5 Simple Ways To Get Breakfast on the Table (for Less)

It isn’t easy feeding 9 people every morning, but since what my kids eat for breakfast influences the rest of our day, it is important to me that they start the day with a good (usually) healthy breakfast. Feeding that many kids cereal is usually out of the question because my kids can easily go through 2 or 3 boxes in one meal, not to mention a gallon of milk! I wrote a few years back about the importance of a hot breakfast and I can see the difference in my kids’ behavior and hunger level if they eat a hot breakfast vs cereal in the morning.

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Here are five simple tips that help me get breakfast on the table every morning.

Menu Plan

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Every Sunday I sit down and plan a week of meals, and that includes breakfast. I make sure I have all the ingredients I need for breakfast before the week begins. This includes making sure we have enough syrup since pancakes and waffles are a staple around here. :) I also make sure I have fruit prepared for them to eat with their breakfast (although they don’t always want to eat it).

Make Ahead

Whenever I make bagels, pancakes, waffles, French toast or biscuits I always quadruple the recipe so I can freeze the extras. These extras are used for mornings when we get a late start or need to be somewhere early and I don’t have time to cook breakfast. There are also some great make ahead breakfast recipes that can be made the night before and put in the oven that morning to save time in the kitchen. A few of our favorites are freezer French toast and baked peanut butter oatmeal. Since I grind our grain to make most of our breakfast meals I try to do that the night before so I don’t wake up the kids with the mill in the morning.

Involve the Kids

My older two children make breakfast twice a week. This gives me extra time in the morning to get things done outside of the kitchen. The other days of the week my younger children help make breakfast so that when they are older they will know how to do it by themselves.

Collect Breakfast Recipes

Having a variety of breakfast recipes keeps everybody happy in the morning. While I do have one or two kids who would be happy to eat waffles every morning, everyone else would like variety. I try to add a new recipe in the mix every few weeks and get feedback from the kids. If they like it, it is added to the breakfast rotation, if not we don’t make it again and have an early lunch!

Stock up on Sales

Do you see what is cooking in my oven this morning? Pillsbury biscuits that I purchased on sale for pennies a can. I also stock up on cereal when I can buy it for under a dollar a box. We usually have one morning a week that is on your own. This means everyone gets their own breakfast without mom’s help. Usually that means cereal, oatmeal, eggs, toast, or leftovers.

Anyone who knew me 15 years ago would laugh at this post. I was the cereal queen! We often had 15 to 20 boxes of cereal in our kitchen at one time. Not only did we eat it for breakfast, we also ate it for lunch and dinner on occasion! As our family grew I realized I couldn’t afford the cost or the behavior issues that came from eating Lucky Charms and Trix every morning so I learned how to make breakfast. I am thankful that our large family made me reconsider what I fed the kids for breakfast. My kids are less hyper and less hungry in the morning when they eat a whole grains, protein and fruit each day. While I can’t say that we have kicked the Lucky Charms habit for good around here (who doesn’t like marshmallows for breakfast every once in a while) it isn’t the norm and I feel like my family has benefited from the change.

For more insight into what other large families do for breakfast visit Smockity Frocks, The Common Room, Raising Olives, and Life in a Shoe.


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Comments

  1. Diana says:

    Ditto! My favorite go-to breakfast (I am not a morning person!) is to toast bread and put peanut butter and jelly/honey on it. Hot breakfast with no oven heat or extensive prep time!

  2. Great post. I only have 4 here (compared to your nine.. wow that IS impressive!) But I recently tried tripling the waffle recipe I use from the weekend and froze the rest. I’ve got to tell you, it made my week SO much easier (as we make hot breakfasts too).

  3. TheHappyHousewife says:

    I only have 7 children, but 9 total. :) Glad to know you had success with freezing waffles- that is something I do all the time, love it!

  4. Shirley Dunn says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast. I really want to make breakfast from scratch because it’s so much healthier, but I’m not a morning person. So if all of my ducks are in a row, I prepare mixes (if it’s going to be pancakes 0r muffins) the night before. But even that doesn’t always happen. For me, it seems to go in cycles. Either, I’m organized, or I’m not! I suppose at some point, I’ll get it together. Until then, I’ll just keep reading your posts! because they inspire me to keep trying.

  5. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Definitely keep trying! I am not a morning person either, but it makes such a difference with my kids! Because we homeschool I start a day a little later to accommodate a bigger breakfast, but I know not everyone has that option.

  6. karen says:

    I’ve been freezing egg/meat/cheese sandwiches on English muffins–just 90 seconds in the microwave and you are out the door. My two year old loves these!

    I’m from a big family and cereal was a special treat. We had eggs, biscuits, and meat every morning–REAL breakfast!

