Monday, 11 February 2013

Our Smooth Breakfast Tips

This week Warburton's sent me a lovely box full of Warburton goodies and asked for me and you (lovely reader) to help them. On  a side note, those of you that eat Gluten free have you tried the Newburn Bakehouse range from Warburton's lately? Daddy has said that the rolls in particular are lovely and that Warburton's are doing a great job and seem to be constantly improving their recipe.

Warburton's would love tips, recipes and ideas on how to make the Breakfast routine as relaxed as possible, as according to some research they have shared between 7:17am and 8:30am each weekday morning Mums are tackling an average of 9.8 challenges which include making multiple breakfasts, getting Children and partners up, getting Children washed and dressed and sorting out School Bags and Clothes. I shared a post (quite a while ago now) where I shared Top Tips for being an Organised Mummy (it was of course a big joke) but here are some of my very serious tips and you can share yours either in the comments or on the Warburton's Facebook page.

Warburton Breakfast Goodies

I think that my Top Tip for anyone who wants breakfast to run smoothly, is that you have to be prepared in advance. Way, way, way in advance.

Be Prepared in Advance


When I do the weekly shop, I make sure that we always have enough foods for a variety of breakfasts. Sure the staples of Cereal and Toast are there, but we include Brioche and Crumpets and Tea Cakes and Fruit and Yoghurt and flavoured Milk and Fruit Juice and Eggs and Bacon and just about anything we can think of!

Warburton's Seeded Loaf as Toast

The next thing that I think you have to prepare in advance is Clothes. I think that we are lucky that School aged Children (for the most part) wear a School Uniform as Monday through Friday it takes a lot of stress out of the equation. I have my children training (I'd be a fool to say they were trained already) to check they have their uniform ready the night before. It could just be a quick check that they have a jumper, shirt, suitable clothes for the lower half and underwear, or the full monty where everything is laid out ready, but as long as we all know that it is clean, not full of holes and the right size it's one less thing to stress about.

The next thing to sort out in advance is School Bags/Handbags. Make sure that letters from School have been signed/actioned/added to the calender and put back in bags. That home work diaries, reading records and the like are signed and complete and that PE Bags, Swim Bags and Musical Instruments are all packed too.

Lastly, it's plan the next days lunches (and dinner) and prepare the night before. As you know, I plan what's going in the lunch box at least a week in advance and if I don't make the lunch box up the night before and put it in the fridge, then it's something that's easy to add to the lunchbox in the morning. You can even freeze sandwiches (I do a week in advance) and let them defrost in the lunchbox if you want to do something special (like shapes) but also want to save time in the morning. It's also much easier if you need meat to defrost for dinner to make sure you get it out of the freezer in the morning rather than shoving it in the microwave ten minutes before dinner should be on the table.

My next tip is about Breakfast itself. If it isn't simple, then it isn't a breakfast suitable for a weekday morning.

Keep It Simple


One of my favourite breakfasts is Smoked Haddock Rarebit, but it's only an occasional weekend food. As is Bullseye Egg (the children's favourite breakfast) or a baked Fry Up. Weekday mornings for us are all about the toaster and things straight out of the fridge and cupboard as they take less time to make. I, like 52% of other Mums, make a variety of breakfasts in one morning, but when it's something like a bowl of cereal with milk and a side of fruit and yoghurt with fruit juice for one child and a plate with Brioche, fruit and yoghurt with fruit juice for the other it's not that bad.

Smoked Haddock Rarebit - a luxury Breakfast

Other simple and healthy breakfasts in our house are;

Boiled Egg and Toast
Scrambled Egg and  and Toast
Porridge and Fruit
Breakfast Egg Muffins
Smoothies and Cake
Pancakes and Fruit

Yes, you did read Cake there and I don't mean Chocolate Cake (although there is that study I read in the Telegraph that said eating Chocolate Cake for breakfast is actually a good idea) but either Carrot, Apple and Sultana Cake or Raisin Cookies or Banana Muffins or even Carrot and Oat Cookies all of which can be excused as being healthy because of the fruit or vegetable content and everyone needs a little fat in their diet too.

I guess with all these different lunches that the tip is also about keeping things varied too.

The last tip I have for a smooth breakfast time is to make sure you have enough time for all you need to do

Delegate, Relegate and Accelerate


It sounds odd to say I've delegated tasks to the children and to Daddy, because I'm not really in charge of my house! It's just the way that our life has worked out that it seems as if I've delegated walking the children to School to Daddy. He loves this morning time with the children, as they get to chat about what is coming up in School, things they are looking forward to, things they had forgotten to tell him the night before and a whole bunch of other things that I'm not party too because I'm not there. Big Boy is in charge of making sure that all washing from the bathroom (and the rest of the house) is put into the kitchen ready for the days laundry instead of me rushing around to do it and Top Ender gets to make sure that shoes and lunchboxes are in the right place to be worn or carried to School. Three jobs that I don't have to do or stress about.

School Shoes Ready

In our house, the morning chores are fairly simple, because of the way we've organised our life. In general the things we have to do every day are sort out Big Boy's Blood test and injection, make and eat breakfast, get washed and dressed, feed the cats, go to School. The other chores have been relegated from the first thing morning routine, (things like doing the dishes and hanging up a load of washing to dry) and are for me to do after the children have gone to School or as is more common for me to do before the Children wake up when I get back from the Gym.

The last part is accelerate. 41% of Mums believe that having their children eat breakfast more quickly would help them in the morning. I disagree, I think that you should be able to linger over your breakfast (if that's what you want to do) and so I prefer to have the children race through the other parts of the morning. Getting dressed is race between the Children and I and we find it helps them really focus on getting dressed rather than finding a toy to play with (or me catching up on the news), more than one person can brush their teeth at the sink at the same time (and this also means we can check they are doing it properly) and if you run up the stairs instead of walking when you've forgotten something it makes a difference.

And of course if you can't get everything that you have to get done in the morning before the School Run, even after delegating, relegating and accelerating then I do have one last tip - Get Up Earlier!

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