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Back-to-school breakfast: 3 get-up-and-go recipes to energize your kids in the morning

Three get-up-and-go recipes to get your kids off to a good start

Photo: Kevin Baird/Flickr


During the school year, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, setting our kids up for a day of mental and physical activity.  When September rolls around, hold off on the toaster pastries and whip some of these up instead.  A good, nutritious breakfast in the morning goes a long way in helping our little scholars make it through the long school day.


English muffin breakfast sandwiches

Kids love these little breakfast sandwiches, which are packed full of protein, giving them plenty of energy for the day.  They are easy and fast to prepare at home, and healthier than the kind you might find at a drive-through.  Turn the oven on as soon as you wake up in the morning, then the eggs can be baking as you make your coffee and pack your kids lunch.

Makes 4 sandwiches

4 eggs

Canola oil or spray

4 English muffins (regular, or whole wheat if you want to bump up the fiber)

4 slices of cheese (American or cheddar are good bets)

Optional:  A warm cooked sausage patty or a slice of ham is an easy addition to boost the protein even more for meat-loving kiddos.


Heat oven to 350°.  Grease 4 small ramekins (or a muffin pan if you don’t have any), and break an egg into each.  Break the yolk so that it spreads out a bit, but don’t mix it entirely.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until the eggs are set.

Meanwhile split the muffins crosswise.  Slide the eggs out of the ramekins with a rubber spatula, then inside each muffin stack an egg, a slice of cheese, and any optional toppings you might be using.  Pop the assembled sandwiches back in the oven until the muffins are heated and the cheese is starting to melt.

(Running late for the bus?  Wrap them in foil or wax paper for an easy breakfast-on-the-go.)


Baked peanut butter oatmeal

This baked oatmeal only contains a little sugar, but kids would just as happily eat it for dessert as they would breakfast.  It’s packed full of goodness, with fiber from the oats and protein from the peanut butter and flax.  Flaxseed is a great thing to feed our kids, as it contains omega-3s (which help boost immunity), protein (essential for growing bodies and minds), and it can help reduce fatigue (handy for long days of learning).  This tasty dish keeps well, so you can just as easily bake it the day before and reheat it in the morning.

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup peanut butter

1 ½ cups rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

¾ cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Milk for serving (optional)


Heat your oven to 350°.  Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.

Melt the butter in a small dish or pan then add the peanut butter and warm until softened.  Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the other ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined.  Transfer mixture to the greased dish and spread until even.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and set on top.  Serve with a little milk poured over, if desired.


Whole wheat berry pancakes

Pancakes can go a long way in helping to beat the back-to-school blues, and the promise of these on the table will make it easier for anyone to get out of bed.  Use your kids’ favorite berry, or whatever look best at the market; any will work in this adaptable recipe.  The 50/50 blend of regular and whole-wheat flour keeps these pancakes light whilst adding a nutritional boost.  Mix the dry ingredients together the night before, and this breakfast comes together in a flash on busy school mornings.

Makes 12 pancakes

¾ cup whole-wheat flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

¾ cup milk

2 eggs

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup berries (if strawberries, diced)

½ tablespoon canola oil

Maple syrup for serving


The night before, mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Transfer to an airtight container or resealable bag and set aside.

When you’re ready to make the pancakes, beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add buttermilk, milk, honey, and mix well.  Add the mixture of dry ingredients and mix until smooth, then fold in the berries.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Spoon in the batter, ¼ cup for each pancake.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges are dry and the tops are set.  Flip and cook for another minute, until cooked through and golden brown.  Serve pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, with extra fruit on the side if desired.  

Jo Eike is a writer and a cook always in search of her next favorite recipe.  She lives in Seattle with her husband and three children.

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