Saturday, August 24, 2013

Leader Enterprise - August 21, 2013 - Back to school breakfasts and snacks



'Labor and Delivery' are over - my 'BABY' has arrived! All 500+ copies of "LOVE AT FIRST BITE" were delivered last Wednesday and I have been one busy bee ever since. If you purchase one before any of my signings, please feel free to bring it to me so I can autograph it for you! Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement in this special season of my life.

(And if you have an interest to read more about the book, including ordering details, click  here)

Since school begins soon, I wanted to share these simple ideas for helping everyone have a smooth transition going into the new year. Research shows that kids who eat breakfast fare much better in school than those who don't.   It helps maximize school performance and helps them grow properly also. Consider these simple routine changes so your kids can begin 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. Many breakfast foods like this one can be made ahead, frozen, and reheated for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. 

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. Yield: 1 serving. 

INVISIBLE BANANA FRENCH TOAST
2 eggs
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.

These omelette 'muffins' are great for making on the weekend and reheating for a protein packed breakfast during the week. Add your family's favorite veggies and cheese and your kids will be begging for more.




MINI MUFFIN OMELETS

12 eggs (I used 11 so my pans weren't so full)
2 Tb. milk
1 c. chopped deli ham or cooked bacon or sausage
2 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
blanched veggies of choice
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 12 muffin tins generously with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix eggs and milk - pour evenly into pans. Sprinkle with add-ins, then salt & pepper. Bake 20 minutes. They come out of the pans a lot easier than I expected them to. 

How about making your own pop-tarts? They're easy enough for the kids to help with, and you'll know what's in them. They're frugal too! Great for breakfast or after school snacking.

HOMEMADE POP TARTS 

1 pkg. refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
Strawberry Jam

1 can strawberry or vanilla frosting
sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400. Cut dough into 3-inch rectangles. On one side, spread jam leaving about 1/2-inch on all sides. Top with another rectangle. Using a fork, crimp the edges to close. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or spray with cooking oil) and bake for 9 - 12 minutes until slightly browned. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack and place in fridge for about 5-7 minutes. (This will make frosting much easier...and we don't want those precious babes burning their mouths!).  Spread frosting on; top with sprinkles.
Here's a couple of ideas for healthy and fun after-school snacks. My Long-Time Favorite: Apple Smiles: Cut 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(Greek)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 (in NW Ohio) that will be cheaper to purchase the last part of August: apples, pears, grapes, broccoli, okra, nectarines, cabbage, summer squash, peppers, corn and tomatoes.