Breakfast. It can be one of the biggest battles of the day. It is early. The start of the day. I have to make a meal. My kid is hungry. My coffee has not kicked in yet. Can you relate?
I’m not an up before my kids type of mom. I really wish I was. I’ve tried. It just never works for me. I like sleep far too much. So I need mornings to start off as easily as possible. My son wakes up with crazy energy every morning which can quickly transform into hangry (when angry and hungry met) if he doesn’t eat. I need breakfast to go smoothly and I need it ready quick.
Making batches of your kids favorite breakfast items to freeze make breakfast a matter of simple, quick reheat in the microwave.
There are several products out on the market for frozen breakfast items marketed specifically towards children, but you are paying for the convenience. Well mamas- if companies can make it, freeze it, and package it–so can we! What’s even better? We can control the quality of the ingredients, the cost, AND we can engage our kids in a hands on experience of making a meal with us.
One of our favorite batch breakfasts? Pancakes. When batch cooking I double or triple the recipe. Think about it, you’ve already got all the ingredients out. The mess is being made *flour, children…did I say children…it’s messy* You’ve committed to the full process, so what is filling the griddle a few more times with tiny pancakes? Its better than starting from scratch all over again another day.
How to involve your kids: get out the step stool and aprons. Go over the rules of cooking and some safety reminders. Get to work pulling out ingredients and following the recipe. Put the whisk in your kid’s hands. Teach them to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients. Once the batter is made and the griddle is hot, its about to become a science experiment. For our littles this is where the hands must go behind the back. Once the griddle is on, I am very serious about Josiah’s safety. Mixing and making batter can be fun and light hearted, but cooking with real heat is no joking matter. While I actually cook, Josiah and I chat through the process. How do you know when the pancakes are ready to be flipped? Did you see the bubble that pancake made? Can we clean up a little while we wait to flip? What does multitasking and cooking look like? Every step is an opportunity to engage in learning.
Once the first batch is done, I set Josiah up to eat. Then get on with cook the remaining batter, setting the remaining pancakes aside to cool. Yes, this takes time. It is time spent one day instead of time spent morning after morning.
When breakfast is done, together we clean. Making sure everything is washed, dried, and put away. It is important to me to model cleaning as part of the cooking process. I want Josiah to clean up after himself always-whether with toys or dishes. The expectation remains the same. Clean up!
Once the pancakes are fully cool, I neatly stack them into a freezer bag. The dated bag goes in the freezer for mornings to come.
Your kid is going to love it. They are going to want pancakes for breakfast everyday for the rest of the week…if not longer! This is the best part about batch cooking. You can provide the food for weeks to come without making a mess. Every time you eat your meal you can reminisce about your time cooking together, but reminiscing is mess and hassle free!
Disclaimer: Pancakes are not the only breakfast food I feed Josiah. The days following our cooking extravaganza, I limit pancakes. Most mornings he may have one after he has eaten a scrambled egg (which I eat most mornings for breakfast and therefore am already making). But let’s be real mamas, sometimes its just a 5 pancake breakfast kind of day. Its called SURVIVAL!