Hello October! We welcome you for bringing cooler temps, wonderful autumn colors, warm blankets, boots, warm cider and donuts. Glad for our summer weather that lasted a little longer than usual, but Autumn is most definitely my favorite season of the year. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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 a couple of 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.
Fruity Milkshake - In blender place 3/4 c. milk, 1/2 c. frozen whole strawberries and 1/2 cup vanilla Greek 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 pre-measured and bagged in small ziploc bags.
INSTANT OATMEAL ALA-HOME
1 - 18 oz. container quick cooking oats
1/3 - c. dry powdered milk (omit if lactose-intolerant)
1/2 - c. packed brown sugar, or less
1 - 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 - cup raisins or dried fruits, optional
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Label the container with directions. Yield: 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 1 TB. peanut butter to prepared oats, then add 1 - 2 TB. of chocolate syrup. It's very filling and satisfying.
Make "Apple Smiles" by cutting a red apple in half; core; then cut each half into 5 or 6 slices. On one side of each apple slice spread peanut butter, add 4-5 mini marshmallows (to represent teeth) to one side, then top with another slice, peanut butter side down. You'll have 2 'lips' and 'teeth'.
It won't be long and Old Man Winter will be here, 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.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. - Mr. Fred Rogers