Thursday, February 23, 2012


Mornings start with the predawn jiggle of my mattress followed by a duvet clutching belay and ascent of one or more young climbers onto my bed.  Knees and elbows poke and push their way across my chest until a slew of small feet finally slip and settle under the warm covers.  Battered from the assault,  I'm awake and alert but miraculously, the intruders are instantaneously, deeply asleep.  After 15 minutes of gentle back rubs and subsequently more vigorous leg stroking, come wake-up songs in increasing decibel levels, followed by promises of the day's super-fun offerings, and ultimately, the prying open of eyelids.  The kids are up. 

PJ's and socks line the hallway while three bed-headed munchkins argue and jockey for the coveted first use of toilet.  There is another toilet approximately ten feet away in the guest bathroom, but that's not the point.  Everything is a battle in the morning.  Roo wants to wear a t-shirt under his long sleeved shirt. And then another short sleeved shirt on top of that.  And a sweater.  And a necklace.  Bean wanted to squirt her own toothpaste and needs to start her tooth-brushing over, which somehow entails taking off her socks.  Looly doesn't want ponytails, she wants braids.  Three upside-down fish-bone braids and 6 barrettes.  And we haven't even gotten to breakfast yet.

Looly wants oatmeal but Bean and Roo detest oatmeal.  Bean wants "something special" for breakfast.  She's not sure what it is yet, but it's definitely not anywhere in our refrigerator or pantry.  Roo wants salami. Just salami.  I promised last night that they could finish their Citiblock tower before school so no one wants to sit at the table.  And oh yeah, we're supposed to leave for school in exactly 3 minutes.


Snackfast is my best defense against busy morning food-related meltdowns.  It entails no sitting at the table, no separate meals for separate kids and no pressure.  The kiddos love it because they can squeeze in a little extra early morning play time before school, come and go as they please, and choose what they want to eat.  I love it because I don't have to negotiate over breakfast any longer. I make a plate, set it out, and bonus - wash 1 dish instead of 3.  Better still, the kids start off their day more nutritiously than they ever did with a plate of syrupy pancakes. 

Snackfast can be just about anything as long as it doesn't require silverware (though toothpicks are acceptable), not overly messy, and relatively nutritious.  I try to include a well-balanced array of foods (a protein, carbohydrate, and fruit or vegetable at a minimum) but what the kids actually eat is up to them.  I've found that in snackfast form, they are much more willing to eat beyond traditional breakfast fare...think veggies, whole grains, and meats in addition to fruits and muffins.  The possibilities are truly endless.  The only rule is that when it's time to walk out the door, snackfast is over.  Here are a few ideas to get started. 

  • Deli turkey, ham, or roast beef roll-ups
  • String cheese
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cheese curds
  • Squeeze yogurt 
  • Homemade frozen yogurt popsicles
  • Salami
  • Ham cut into sticks or cubes
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Edamame
  • Peanut butter (or Sunflower butter) on celery, toast, or crackers
  • Hummus
  • Sausage links
  • Bacon
  • Sushi 
  • Egg and cheese quesadilla triangles 
  • Mini quiches

  • Toast
  • English muffins
  • Mini waffles
  • Dry cereal
  • Pita triangles
  • Graham crackers
  • Mini bagels or Bagel Thins
  • Wheat thins or other crackers
  • Popcorn (for breakfast!)
  • Mini muffins
  • Rice cakes
  • Banana bread, blueberry bread, etc.
  • Rice balls
  • Granola bars
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole wheat pasta penne, rotini or other finger-friendly shape
  • Roti, naan, or other flatbread

Fruits and Veggies
  • Baby carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Cucumber slices
  • Baby corn
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Clementines or orange slices
  • Berries
  • Melon balls or slices
  • Bananas
  • Apple slices
  • Pear slices
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cherries or any dried fruit
  • Guacamole

No comments:

Post a Comment