Wee Cook Wednesday: What’s for Breakfast, Mom?

With September now upon us, most of us have already begun the “back-to-school” routine. Three out of four of us are not exactly morning people (Christopher’s energy seems to go into hyperdrive at 6:30 am), so finding a routine that works and sticking with it means the difference between arriving on time, wide-eyed and bushy tailed . . . or not.

Today I came across this article that offers lots of great ideas for no muss, no fuss breakfasts that even picky eaters will devour with enthusiasm.  I keep a supply of hard-boiled eggs (Sarah’s favorite) and Dinosaur oatmeal (Christopher’s) on hand, and on chilly mornings whip up a batch of cheese quesadillas to get the old furnace going. (Toast a couple of cheddar-filled tortillas on an olive-oil drizzled skillet for a minute on each side.)

While they’re munching, I put the finishing touches on lunch. More often than not, I have them eat hot lunch — especially during the winter months. But when they want or need to bring something from home, I try to keep it simple and appealing.

*  Pop a carton of pre-frozen yoghurt and a snack-sized bag of cut-up fruit, along with a small bag of pretzels.

*  Make an extra quesadilla, cut in quarters and wrapped in foil, into the lunch bag. A few carrot sticks add crunch.

*  Roll turkey and cream cheese around a dill pickle spear, stick through with toothpick. Raisins or prunes (which my kids love … go figure).

*  Ants in a log (cream cheese-filled celery dotted with raisins), and a small bag of Cheese-Its.

*  Hummus and pita chips (only once in a while … those chips are VERY high fat!)

*  “Mouse salad”: small scoop of cottage cheese holding a pear half in place. Raisins for eyes, almond slices for ears, licorice string for tail and whiskers. Include a small handful of crackers for scooping.

Especially in classrooms where peanut products are verboten, these simple lunches can be quickly consumed, and are appealing enough not to wind up in the dumpster.

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