3 easy breakfasts for busy families
Breakfast time midweek is pretty stressful for lots of us. Depending on what time you get up, most of us have around an hour to get clean, dressed, fed and packed up for the day before dashing out to work and school. It is no surprise that so many of us skip breakfast or grab something ready made once we’re out. So I’m sharing three easy breakfasts that can be made in less than 5 minutes.
As I see it, the main things getting in the way of making breakfast are time, money and skill. So here are three speedy portable breakfasts and tips on how to keep costs down. And I explain how to make them.
There are loads more breakfast recipes on my site. Some are fast, some are more suited to weekends. The ones I’ve added below are the ones we have most often mid week.
Money saving tips
Porridge is by far the best budget breakfast. Buy in bulk or from a value supermarket. The plainer the packaging the less it usually costs (and the better for the planet!). At the time of writing, a kilo bag of oats at Lidl is 75p and will make 20 servings, costing 3p each. You can get a similar size pack at Trader Joe’s in the US for $3 (15¢ a serving).
The best way to get fruit in to your diet on a budget is to buy frozen fruit or freeze your own. This avoids waste too as you only grab what you need. Frozen berries can be grabbed a handful at a time and added, still frozen to porridge. They cool the porridge down as they soften so you can eat it faster too. Keep an eye on what is in season as it will be cheaper. When you spot a bargain, or even better free fruit, grab it and make a compote or roast it then freeze in small servings.
Buy wholegrain bread when it is on offer and freeze it. Slices can be toasted straight from frozen which avoids wasting bread.
Time saving tips
1. Get ahead. If you have more time in the evening, get the breakfast things out before you go to bed.
2. Delegate. My boys are 6 and 8 and they’ve been making the microwave porridge below since they were 4. My 6 year old has now moved on to making scrambled eggs too.
3. One family, one breakfast. You are not a short order cook. Make one breakfast for everyone, let them pick out what they don’t like, no drama, or let them add what fruit they want but that’s it. After a week of fuss they should get it. Most of managed the pain of potty training for a week so we can do this!
Three easy breakfasts for busy families
1. Toasted wholegrain bread with peanut or almond butter and mashed banana.
Ready in: 5 minutes
Make it: Toast bread, wholegrain is best as it will give you fibre and extra nutrients. It will also keep you fuller for longer. Once it is toasted, spread it on one side with the nut butter, or if you don’t like nut butter use cream cheese. Peel a banana and use a fork to mash it onto the bread. If you need more sweetness, try sprinkling a little salt on the banana – weird but it works. Or drizzle a bit of honey on top. Cut in half or quarters and eat.
Make it portable: Either cut one piece of toast in half, or grab two pieces after adding the toppings and make them into a sandwich. If you’re using peanut butter, be mindful of anyone you’re eating this near (like me) as it may cause allergic reactions.
2. Scrambled eggs with toast and a piece of fruit
My 6 year old is on egg and toaster duty when we have this. We spent a few weekend mornings, when we have more time, teaching him how to do it safely and he’s a master now. He needs a bit of help lifting the pan to get the eggs onto the toast but that still gives me plenty of time to get on with other things. And he is so proud when we tuck in.
Ready in: 5 minutes
Make it: Toast the bread. While the bread toasts, heat a knob of butter in a nonstick frying pan until it foams. While the butter heats, crack 1-2 eggs per person into a bowl and whisk with a fork until the egg and yolk is combined. Use a silicone spatula to spread the melted butter around the base of the pan and then, on a medium high heat pour the egg into the pan. Use the spatula to stir the eggs constantly for a minute or two, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the egg is just set – I like mine really runny, you may need to cook them for longer, add a pinch each of salt and pepper, stir and serve on top of the toast.
Make it portable: Let the eggs cook so they’re more solid, like an omelette and squidge that into your toast for a sandwich. Eat the fruit after.
3. Porridge with fruit and plain yoghurt or nut butter
Ready: in 3 minutes
Make it: Buy plain old fashioned or rolled oats. The chunkier jumbo ones are my favourite but the finer ones are often much cheaper and a bit quicker to cook. Add some ground flax seeds to the oats before you add the water if you want a fibre and omega 3 boost.
For 4 people, pour a mug of oats (around 2 US cups) into a glass dish and top them with 3 mugs of warm or boiling water. Stir and put in the microwave for 4 minutes without stirring. After four minutes, take them out and stir them. Add a bit more water to get them to the consistency you like then serve with sliced banana, frozen blueberries, grated apple or whatever fruit you like. Add a bit of honey if you need to.
Or make my chocolate orange porridge to mix things up a bit and tempt small people away from coco pops.
For extra protein, add a spoon of plain full fat yoghurt or nut butter, or add some nuts or seeds or granola. If people are eating at different times they can just scoop the cooked porridge into a bowl and zap it for a minute before topping it.
Make it portable: Buy a lidded container that goes in the microwave or an insulated food flask (you can buy them on my shop) and pop your porridge and toppings in it. Wrap a spoon in a bit of paper towel and off you go.
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