Your New Back-To-School Routine: Batch Cooking Breakfast
Back-to-school means new routines for the entire family. While this change in daily patterns can be stressful, there’s one routine recommended by the Coborn’s Dietitian Team that can set the stage for a successful kick off to the new school year – breakfast batch cooking.
In batch cooking, key meal elements are prepared in advance to make daily meal prep quicker. Given the pace of hectic school mornings, pre-prepping breakfast meals over the weekend ensures all family members start their day with a nutritious, quick and convenient breakfast. There’s no need to stop and think “what’s for breakfast?” every morning, as you’ve planned it out in advance.
While we’re not the first to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what you may not know is that only 18% of breakfasts include fruit and less than 6% include vegetables. Batch cooking breakfast can ensure kids and parents alike start their day with at least one fruit or vegetable.
Breakfast meals that are perfect for batch cooking include:
- Omelet cups made in muffin tins. Use leftover vegetables in your refrigerator such as spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and onions, and consider adding spice with seasonal ingredients like hatch chili peppers. Once the omelet cups cool, individually wrap them. On busy weekday mornings, microwave for a quick, hot breakfast.
- Blueberry Protein Walnut Breakfast Bars, our featured recipe, is a great example of how to optimize nutrition by pairing nutrient dense foods, like blueberries and walnuts. Combined they provide protein, good fat and fiber. Make a batch of the bars on Sundays, cutting into portions perfect for your ages of children. You now have a grab-and-go breakfast ready for the week ahead.
- Bento Box Breakfast. In a plastic container that has segments, place finger friendly fruits like orange or tangerine slices or berries in one segment, nuts, such as walnuts in another, and string cheese in another. Pre-pack the containers and refrigerate so they’re ready to grab as you head out to the carpool on busy school mornings.
- Customized smoothie packs. Based on flavor preferences of your family members, use small containers or baggies to package fruit and vegetables with added plain yogurt or your favorite nut butter, and then freeze. On weekday mornings, set out milk and the blender for each person to make their own smoothie.
Starting this new routine means setting aside some time over the weekend to prep, but the reward of knowing your family starts off on their day with a nutritious breakfast that includes fruit and vegetables is a valuable payoff.
Happy & healthy eating,
Amy, RD, LD