Our Simplified Mornings Start with Two Breakfasts

posted by Andrea | 05/5/2016
Print pageEmail page

two breakfasts

A couple weeks ago, I shared some of my favorite lunch ideas for at-home parents of young children. Of course, my ideas should work for almost anyone who has access to a refrigerator and microwave, but I wanted to specifically share lunch ideas because that always seems to be the craziest meal of the day in our house.

After that post, I got several emails and comments suggesting that breakfast always felt like the most crazy meal of the day and asking for quick, simple, family-friendly breakfast ideas.

Then last week, I was talking with some friends at the Library, and they mentioned how stressful mornings were with multiple little children to clothe and feed.

These emails, comments, questions, and conversations got me thinking about why breakfast is so stressful in other homes… and what we potentially do to simplify and de-stress this busy and hectic time of day.

My answer is simple… we have TWO breakfasts every day!

My children are all VERY HUNGRY when they wake up (and rightfully so). However, since they all wake up at different times, it’s not convenient to eat together at the table. And since my children are all very young, I can’t just put them at the table with food and expect them to eat.

This means that if I feed them all when they wake up, I would be making food, sitting at the table, feeding children, and cleaning up breakfast foods for the first 2+ hours of the day — not to mention the children who weren’t eating would probably be bouncing off the walls, getting into trouble, and distracting the children who were eating.

Not exactly how I want to spend my morning hours.

Instead, we all eat our “First Breakfast” immediately when we wake up. Then we eat “Second Breakfast” all together at the table once everyone is awake, dressed, and ready for the day. 

Let me explain it a bit more…

First Breakfast:

I try to wake up before the kids get up, but sometimes Nora wakes me up. Either way, when I get up, I usually have a banana, an apple, or a bowl of yogurt for my First Breakfast. Then I get dressed and ready, check and respond to emails, and do anything I want to start on before kids wake up (a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, etc. etc.)

Nora is almost always the first one up (usually around 6:45am). EVERY morning, she has a bowl of grapes, a few slices of Colby Jack cheese, and water for her First Breakfast. I put the grapes and cheese in a little food storage container and have her cup of water all ready to go before I go to bed. In the morning, I just hand her the bowl and cup when she wakes up.

She usually watches a Netflix show while she eats her grapes and cheese. Then she goes upstairs, makes her bed, gets dressed, and does her hair. When she is fully dressed and ready, we sometimes look at books, sometimes color or do a craft, or sometimes she’ll just help me mix up pancake or waffle batter for Second Breakfast

Simon is usually awake by 7:30 and I change his diaper and get him dressed right away. Then we come downstairs and he has a cup of apple juice. Sometimes he’ll want a squeezable yogurt pouch or some dry cereal — but since I always have his juice cup ready to go, it takes seconds for me to grab whatever First Breakfast he wants after he wakes up.

After First Breakfast, Nora and Simon play pretty well together — which is a great time for me to finish getting ready (if I didn’t do this earlier), swap out laundry, pack lunches or the diaper bag, respond to a few more emails, start prepping lunch or dinner, or any number of things that need to be done that day.

James has been waking up around 5:30 or 6:00am to eat, and then going back to sleep until 8:30ish (glorious!) The other two kids are usually fully dressed, ready, finished with their First Breakfast and playing upstairs when James wakes up.

I get James out of his crib, change his diaper, get him dressed, and feed him. Then we go out to find the other two kids and start working on Second Breakfast.

Second Breakfast:

Right around 9:00 every morning, we enjoy pancakes, French toast, or Belgian waffles, eggs, and fruit as our Second Breakfast.

My kids LOVE pancakes and waffles and usually eat 3-4 smaller pancakes plus scrambled eggs and fruit. Simon will often eat a full Belgian waffle and eggs! Breakfast is most certainly the meal they eat the best each day.

My pancake recipe is SUPER simple and I have it completely memorized as I make it 3-5 times every single week. French toast sticks are another favorite… and I have a great recipe for Belgian waffles that takes only minutes to whip up (I can literally have it mixed up before the waffle iron is hot!)

I make up the kids’ plates first, then I put fresh batter on the griddle (or in the waffle iron) and enjoy a piping hot breakfast while my children eat.

I can usually finish my Second Breakfast and have the entire kitchen cleaned up while they continue to munch on fruit and additional pancakes.

