Getting a healthy breakfast on the table for your kids before school is a common struggle whether you homeschool like Mary or have kids in school like me. I have a whole post full of tips and recipes for quick healthy breakfasts and this recipe is a great one to add to your rotation! Enjoy! -Katie
We just started our fourth year of homeschooling. Each year it gets a bit more challenging to fit all of our work into the day as my kids get older and we add more work and more kids into the mix.
We now have three school-aged kids and one toddler. Which means a lot of subjects to work through and attention to give.
I am a morning person, so I prefer to get started right away and try to complete most of our school work before lunch. That leaves the afternoon for free play, crafts, exploration, and more.
Last year I was getting frustrated because some days that would happen easily. While others it seemed like we barely got anything done by noon.
So this year I told the kids we are having an official start time to our school day. Everyone up by 7:00 am. School starts by 8:00 am. That means dressed, breakfast eaten, teeth brushed, hair done, chores done, and ready to learn.
As much as I like to let my kids move at their own pace, when you have four kids, a farm, and a business to run you have to figure out how to get things done! Not to mention working around breastfeeding and naps.
With a schedule in place we generally have much calmer days and more time to really dig into our work. But in order for my kids to be ready to go at 8:00 am we need one thing – easy breakfast.
Weekdays require prep-ahead or easy, kid-prep breakfasts. My general rule is no more than ten minutes of hands-on time to get breakfast on the table.
Back-to-School Breakfast Recipe
I know I’m not alone here. Whenever I ask my readers what their biggest struggle is when it comes to feeding their kids, hands down they say breakfast.
Parents easily get stuck in a breakfast rut or serve the same starchy, low-nutrient foods over and over (cereal, anyone?).
I do it too. I get creative with my dinner meal plans. But then I serve the same foods for breakfast. Let’s just say my kids aren’t singing my praises for their morning meals.
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What is a Healthy Breakfast?
Healthy is a relative term. What is healthy for one person may cause problems for another.
We’ve dealt with a multitude of food allergies and food sensitivities over the years. I could serve one child a bowl of oatmeal while another child might get a major stomach ache from it.
I define healthy as real, whole foods that your body tolerates well.
What does that look like at the breakfast table?
One day it might be scrambled eggs and sourdough toast with homemade jam. Another day it might be dairy-free yogurt with blueberries and strawberries from our freezer stash. Still another day it might be leftover veggies with hummus. Or maybe breakfast hummus! (One key component to a healthy breakfast is enough healthy fat.)
What is a Kid’s Favorite Breakfast?
While I doubt it’s very traditional in any sense, my kids, like most, love granola bars. To be fair, I think they are good too.
But I don’t always have time to make a batch, even if they are super easy.
So I came up with a way to get the taste of a granola bar without the work.
Healthy Granola Bar Bowl
Smoothie bowls have been popular for a while. It makes for a healthy alternative to cereal while still giving kids a bowl and spoon.
I’ve got a new kind of breakfast bowl that kids can prepare themselves. In fact, it’s so easy it’s almost not worth calling it a recipe.
But I will. Because I think simple recipes are the best recipes!
Take your favorite granola (store-bought with simple ingredients or make your own easy kettle corn granola) and stir in nut or seed butter and your favorite granola bar additions.
That’s it! You can make it big or small depending on your child’s appetite. You can work around allergies and even make it grain-free if need be. If you have adventurous eaters like I do, they can make their granola bar bowl as fancy or complex as they like (my daughter made one with chia seeds, dried cherries, and walnuts). Or if you have active eaters like my eight-year old they can just pile it high and start eating (he likes the traditional raisins and chocolate chips)! (Check out my Instagram feed for more details about these eating styles.)Print
A simple mix and eat breakfast for busy school mornings. Get the flavor of homemade granola bars without baking!
- Add the desired amount of granola into a cereal bowl.
- Stir in enough nut or seed butter to coat.
- Add mix-ins and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately.
- This can be scaled to make as many granola bar bowls as you need.
- A good portion for a child is 1/3 cup granola, 2 Tbsp. nut butter, and 2 Tbsp. mix-ins.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 350
- Sugar: 15
- Fat: 42
- Protein: 20
Keywords: granola, easy breakfast, kid breakfast, school morning, dried fruit
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Is Granola Healthy?
I know that everyone in the traditional food world has a different opinion about granola. Is it really a healthy food? Maybe it depends how you prepare it (soaked vs. unsoaked). Maybe you think all cold cereals are unhealthy.
Personally, I think it fits into a balanced, home-cooked, real food diet, traditional or not.
I have made granola using a variety of methods over the years – soaking and dehydrating the oats first, soaking the oats before mixing the granola, and just using them as-is. In the end I generally go for the easiest version. As long as everyone’s tummy seems to tolerate the granola that way I don’t worry about it.
It is possible to have a big batch of granola in the oven in less time than it takes for the oven to preheat! Simply mix rolled oats, avocado oil, maple syrup and/or honey, and salt in a big bowl. No melting or even measuring necessary. Just make sure the oats are all coated and adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Spread it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and you’re ready to go. Thirty minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F and you’ve just prepped a big batch of granola for the coming week (or month!). I like to make a big batch and store it in the freezer. You don’t even have to thaw it. It’s ready right from the freezer.
Beyond the Breakfast Bowl
Breakfast bowls are fun and delicious. But if you are looking for more I’ve got your solution.
After being stuck in my own breakfast rut for so long I created my free Breakfast for a Month ebook to not only help myself but help others as well.
It has over thirty recipes to help get your school mornings started the right way. Half of the recipes are ready to go when you wake up. The other half require fifteen minutes or less of hands-on time. Many of the recipes make big batches so you have extra to freeze for later.
Are you ready to move beyond cereal and toast every day? Grab your free ebook!
RELATED: Sheet Pan Pancake Recipe
Easy School Mornings
Although we school year-round, we are pretty laid back in the summer. Now that fall activities are starting and we are back to our full work-load it’s good to have a routine.
My oldest two generally get up on their own before 7:00 anyway. So does my toddler! I do make exceptions for my five-year old. She needs more sleep than her siblings. And since she is only five her structured school work is very minimal, so it’s easy to fit in any time. Some days she sleeps until 9:00! She’s still doing a lot of growing and catching up since she was sick as a baby.
We may not need to catch a bus in the morning. But we do like to get our day started on time with a healthy breakfast. And it’s totally doable!
Starting the morning with the taste of granola bars in bowl form is quickly becoming a favorite in our house.