make ahead, and are easy to nibble as you walk. They're also perfect for dunking in coffee. If your kids don’t like hard biscotti, skip the second baking step and you’ll have soft cookies that are still easy for little hands to handle.

A pile of biscotti on a baking tray.

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If You Have 5 Minutes

Make-Ahead Muesli 

Muesli is like a cross between oatmeal and granola — oats are mixed with yogurt and grated apple, then refrigerated so that the grains absorb the moisture and soften. (Try a ratio of 2:1 yogurt to old-fashioned oats, plus about half an apple, or a whole one if it’s a large batch.) You can do this in single batches by the jar, or make a bowlful and divvy into jars to stash in the fridge until you’re ready for it. Top with crunchy nuts or seeds, berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, if you’ve used unsweetened yogurt.

Cheese Toast

A sort of open-faced grilled cheese is only one step away from toast, with a protein boost! Toast your bread of choice, lightly butter it and grate over some cheese. Run under the broiler in the toaster oven or zap it in the microwave to melt. If you have leftover ham or veggies in the fridge — or even some chunky tomato sauce or ratatouille — spread some on your toast before adding the cheese.

Toast piled with melted cheese.

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If You Have 10 Minutes

Microwave Frittata or Breakfast Sandwich

Crack two eggs into a small ramekin (if you like, rub it with butter or oil or spray it with nonstick spray first) and stir quickly with a fork. If you like, add a bit of shredded cheese, leftover chopped ham or veggies, or anything else you like with your eggs. Cover loosely and microwave on high for about a minute, or until the egg is cooked through. Eat straight from the ramekin or lift it out and place between a fresh or toasted English muffin for a quick breakfast sandwich.

French Toast Bites

If there’s some days-old bread in the house, whisk together an egg and splash of milk, dice a thick slice of bread (or bun, or baguette) into chunks and toss them in the egg-milk mixture to coat. Get out a pan, set it over medium-high heat with a dab of butter and drizzle of oil, and saute the bites until they’re golden. While they’re still warm, toss in a shallow bowl of sugar spiked with cinnamon. These are easy to set out on the table for everyone to nibble as they scramble to get ready, or take with you to go.

A bowl filled with cinnamon-sugar crusted bites of French toast.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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