Then I wipe up ALL the syrup on their hands, faces, and the table, and we officially start our day around 9:30am.

While I realized this method (and this time table) won’t work for older children who are in schools — I do think a modified version on an earlier time-frame could work — or even just implement it on weekends.

Also, with summer vacation right around the corner (yay!) this might be a fun summer tradition to start up!

My kids love having a hot breakfast every morning (they don’t like cereal much), I love the fact that I only make one mess and clean up the kitchen one time, and Dave loves the fact that we always save some leftovers for him to eat the following morning 🙂

We’ve been eating 2 breakfasts almost every single morning for the past couple of years, and it just seems to be a win-win situation for everyone!

I’m not sure what we’ll do next year as I think Nora will be doing morning preschool instead of afternoon preschool — we might just move up the breakfast time to 7:45 if that works with the boys’ schedules, or just do a modified version on the 2 mornings she’ll be in school.

Either way, I know that I will try to continue eating First and Second Breakfasts as long as I have little mouths to feed (and hopefully even when the mouths are a little bigger!)

Our mornings feel SO much simpler, less rushed, less stressed, less crabby, less whiny, and less chaotic when everyone gets a little individual First Breakfast and we eat Second Breakfast together.

Maybe the Hobbits were really on to something!

Also, did you know that “Second Breakfast” is actually a real thing in Poland, Hungary, and Austria?

Do you have any other tips to simplify breakfast time?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: FamilyFoodMisc.ParentingChildren

 
 

Leave a comment

26 comments

  1. Sarah

    08/11/2016

    I would be interested in your Belgian waffles recipe if you ever get a wild hair and write it out . These tips have really been helpful for this mama of two littles under 3 and my hubby who heads out early for work. He loves your perfect pancakes and freezer burritos. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  2. Dena

    05/12/2016

    Have you shared your belgian waffle recipe on your site? If not, will you share? 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    No… mainly because I make up a huge batch of the dry mix first, and then have a separate recipe to mix up individual waffles. It is very simple, but I feel like writing it all out would make it seem complicated, so I haven’t shared it yet.

    I’ve thought about posting it so many times, but I just haven’t figure out the right way to make it seem less complicated 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Jennifer

    05/08/2016

    Breakfast, brunch, then lunch. Perfect!

    [Reply]

  4. kerri

    05/08/2016

    Andrea – your post mentioned that the pancakes and probably the Belgian waffles freeze well – do the French toast stick?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve honestly never tried to freeze the French Toast Sticks (I also don’t ever freeze the waffles either). I have a feeling they would be a little soggy warmed up, but you could always try it with a couple pieces of bread!

    [Reply]

  5. Marti

    05/07/2016

    Here in Hungary the second breakfast is a real thing and is called ‘tizorai’.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good to know! Thanks for sharing Marti!

    [Reply]

    Petra Reply:

    I’m from Hungary, too. I thought ‘elevenses’ in English-speaking countries is the same as ‘tizorai’ (which means something consumed at ten o’clock) here.

    [Reply]

  6. Crystal @ Serving Joyfully

    05/06/2016

    Fun! My kids have 2 breakfasts as well, though a little differently. They both get up super early (between 5:30 and 6). Hubby is getting ready for work at that time and eating his own breakfast, so my boys eat breakfast with him before he goes off to work. My 8 year old will usually make himself and his brother eggs + toast in the morning (not really as a chore, but he enjoyed the privilege at first and now it’s just the routine). When we had a microwave, he would make himself oats (not the instant packaged kind, but regular ones cooked in the microwave). I won’t let him handle hot water in a pan yet, but I did recently teach him to cook french toast and he was really excited about that. So, my kids eat breakfast with their dad every weekday.

    I like to ease into my morning food and I don’t usually eat breakfast until about 9:00 or so. By then, my boys are hungry after eating their first breakfast at 6 am, so they eat another breakfast–their “second” breakfast is usually more like your first–a piece of fruit, yogurt and granola, etc.

    [Reply]

  7. Amanda

    05/05/2016

    I love breakfast foods so the idea of two breakfasts sounds wonderful to me! I feel like I’m just more hungry in general during the first half of the day so I need to eat more often. My son is in school, but he sometimes does two breakfasts. He’ll have some milk and dry cereal at home then go to school and eat breakfast there. Lately I’d rather eat smaller meals more often so this sounds right up my alley!

