Find out how creating a breakfast routine can help you feel better throughout your day and accomplish what you need to as a mom.
Moms are famous for taking care of everyone else before themselves.
Case in point: You probably get up and feed your kids breakfast, but your breakfast is cold coffee and the cheerios you spilled on the counter.
Let’s face it, breakfast is a hard meal to make happen.
Creating a breakfast routine and meal plan that you prep in advance will help you make breakfast a more realistic part of your life.
A breakfast routine will keep you fed and nourished as a mom and able to take care of those little people to the best of your ability.
Before we dig into how we’re going to make a breakfast routine a reality, let’s talk about why breakfast is so important.
Is breakfast actually the most important meal of the day?
So many of us have heard this advice, but is it actually true?
Research on the importance of breakfast is mixed. Some studies show that breakfast skippers eat fewer calories throughout the day, but some studies also show that despite eating fewer calories breakfast-skippers may still have a higher BMI.
The studies are also challenging to look at because there are different types of breakfasts, and also different definitions of breakfast (is breakfast eaten at 10:00 AM still breakfast).
There’s also a lot of talk about intermittent fasting and “breakfast skipping” to lose weight, is that a good idea?
Because the data is mixed, I’m going with personal experience to make this decision for me, and in my personal experience breakfast truly IS the most important meal of the day for a few reasons.
Why eating breakfast is important for moms
- It sets the tone for the day-If I skip breakfast I tend to snack on unhealthy foods or forget to sit down for a solid meal until dinner time.
- It stabilizes your mood– Your kids deserve a mom who has the ability to remain calm and deal with their antics and food is required for that, especially when we start our days so early.
- It’s part of a good morning routine-There’s a lot of buzz about morning routines, and how much they can affect your effectiveness throughout your day. Including a good breakfast in yours will make it even better!
- It helps you eat with your mind instead of your emotions– Eating often tells your body that food is plentiful. Skipping breakfast can make you feel like food is scarce. If you want to make good food choices with your mind, eating often and fueling your body will make it easy to do so and you won’t feel like you’re constantly battling the food police in your mind.
The importance of a good morning routine for moms
Since we are talking about breakfast, I thought this would be a good idea to talk just a little bit about creating a moring routine for yourself as a mom (later we’ll dive into the breakfast routine portion).
There’s been a lot of chatter on social media and in the world about morning routines, and usually when I watch a video or read a post about “my morning routine” I scoff a little and think “wouldn’t that be the life.”
For so much of the last 5 years I could describe my morning routine like this.
“Woke up in the clothes I wore yesterday to a toy flying across the room and hitting me in the face and a toddler screaming for BREAKFAST RIGHT THIS HOT MINUTE”
The exact circumstances would be slightly different each day (maybe they awoke me by jumping on me instead) but the idea is the same.
It’s funny that when we are trying to improve ourselves we look for people we can see ourselves in and try to learn from them.
…and the single entrepreneur with no kids who walks her dog every morning at 5 AM is more frustrating to me than inspirational.
No judgment, I’m glad she’s taking care of herself, but it just feels so unattainable and unrelatable at this point in my life.
But one thing I CAN hop on board about is the importance of a morning routine, for yourself and our kids.
So let’s talk for just a second about what that might look like for a mom. Let me just share a few of the things that my morning routine includes.
What a morning routine for moms needs
- Waking up before the kids. Yup. Even if it’s only 20 minutes I NEED a little time to prepare to be a kind mother to those kids.
- Boundaries– If you want any kind of predictable routine you need bedtime and morning boundaries so your kids know what’s expected of them if they wake up too early or are scared at night. You get to come up with the rules, but be consistent. These boundaries will give you the space you need in the morning to prepare to handle your little people.
- Journaling/Meditation/Prayer/Planning-Your spirituality will be different than mine, but I do want to point out that I USED to be a mom that woke up early to work, but I found that it just wasn’t setting the tone for my day in the way that I wanted it to. If I wake up and meditate or journal my mind is the right place to work when it’s work time, and I no longer need those AM work sessions. I can get more done with less time.
- Breakfast and Exercise-I exercise and eat with my kids. I can’t wake up early enough to fit all of that in without them around, so I include them, but it’s still planned and still part of the routine.
What does a good/balanced breakfast look like?
Okay, so now that you’ve decided to manage your mornings and create a morning routine, what should you even eat? Is a donut “good enough” or do you need to make a little more effort to feel better.
I’m not into dieting, and think that the diet mentality is responsible for many of our problems as a culture BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t make food and nutrition goals for the purpose of self-care.
So when you are planning breakfast (or really any meal for that matter) I suggest considering 3 things when you are meal planning your breakfasts.
