Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of School - What's for Breakfast?

I blinked and it was gone. Or almost. Summer that is. We're already half-way through August, and the CNE starts tomorrow. As much as I adore the CNE it definitely signals the death knell of summer vacation in Toronto. It's a great way to go out though.

This summer has been pretty low-key. There's been lots of sleeping in, not too much rushing out the door in the mornings. Breakfast has been relaxed, often delayed, enjoyed at leisure. But these days are soon to come to an end. In just over two weeks I'll once again be struggling to get a good meal into my Little Boo as I fight with him about getting out of bed and ready for school.

Breakfast really is such an important meal, and without a good base in their bellies, kids will find it hard to focus in school and learn. Eating a balanced breakfast with good protein, fibre and whole grains will give kids the fuel they need to get through to lunch time, feeling full and satisfied. We may not manage a perfect breakfast every day, but on the first day back I'm putting in an extra effort to make a special meal to send him off on the right foot. Pancakes and bacon!!

Too ambitious you say? Not really. I often use a boxed pancake mix when I'm in a rush. They mix up and cook really quickly. An even better idea is to use your favourite made-from-scratch recipe and cook up a big batch of pancakes on the weekend, bag and freeze. You can readily heat as many as you need in just a few seconds in the microwave on a busy school morning. Little Boo is even know to just grab one in his hand and eat it on the go.

The bacon will provide some protein in the meal. If you use a pre-cooked variety, like the Maple Leaf Ready Crisp you can have delicious crispy bacon in less than a minute, again from your microwave. Toss in a handful of berries for a nicely balanced breakfast.

Of course, since it's the first day of school, I want to make the pancakes extra special. Using a mold or cookie cutter gives your pancakes a fun shape. We especially like the Mickey heads we picked up at Disney. Be sure to spray the inside of the molds first so the batter doesn't stick. I also like to add surprises to the pancakes. Chocolate chips, blueberries, thinly sliced apple are all great choices. Just toss them in once the pancake has started to set on the first side. When you flip the pancake the ingredients will be hidden (won't go right through to the other side) until your little one takes a bite.

Now I just need to get him moving in time to be able to fully enjoy his back to school brekkie. I think the allure of bacon should do the trick nicely.

What about you? Do you plan to make a special breakfast for the first day of school? What are some of your faves for busy mornings?

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