I must confess. As a single mom, I rarely make breakfast for my kids. There simply isn’t time. I doubt that I need to tell you that our schedule is busy. Between homeschooling and my full time (work at home) job, time is at a premium. I imagine your life is much the same way. The trouble with this busy life was that my kids were mostly eating boxed cereal and tubes of yogurt everyday. Not only were they were getting tired of that, I was struggling to find healthy options and my budget was getting desperate for relief.
So I started thinking about how I could change the breakfast dilemma. While I’ve been making monthly freezer meals for quite some time, I hadn’t really considered prepping breakfast like this. Well, that is, until recently.
I created a breakfast plan that you prepare once and eat for 2+ months. That alone sounded pretty good to me, but it gets better. I created it so that my children could prepare breakfast for themselves each morning! Yep, you read that right. With the DIY Breakfast Station, my children (from 9 years old all the way down to 3) can handle breakfast on their own. (The 3 year old asks an older sibling to help with the microwave.)
I’ve got to tell you. This one thing has saved my life. No more whining about not wanting cereal again and no more begging for lunch by 10am. My kids have quick healthy options that last all morning!
How the breakfast station works—>
I put together a menu and a shopping list. I used many of my favorite recipes and typed up copies to go into my menu binder. (This is the binder of recipes that I use to make freezer meals for dinner. I just added a tab with breakfast recipes, too!)
Then with the help of my kids we prepped 240 servings of breakfast in just under 3 hours one afternoon. (Yes, even your little ones can help!) I bought [easyazon_link asin=”B002BDTETW” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”notcons-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]plastic shoeboxes[/easyazon_link] for each of the 6 breakfast choices. Next I printed 2 sets of labels: one for the top and one for the front side. The labels contain instructions for how many of each item the children may have, as well as how to cook that item if needed.
I place the freezer items in my freezer. (If you are short on space, use large ziploc bags instead of the boxes.) I place the counter items together in the corner of the kitchen to form our “breakfast station.” On the fridge, I hang a menu that helps the children remember what their breakfast choices are. When an item runs out, we just cross it off.
That’s it. Now I’ve got 240 servings of DIY breakfasts for my kids. If you divide those 240 servings by 4 kids, I have enough breakfast for 60 days! Can you see why I’m doing the happy dance right now?
I set out to create a better menu than what we were eating, but I needed items that were frugal and simple. Plus, I wanted breakfast to be healthy and sustaining. So, the menu includes: yogurt filled crepes, oatmeal muffins, energy balls, instant oatmeal packs, gluten-free cereal, pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars, and breakfast burritos.
Note for gluten-free families: We make all of these recipes gluten free easily by using GF oats, GF flour mix, and GF tortillas.
Of course, I want to empower you to take back your mornings, as well. So, I have made a downloadable Breakfast Station pack just for you!
What is included in the pack—>
A menu plan for 240+ servings of breakfast (easily adaptable to create more/less)
A complete shopping list
6 make-ahead breakfast recipes
Labels for each of the breakfast bins, plus 2 blanks to fill in your own idea.
A menu to hang on the fridge or in the breakfast station area (3 varieties: one with a verse, one without out, one blank for you to fill in)