    [Reply]

  8. Courtney B

    05/05/2016

    We are 2 breakfasts people here too! My kids have cereal when they wake and then we have a hot breakfast later!

    [Reply]

  9. Sarah C

    05/05/2016

    Such a great idea! I can tell we are moving in this direction because my kids are starving when they wake up but I don’t want to make breakfast all morning.

    [Reply]

  10. Jennifer

    05/05/2016

    You know, I love to cook, but I don’t like breakfast food at all (except for sausage) so the idea of making a hot breakfast every day is definitely not for me! I think I need to slowly branch out, though, for the sake of my children. I’m trying to get better at making ahead and freezing things like muffins. My oldest is 8 years old and is good at making oatmeal and scrambled eggs and toast on his own, so he often will start breakfast as my mind is still waking up (and he loves it, as he is a doer.)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    WOW — That’s crazy! We love our breakfast foods over here and often have breakfast for dinner (sometimes even lunch as the kids always request pancakes and cheesy eggs!)

    I do think your idea of freezing muffins is a good one — and just keep encouraging your son to cook! That sounds like a win-win for everyone!

    [Reply]

  11. Janet Langlois

    05/05/2016

    I was going to ask if you were hobbits when I saw your title. You already thought of that. I think second breakfast is a wonderful idea.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, Dave jokes about being hobbits all the time (I’ve never seen any of the movies, but he has watched them all and read all the books!)

    [Reply]

  12. Avia

    05/05/2016

    We are up and out of the house by 7 in the morning so I pack my girl’s breakfast along with their lunch for them to eat at the babysitters. But I guess I’ve started doing first and second dinner! We get home about 5 in the evening and in the past, that time was always so stressful for me. The kids wanted to spend time with me but were grouchy if they didn’t get dinner soon after we got home. My husband does not usually get home until 6:30ish which is way too late for dinner. So it was up to me to figure out how to get dinner on the table while spending time with kids in a very short time frame. Finally I started giving them a healthy snack as soon as we get home (first dinner) and then we can eat dinner (second dinner) a little later. The plus is their tummies are usually still pretty full when they go to bed so hopefully they sleep better!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes! This is basically exactly what I do — just for dinner! I can see how this would work wonderfully for your family, and I’m guessing it might work for others too. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Becky Reply:

    Yes, this is exactly what we do, too, even down to the timeframes! 🙂

    I have found that it’s a really easy time to get some extra veggies in, as well.

    [Reply]

  13. Mommymommymommy

    05/05/2016

    With all my very littles, the most helpful thing I’ve found is to freeze lots of breakfast stuff so I don’t have to try to cook breakfast in the morning, just warm it up.

    I make and freeze big batches of French toast sticks, waffles, pancakes, bacon, and baked egg casseroles in muffin tins. I fry sausage patties and top them with a round of baked eggs, ready to pair with cheese and biscuits in a can (baked at the same time I’m warming the sausage and eggs.) My favorite is freezing Three-Cheese Souffles (Taste of Home), which take quite a bit of work ahead of time. They need to bake a long time on the morning they’re eaten, but they’re soooo good.

    This way I can easily warm up the protein and carbs while I’m getting the table set, getting out yogurt, filling sippie cups, and prepping fruit.

    But I’m intrigued by the idea of two breakfasts. I wonder if it would be a good fit for our family. Might have to try it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Aren’t freezers just so useful! I can’t imagine living 50 years ago before extra freezers 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Kris

    05/05/2016

    Yes! I always did this without even realizing it because my father did it but also because I am very hungry throughout the morning. My father lives in Germany and that was always our tradition. We would have usually bread with butter and jam or honey or sometimes Nutella and then for second breakfast we would have something a little heavier like boiled eggs or slices of salami and ham with more bread again and usually a second cup of coffee.it was always very fun for me!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh we LOVE bread (or usually rolls) with butter and honey! my kids are also JUST starting to like hard boiled eggs and salami — we actually have that (with cheese and fruit) for lunch sometimes!

    [Reply]

  15. Mrs. W

    05/05/2016

    We homeschool and this sounds perfect! My kids want a hot breakfast everyday, but I am not always ready to make a hot breakfast right away in the morning, so I am going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing- a super helpful post!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — my kids always want a hot breakfast (and I actually prefer that too) but I just can’t do it the second I wake up! You should definitley try the 2 breakfast thing — it saves my sanity almost every morning!

    [Reply]