SchoolFamily Voices

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Parents often start the school year with every intention of providing their families with breakfast in the morning. But all too often, they soon find themselves struggling with their kids about what they will and will not eat.

To avoid the battle at breakfast, it helps to have a plan in place before the school year begins.

  • Keep it simple. Breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated. Breakfasts can be simple, tasty and even fun. The morning meal can be made more interesting by giving traditional items a tasty twist, such as sprinkling a mixture of fresh fruit and raisins onto yogurt.


  • Offer choices. Come up with a series of fun breakfast choices. Think of mixing and matching different ingredients. This will keep breakfast interesting for your kids and you won’t need to figure out what to serve in the middle of the hectic morning routine.


  • Involve your kids.  Let them in on the breakfast planning. If they have some ownership in the menu, chances are they’ll be more interested in eating the meal. If possible, have them help prepare breakfast items that can be made ahead of time, such as preparing a fruit salad in the evening for breakfast the next day.


  • Respect your child’s morning mood. Figure out how to best pace your morning to maximize breakfast time for your children. Some kids do best when they eat first and then get dressed and ready for school. Others need to be completely ready for school before they can even think about eating.  

To get started, consider some of these fun breakfast recipes:

  • "Wafflewich with Nutella®: Spread a whole-grain waffle with Nutella® hazelnut spread, sprinkle with diced fresh fruit, and top with shaved coconut. Top with a second waffle, cut in half, and serve sandwich-style.
  • Best Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is simple! Just blend a banana with a cup of vanilla yogurt, milk, and a touch of honey. Substitute other fruits to make a variety of smoothies.   
  • Grab-N-Go Granola Bars: A nice combination of oats, cereal, nuts and fruits that’s baked and then served. These bars also freeze well.
Tagged in: Breakfast Cooking

My daughter did it. She made her first sale—of cupcakes! A friend needed 60+ birthday cupcakes for her daughter’s class at school and the after school birthday party.

After checking with a gourmet shop my friend realized they were charging between $2-3 per cupcake! Let’s just say my kiddo charges much less than that. And we think she does a pretty darn good job! (The “Shark” cupcake she’s holding in the photo was for her little brother’s birthday.)

I can’t say she’s always been a superstar in the kitchen—soupy red velvet cupcakes (what did she forget to add?), and mint chocolate cupcakes (when the peppermint ran out she used mint flavoring instead, which tasted like toothpaste).

But she’s been creative and brave in the kitchen for many years. And she keeps on trying.

I have to thank/blame my husband for all three of my kids’ willingness to experiment gastronomically. He has been perfecting the mostest-bestest chocolate chip pan cookies for 15+ years! Every Sunday night he whips up a batch from “memory,”’ which, translated, means a slightly different version each time (sometimes awesome… sometimes NOT so awesome). The kids know that when dad’s in the kitchen anything’s possible. Are we out of chocolate chips? How about marshmallows instead? Should we try adding cocoa powder? Peanut butter? You get the picture.

I’m willing to try new recipes, and I will experiment a little bit especially with dinner ideas. But when it comes to baking, I’m a stick-to-the-recipe kind of girl. My kids get the bake-outside-the-cake-mix gene from their dad.

Back to my daughter: She’s been a cupcake-making fool the past 3-4 months. Here are a few of her culinary creations:

  • One more set of cupcakes for the youth church group
  • And of course… those 60 birthday cupcakes (cha-ching!)

Since it took a long time to put all those cupcakes together, she quickly learned that her per hour rate for all those cupcakes wasn’t high enough. “I think I make more money babysitting,” she said after the cupcake sale. But she likes baking more than child caring, so maybe that’s okay.

And since she’s not in this commercial endeavor alone, you can guess who serves as the cupcake-making-assistant, grocery purchaser, and [sigh] kitchen cleaner-upper more often than not. Yes, that’d be me. But I try not to grumble because I love that she experiments in the kitchen. I love that she makes her own refreshments for parties. And I especially love what she’s learning about money and business.

Cupcakes, anyone?



Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?