My children are in a stage where unless breakfast is effortless (cereal or instant oatmeal), they won’t eat. This has forced me to add breakfast to my weekly meal planning. When I started, I thought making breakfast was going to be the worst. I dreaded it, so I tried making a few breakfast foods once a week and freezing them. It worked, but I didn’t like spending hours preparing a week’s worth of breakfast in one afternoon either. I don’t have three-four extra hours to flip pancakes and bake muffins.
What I’ve learned over the past few months is breakfast is a great balancing act. Instead of spending hours at once prepping meals. I make extra each morning to freeze for the days when I need a break. I have also started utilizing tools that make breakfast faster — a multi cooker, electric griddle, and waffle iron are my go-to breakfast tools.
I used to prepare my pancakes from scratch and cook them in a cast iron skillet two at a time. (With a dab of oil, it gave my pancakes these crispy edges that I really like.) Preparing them this way was no problem for our family of five, but now that we are a family of eight (with teens) — two at a time is a three hour job for one sitting. This is how I fell in love with an electric griddle. Instead of standing in my kitchen for hours to prepare 20+ pancakes, I can now make 6 – 8 at a time and be done with the entire meal in minutes!
Pancake Mixes: I used to make my batter from scratch, but it wasn’t any cheaper for me to do this. I purchase a bulk package (10 lbs) of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix and enjoy not worrying if we have milk or eggs available for breakfast.
Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!
My kids love waffles and I think they are an easy starter project for young cooks. Flipping a pancake can be intimidating (and messy) for kids to master, but waffles — waffles are easy! An eager 7-10 year old can easily pour a 1/4 cup of batter into each square, close the waffle iron lid, and wait for the waffles. This is how waffles are saving my morning sanity. Even if I start the task for them, I love being able to call in reinforcements when I’m feeling less ready than I’d like in the morning.
So many flavors, so many ways, the options, the options! Another reason I love waffles is there are a ton of recipes on Pinterest that will add variety to your week. Omelet waffles, hashbrown waffles, cinnamon roll waffles — even cake mix waffles for a special birthday morning!
Circle or a Squares? I get the most out of a 4-square/classic waffle iron and we waste less too! It is easier to convince a five year-old that his/her own square is, in fact, one complete waffle. It is not as easy to convince a little one that half of a circle is a complete waffle.
We Love Oats
Those boxes of flavored instant oatmeal can be expensive unless you find a great BOGO deal paired with a coupon (or two), so I’m always looking for an alternative. After making a monstrous mess one morning during an attempt to make overnight oats in the crock pot, I gave up on making our own oats for an entire year! Then, last Christmas, I received a T-Fal Multi-Cooker and fell in love with how easy it is to make an entire pot of oats! To make a basic oatmeal recipe, all I have to do is pour in the ingredients, close the lid, press the oatmeal button and walk away!
I make extra on purpose. But instead of placing our breakfast leftovers in the fridge (to forever be forgotten), I immediately prep them for freezer storage. This allows my husband the opportunity to enjoy a great breakfast before we wake up, and helps me on the days when I cannot get going.
How much too much? I don’t go overboard with my intentional leftovers. I prep and additional 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual amount of food I expect them to eat. For example, we average sixteen pancakes in one sitting so I make twenty-five pancakes at a time.
This Week’s Breakfast Menu
- Apple Hand Pies (made ahead)
- Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Blueberry Pancakes
- Sweet Potato Muffins
- (Weekend) Overnight French Toast
- (Weekend) Big Breakfast: Pancakes, Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes
Share your FAST breakfast tips in the comments below!
P.S. I found something this week that I thought you’d love! Check out this great video from the Pioneer Woman ~ Enjoy, Victoria
Additional disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post as a source of income for our family. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in anyway.