Isn't it amazing how the fresh air,sunshine and summer activities cause some children to grow an inch or two(or more!)during summer break? I appreciate the thought in this short poem.
I saw my last year's teacher,
Had she shrunk an inch or two?
It took me time to figure;
she was no shorter,I grew.
Research shows that kids who eat breakfast fare much better in school.It not only helps maximize school performance, but helps them grow properly also. Consider these ideas to help simplify your routine so your kids can start the day out right by having time for breakfast.
Make sure homework is finished and the bags packed ready for school by bedtime.
Get up 15 minutes earlier if need be.
Give up TV and computer games before school.
Children should decide what they're going to wear to school before going to bed. Know where shoes are to save time. Relieve morning stress by planning ahead.
Here's some easy ways to get nutrition in your kids in the morning. Breakfast doesn't have to be a victim of the early AM rush. Some of these things can be eaten on the go. Be sure to stock healthy foods;allow children to choose favorite yogurt or cereal when shopping.
Breakfast Split - place vanilla yogurt in a bowl, top with fresh banana slices,strawberries,raspberries or favorite fruit and top with granola. Place in a disposable cup or bowl and let children eat breakfast on the way to school if need be.
Banana Pancakes - Mix 1/2 banana with 3/4 cup milk in blender. To 1-1/4 c. pancake mix, add 1 lg. egg, 2 TB.peanut butter,1 TB. oil,and banana milk. Cook until bubbly;turn. Top with peanut butter.
Fruity Milkshake - In blender place 3/4 c.milk, 1/2 c. frozen whole strawberries and 1/2 cup (frozen) vanilla yogurt. Cover with lid; process until smooth.Pour into glass. 1 serving.
I was thrilled to find a recipe for making your own instant oatmeal. Those little packets are handy, but cost more. Have your children help make this and they'll be more excited about eating it. There are options listed so it doesn't have to be boring. It's a real money-saver as everyone gets their favorite flavor without the expense. To speed time, the oatmeal mixture may be premeasured and bagged in small ziploc bags.
INSTANT OATMEAL ALA-HOME
1-18 oz container quick cooking oats
1/3-cup dry powdered milk (omit if lactose-intolerant)
1/2-cup packed brown sugar,or less
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1-cup raisins or dried fruits
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Label the container with directions. Yields 16 servings.
To prepare oatmeal: scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal mixture into a bowl and mix with 3/4 cup water. Add more water if you prefer it thinner; less water if you like it thicker. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir and enjoy. Older children can help younger ones.
-Fruit/cream-add 1 TB. nondairy coffee creamer and 2 TB. dried fruit,or applesauce.
-S'Mores-add 6 mini marshmallows and 1 TB.milk chocolate chips to prepared oatmeal.
-Celebration-add 1 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. "Pop Rocks"-this is fun for a birthday.
-No-Bake Cookie-(my personal favorite. Stir in a TB. peanut butter to prepared oats,then add 1-2 TB.of (lite) chocolate syrup. It's very filling and satisfying.
The following recipe is both delicious and easy - and is found in my new cookbook. This may be made ahead and re-warmed in the microwave. Add some bacon or sausage to provide sustaining protein in the morning.
INVISIBLE BANANA FRENCH TOAST
1 banana, sliced
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
6 slices white bread
1 TB. margarine or oil
Place eggs,banana slices and cinnamon in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl-heat margarine. Dip bread into batter and fry. Serve with warm maple syrup or even peanut butter. For a quicker breakfast, roll up and eat on the go.
Here's a couple of ideas for healthy and fun after-school snacks. Make Apple Smiles by cutting a red apple in half; core; then cut each half into 4-5 slices. On one side of each apple slice spread peanut butter, add 4-5 mini marshmallows (to represent teeth), then top with another slice, peanut butter side down. You'll have 2 'lips' and 'teeth'.
BANANA MONKEY CRUNCH
1-14 oz. can crushed pineapple,drained
3 cups vanilla yogurt
1(4-serv.size) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 c. granola cereal
2 bananas, sliced
Drain pineapple juice into large bowl. Add yogurt and pudding mix to juice and whisk until smooth and thick,about 2 minutes. Add crushed pineapple; stir well. Let stand a few minutes or refrigerate. Spoon into dessert bowls. Top with granola and banana slices.
Here's a list of seasonal foods that will be cheaper to purchase in the month of September:
Apples, bell peppers, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, grapes, mangoes, melons, onions, pears, pistachios, plums, potatoes, pumpkins, summer and winter squash, tomatoes.
We've had a heat wave this summer, but winter is just around the corner, so enjoy time outdoors as much as you can. And keep canning and freezing those fruits and veggies to enjoy when the snow is blowing when they will taste extra good.