In my house, back to school means saying goodbye to summer lounging and hello to a steady routine and schedule. These busy days also mean that the lazing and grazing of summer is behind us, and nourishing meals are a must to keep us all going. That’s why it is so important for every one of these bustling, hustling days to begin with breakfast. Now is the perfect time of year to rethink your morning meal and incorporate some new foods and variety into your day. Here are some of my children’s favorite ways to happily fuel up before zooming off to school. The Not-So-Traditional Hot Cereal A warm bowl of grains is a perennial fixture on many breakfast tables, but don’t get stuck in an oatmeal rut! There are many ways to mix it up and get a rotating variety of flavors and nutrients in your bowl:
- Buckwheat is a great one to start with as in Apple-Scented Breakfast Oatmeal and Buckwheat. Interestingly, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all. I also like adding the ancient grain amaranth and chopped apples to this recipe; it’s especially perfect in fall.
- Millet is another ancient grain that works well in the morning hot pot as in Millet Breakfast Cereal with Mandarin Oranges and Dates. Since millet takes a little longer to cook, I’ll make a large batch and then reheat some as needed over the next couple of days. Each of my kids will then top it off with their preferred additions.
- This same make-ahead plan can also be done with brown rice. For a sweet and warm morning cereal try Almond Brown Rice Pudding.
- If you’re looking for a grain-free option, experiment with one of my staple breakfast foods, chia seeds. These little seeds transform when you soak them, and my kids love them. Chia Pudding is a fun recipe to try, and adapts easily to whatever spin or spice you’d like to add. Cinnamon and fresh fruits and berries work wonderfully in this “pudding” as well.
- Try this Winter Vegetable Soup or this Chicken and Brown Rice Soup for a cozy morning.
- Miso soup is also a wonderfully satisfying morning food. In fact, it’s a breakfast staple in Japan. Some great and easy miso soup recipes are the Winter Miso Soup, Miso Soup with Garlic and Ginger, or the Cool Weather Miso Soup.