9.12.2011

10 Tips to Help Your Morning Routine Go from Rough Seas to Smooth Sailing

It can happen.  One wrong move in the morning, and your morning routine goes from smooth sailing to rocky seas.  There could be a battle over shoes, brushing teeth, or what’s on the plate for breakfast. Rocky seas during my morning routine make me nauseous, and it gets my schedule off balance.

I don’t know about you, but I want my mornings to be smooth sailing.  Don’t we all?



I recently participated in a great discussion over at theMotherhood about morning routines and breakfast in America.  Kellogg’s, who recently conducted one of the largest surveys in America, sponsored the virtual talk.  What their survey revealed is shocking.

 Seventy-seven percent of young children eat breakfast every day, but the number falls to 50 percent in the middle-school years and to only 36 percent among high school students.
 
 Results show 54 percent of all adults would like to eat breakfast every day, but in reality only one-third (34 percent) actually do. 
 
Research shows us that although 89 percent of moms want their kids to eat breakfast every day, 40 percent report that their child does not eat breakfast daily.

During our discussion, I mentioned that the early start times of middle and high school days may have a direct impact on this lack-of-breakfast trend.  When I was in school, I started at 8:15 a.m.  Fast-forward 27 years, and the majority of the middle and high schools where I reside now start as early at 7:25 a.m.  I’ll be the first to say it: That’s like going to school as soon as the rooster crows.  Don’t you think?


These are tweens and teens.  They want to sleep in.  Morning is not their friend. The last thing they want to do is get up at 5 a.m. in order to get to the bus.  If they do sit down to eat breakfast, they are probably snoozing in their cornflakes.  I don’t have tweens, and as a mom in my forties, I’m kind of glad that by the time my kids are at that age I’ll be in the AARP category and my menopausal body will probably have me up early anyway.

The bloggers who co-hosted with me, as well as Sarah Woodside, M.S., R.D., and Nutrition Business Partner at Kellogg, had some great ideas to share on how to reduce the morning craziness in your home and still get the breakfast nutrition you need for a productive day.  You can get a full recap of our conversation here at theMotherhood, but here are the top ten tips to help your family have smooth sailing in the morning and a full tummy before heading to school.

·      Do as much as possible the night before school. Fill the backpacks, prepare the snack and lunches, sign any paperwork, and pick out clothes.  If you have to be at the bus at 6 a.m., I would say sleep in your clothes, but you would have too many wrinkles.  Instead, have them by the bed so no decisions have to be made that will take time off the clock.

·      Try to rise before the kids so you can have the time you need in your schedule to get ready, have coffee, and eat breakfast, too.  I eat Greek yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, or high-protein cereal while on the computer every morning.  I can’t give up my computer time.  As a result, I combine the two activities.

·      Breakfast doesn’t have to be gourmet.  It can be quick and healthy.  It also doesn’t have to be traditional. If your child only likes lunch foods, then make a bagel sandwich with ham and cheese, or a whole-wheat English muffin with some type of nut butter, and an apple or yogurt.

·      Cereals have changed a lot since I was a child.  They have nutritional power and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein.  It’s a great breakfast for busy mornings.

·      Cereal bars are great to use on the go when you just don’t have another minute to spare before you need to walk out the door.

·      Boil eggs ahead of time so you aren’t caught waiting for a pot to boil in the morning.  I like to serve them with cereal in the morning with blueberries.

·      Make out a breakfast menu for your children and have them pick their food choices the night before. When the rooster crows so early in the morning, you can get breakfast on the table quickly.

·      If you know your child doesn’t like to eat as soon as he wakes in the morning, budget some extra time in your morning routine and get him up ten minutes earlier so he can have more awake time.  Have him get dressed before coming to eat breakfast.

·      Make muffins, mini quiches (recipe here), pancakes, and waffles ahead of time and freeze them for quick preparation.  I have to admit that I buy a lot of frozen waffles and pancakes. They are minimally processed, contain all-natural ingredients, and can be ready in one minute and 30 seconds.

·      Limit TV.  TV makes children eat slower, and time can get away from you when you are in a rush.  It can get your routine into rough seas in no time.

Here’s to smooth sailing this school year.  What tips can you share?

Disclosure: I thank theMotherhood for asking me to co-host this great Kellogg’s virtual breakfast discussion.  I was compensated for my time in this project.  My opinions are my own and were not influenced by Kellogg’s.  I enjoyed learning great tips from all of my co-hosts, who also are moms. 


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