Now that the students are back in school, there is no time for leisurely breakfasts they enjoyed during summer. Children need a hearty breakfast to fuel them for doing their best in school, and keep them full until lunch. It can only take a few minutes to prepare a more nutritious breakfast than cold cereal. While some children will want stacks of pancakes or waffles, enhance the breakfast with a protein smoothie and plenty of fresh fruit. 

Planning ahead will help mornings go smoother. Set the breakfast table the night before and plan what you will serve. Many breakfast favorites can be prepared ahead. Egg casseroles are better prepared the night before. Place the casserole in the oven first thing while everyone is getting dressed. 

If your children want French toast for breakfast, there are two ways to make it ahead. One is the Overnight Baked French Toast that is assembled the night before, then simply baked and served. The other is Overnight French Toast that is also assembled the night before, but then the slices are browned in a skillet. If your children’s like crispy French toast, they will prefer that recipe. 

For breakfast meats, look for lean sausages, such as turkey, and limit bacon, which contains high fat and nitrates. On occasions when you cook bacon, the easiest way to cook it is by baking. Check the back of the package for directions, and line a cookie sheet with foil for quick cleanup.

Instead of buying sugar loaded yogurts, select plain low fat Greek yogurt and serve with blueberries, blackberries, chopped strawberries or sliced bananas. A teaspoon or two of local honey will also add a touch of sweetness to plain yogurt. Be sure to wash the berries well to remove any pesticides. 

A yogurt parfait with layers of Greek yogurt, fruit and granola is a yummy treat that can be assembled the night before or quickly the next morning. 

There are two granola recipes to check out. Bake a big batch on weekends and store in air-tight canisters for a quick breakfast. Try making granola bars for a grab and go treat. 

Keep hearty, nutritious breads and muffins on hand to serve with a smoothie. Instead of putting butter on toasted breads, spread almond butter or natural peanut butter. Be sure to check labels, look for ones that are ground roasted nuts, and avoid any with sugar, palm oil and other added ingredients. 

Almond or peanut butter also adds flavor to oatmeal. It is just as easy to prepare regular oatmeal in the microwave as it to make the sweetened packages, and it is much healthier. If sweetness is desired, add fruit. 

For a change, add mashed avocado to a slice of toast. It is flavorful plain or topped with tomatoes and feta, sliced boiled or lightly fried egg. When preparing eggs for children, be sure they are completely cooked. Undercooked eggs increase the risk of food-borne illnesses. 

Pancakes can be prepared ahead and frozen. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave. Instead of syrup, top a sweet stack with blueberries or strawberries. 

School mornings can be hectic times getting children dressed and to classes on time, but planning ahead will help in getting a hearty, nutritious breakfast together. Nutritionists say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research has shown children do better in school after a good breakfast. 


Jamie Bell

1 container all natural vanilla yogurt

Handful of frozen strawberries 

1 brownish banana

Handful of clean spinach leaves

½ cup crushed ice

½ cup water or pineapple juice

*Optional ¼ cup milled flaxseed, honey 

Puree ingredients in blender until desired consistency. 

Fruit Smoothie

Heather Cummings

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 banana, frozen

¼ cup orange juice

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Fruit Yogurt Smoothie

8 oz. container low fat vanilla yogurt

2 cups fat free milk

½ cup frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 banana, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Makes about 5 cups.

Granola, Yogurt and Fruit Parfait

Can prepare night before and store in refrigerator. 


Greek yogurt, any flavor

Fresh fruit of your choice

In a clear glass or bowl, layer ingredients. 

Our Favorite Granola with Nuts, Coconut and Raisins 

Lynette Strickland

We make a new batch of this each week to store in the pantry. We eat it as cold cereal with milk, on yogurt, or just as a snack.

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup each of assorted chopped nuts, total 3 cups (Our favorites are macadamia, pecans and sliced almonds.)