  7. I have to admit I’ve thought of using my wheat grinder as an alarm clock for the kids some days… ;-) But it’s never gone farther than a thought! And I’m not a morning person either – but with planning ahead it goes easier.

  8. Serenity says:

    While pregnant with my last baby I got out of the hot breakfast habit. My kiddos ask for snacks ALL morning (plus they are grumpy!) when they eat cereal so I think that making a hot breakfast saves me time over the course of the morning. I plan on making bagels with my girls this weekend :)

  9. Merrilee says:

    I have done this too! My husband loved the Jimmy Dean ones from Costco, but they got expensive. I use my electric skillet & can do 6+ fried eggs at a time.

    Thanks for the post today. I am stuck in a rut and have been having a hard time making breakfast happen. (I also have an almost 3 week old baby, which is a big part of the problem.) I needed these reminders. :)

  10. Christin says:

    Oh I hear you! I am a cereal junkie myself. I love cereal. But I just had my 5th baby and like you said, we got through way too much cereal and it is not filling for them. I’ve recently began phasing it out, too and mornings have become more pleasant. I need a few more items to make for a better variety.
    I enjoy cereal as a snack for myself. Sometimes my kids will have cereal and fruit as a SNACK but we just cannot afford to buy all that cereal…only for it to be unsatisfying (for filling bellies) anyways! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! :)

  11. Lisa says:

    So, my question is about syrup – do you make your own? or what kind do you buy that doesn’t have HFCS in it? My kids don’t exactly like the taste of ‘real maple syrup’-too bad for them, just curious. thanks, Lisa

  12. Leigh says:

    The bread w/ the cinnamon looks delicious!

  13. Nikki says:

    I am so thankful I found this post! I was doing well about 5 weeks ago, but I have fallen off the breakfast wagon, and we are back to eating cold cereal! I will do better! Thanks for all the recipes and ideas!

  14. keli says:

    OK, HOW did you get your kids to kick the cereal habit? If my oldest can’t have cereal, he just won’t eat. Occasionally, he’ll eat a pancake or maybe some toast, but that’s only about twice a month. He will let me cut up a banana in it, but I can’t do that when he’s in school! My youngest LOVES breakfast foods – oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, you name it. He’ll eat breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  15. Marni says:

    You always have the most wonderful kitchen tips. You inspire me.

  16. Serena says:

    My hubby & I don’t have any children yet, but I am definitely learning the benefits of a good, healthy breakfast–and no sugary cereals for me! I’m hypoglycemic, and after meeting with the dietitian this week, I have some changes to make! I will have to try those homemade bagels–look yummy!!

  17. Kristi says:

    During the school week, my kids get either a slice of homemade bread toasted, with peanut butter or jelly, ‘real’ cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal hot off the stove (no instant in this house!) or an oat muffin. We do a big family breakfast on Sunday were we all sit down as a family, and my fiance cooks the breakfast (VERY nice treat for me! LOL) We buy ONE box of cereal a week, and allow the kids to have cold cereal only on Saturday mornings and even then it’s Honeycomb or Honey Nut Cheerios. Diet control is a BIG deal in our house, since my daughter used to be on meds for ADHD. A little bit of research and she’s been on her meds now for 3 years due to the diet changes. Nothing really major, just no fast food, and nothing in a box!!!

  18. Kristi says:

    EKKKKK!!! I meant to say she’s been OFF her meds now for 3 years!!! LOL

    Time for more coffee, while I make some whole wheat cinnamon pancakes for the freezer!! :)

  19. Jillian says:

    Time to step up to the plate as my 3 boys get bigger and hungrier. On the weeks where I do prepare ahead of time, my days go by so much smoother.

    Thanks for the tips. Found you on Twitter BTW.

  20. Dana says:

    Great post! We don’t have kids yet but I’ve tried to start working on things like batch cooking and doing more homemade stuff than pre-packaged stuff in anticipation of the future kiddos! I know breakfast really is the most challenging. I recently made a bunch of homemade oatmeal blueberry muffins to keep in the freezer, so that was a postive step :)

    Thanks SO much for passing on the baked peanut butter oatmeal recipe. I am SSSOO excited about trying this. My husband and I mix peanut butter into our oatmeal ALL the time and this would be a great options to keep in the fridge for him to heat up before work.

  21. Mandy says:

    Love these ideas (and RECIPES)!! :) Can’t wait to give them all a try!! Especially the ones I can make in bulk and freeze portions!! Yay!

  22. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Nice to meet you!

  23. kelly says:

    hi, saw your question..i had he same problem out of 7 kids only 1 likes real syrup..now log cabin makes theirs with no hfcs (says it on the front of label)and the kids all like it!!(hunts ketchup same ..no hfcs!!

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