- Protein-Protein is key for satiety. Eating a breakfast high in protein will help you feel full and satisfied until it’s time to eat again.
- Carbohydrate-Carbs will give you the quick energy you need in the morning. More complex carbs will give you slower, more constrained energy, where simpler carbs will give you a quick burst of energy but may cause your blood sugar to spike and drop quickly making you hungrier sooner.
- Fruit and/or veggies-In order to get in the recommended fruits and veggies you really need to start at breakfast. If you try to get a fruit or veggie at every meal or snack it’ll be easy to hit that #5 a day
The cool thing about meal planning in this way is that you can totally still stick to the easy foods (greek yogurt and granola with frozen berries for example would be an option high in protein, carb, and with fruit) A scrambled egg with veggies and toast would be another fairly simple option that ticks the boxes. Even cold cereal can still fit the bill, especially if you choose a whole grain cereal that’s high in protein and maybe eat it with a glass of milk on the side on fruit on top.
How to make a breakfast routine part of your life
Maybe you already know the importance of breakfast, but you haven’t figured out a way to make it happen as a mom.
Or maybe you’re more of a cold cereal kind of mom and you’re looking to uplevel your breakfasts to help you feel better in the mornings or throughout the day.
I think the problem many of us have isn’t that we don’t think breakfast is important, it’s just that we don’t put the effort into making it happen because maybe we don’t feel like it’s the “most important” for us, or let’s face it. Cause there’s a ton of crap we’ve gotta get done as moms.
The reality is, just like everything in life if we don’t plan it it’s either A: not going to happen or B: we are going to default to the easiest option.
Option B can actually work out great for us, but we have to do the work to make the way we want to eat the easiest option.
So let’s dive into a few different ways you could do this, depending on your personality.
3 Breakfast routines for making breakfast actually happen
A Breakfast routine for the planning type:
If you like a concrete plan every day (this method works well for me) try creating a meal plan that you repeat week after week.
For example, I have a breakfast meal plan that looks a little like this
Monday: Muffin and Smoothie
Tuesday: Protein Pancakes with fruit
Wednesday: Egg Skillet and Toast
Thurday: Greek Yogurt, granola, and berries
Friday: Breakfast sandwich on bagel thins with avocado/tomato etc…
I usually don’t plan as much for the weekends because weekends=more time and we’ll often like to do something fun as a family like go out or make a special meal.
If you heard or are looking at that menu and thinking you have to make all of those things every day there’s now way that’s happening, you are absolutely right, I would never EVER be able to keep up with a menu like that if I were cooking/prepping every day.
Meal prep is the secret sauce here that will make it work out. (Read about how I use my freezer for meal prep here)
So about once a month I make a batch of muffins and freeze them, so I’m only prepping that part once a month.
For breakfast skillets I keep my freezer stocked with breakfast potatoes and I will also often saute a bunch of onions/peppers/mushrooms and freeze an individual serving to pop in the microwave and add to the top of my eggs. Pancakes are prepped and frozen.
All of this prepwork means that I can accomplish any of these meals in 10 minutes or less and that makes it totally do-able.
I love having a menu to help me avoid boredom, and so that first thing when I wake up I know exactly what to do with no thinking. That’s a win!
A breakfast routine for the busiest moms:
If you’re a working mom, or simply really busy with other aspects of life the most effective method for making breakfast happen is to meal prep a big batch of something and eat it all week long.
This works really well with things like breakfast casseroles, overnight oats, or even slow cooker steel-cut oatmeal. Prepping an entire batch and portioning it into the right sizes means you can be eating in 1-2 minutes and you will have to put exactly zero thought into what to eat for breakfast until you plan the next week’s meal.
A breakfast routine for the relaxed moms:
Some people aren’t planners. I get that. I’m trying to help teach non-planners to “plan” in ways that are do-able and don’t feel restrictive to them. I stand by what I said, that humans are lazy. It’s actually a good thing. We don’t want to waste our precious energy on anything that has little impact. Planning and preparing allows us to achieve goals even in the laziest times.
So if you’re not a planner, you probably don’t love the idea of a menu or even meal prep, but what if you just take a few minutes to prepare for breakfast the night before. Choose what you want and take some steps to make it simpler. If you choose pancakes, measure out the ingredients so it’s just a quick whisk together for the batter. Chop veggies for an omelette and chop them up. Measure out some yogurt and gather fruit for a smoothie. Any of these options will help breakfast come together quickly and help you as a mom to be prepared for the most awesome day ever!
Next week we are going to be talking about finding the balance between wanting and reaching for positive changes, and accepting who you are without judgment. Finding the sweet spot and balance between these two things is key to making any lasting change. I’m excited to talk about it. Until next week, happy planning.