1 cup shredded coconut

½ cup packed brown sugar

⅓ cup maple syrup

⅓ cup melted coconut oil

2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice

1 cup raisins (optional)

Combine all dry ingredients except raisins into a large bowl. Stir in maple syrup and oil. Stir well to combine.

Spread mixture onto 2 to 3 sheet pans and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Once cool, add raisins, if desired. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Overnight Skillet French Toast 

Sherry Freeman

The next morning, brown slices in a skillet until crisp and golden.

4 to 6 slices white bread (3/4 inch thick)

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

Arrange bread in pan close together so no space is unfilled.

Mix eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Slowly pour about 1/2 mixture over bread. Turn each slice and pour remaining mixture over that. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, lift each slice with spatula and place in hot skillet with pat of margarine and cook until crisp and golden. Serve immediately with syrup or preserves.

Granola Mix with Dried Fruit

Heather Cummings

Good added to yogurt for a quick breakfast.

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped mixed nuts



1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. honey

2 cups mixed dried fruit (Sometimes I just add raisins.)

Toss oats, nuts and a pinch of salt and cinnamon with vegetable oil and honey. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees, tossing to ensure even baking. Cool; stir in dried fruit.

Overnight Cinnamon Buns

Heather Cummings

Frozen Rich’s dough balls (1 pkg.)


Chopped pecans

1 stick butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 box regular (not instant) vanilla pudding

Grease 9×13-inch baking dish. Put frozen dough balls into a Ziploc bag. Coat dough balls with cinnamon and toss in bag. Put chopped nuts in bottom of dish. Place frozen balls on top. 

Melt butter, brown sugar and pudding in a pan. Pour over balls. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Invert on a plate, cookie sheet, or other flat surface and enjoy.

Granola Bars

2 cups low fat granola cereal

¼ cup brown sugar

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries, cherries or blueberries

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Spray or grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Press ingredients into pan. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly brown. 

Mini Breakfast Quiches

Beth Campbell

Can be made ahead and reheated.

½ lb. hamburger or sausage

1/3 cup chopped onions

1 tsp. butter

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. cornstarch

½ cup milk

8 oz. shredded cheese

2 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can of biscuits

Brown the hamburger or sausage. Sauté onions in butter.

In a mixing bowl, add the hamburger or sausage, onions and other ingredients together (except biscuits).

Grease a mini or regular muffin pan. Cover the bottom of each with a pinch of biscuit dough. Use just enough to cover or the quiche will be too doughy. 

Next, pour the egg mixture to the top of each cup.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or longer for regular muffin size until egg mixture is firm.

Apple Puff Pancake

Hattie Lett

Hattie will often make two and reheat the second one the next day in the microwave.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is preheated, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.

3 eggs, beaten

¾ cup plain flour

½ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

¾ cup milk

1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon together in quart Zip-Lock bag; add sliced apples. Sift flour and salt; add beaten eggs. Whisk and slowly add milk. Remove skillet from oven. Add butter. When melted, add apple slices in a swirl pattern. Pour flour mixture over apple slices.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with hot syrup (can use sugar-free or lite syrup).

Avocado Toasts with Toppings

Set out assorted toppings, and let everyone make their own. Double or triple recipe for more servings. 

1 avocado, cut in half and pit removed

Fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

2 slices toasted whole wheat or sourdough breaded or bread of choice

Toppings: Sliced boiled egg, bacon, soft-cooked egg or sliced cherry tomatoes and feta 

Remove avocado from shell and place in a small bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over avocado and mash. Season with salt. Spread over toasted break. Serve as is or select a topping. 

Make-Ahead Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Dinah Motley

1 lb. bulk sausage 

6 slices white bread, crusts removed 

Butter or margarine, softened 

1 1/2 cups shredded Longhorn cheese

6 eggs 

2 cups half-and-half

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

Brown sausage, stirring to crumble. Drain and set aside. Butter each slice of bread and cut into cubes; place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle sausage over bread and top with cheese. Combine eggs, half-and-half, salt and mustard; beat well and pour over casserole. Chill at least 8 hours. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 50 minutes.

German Pancakes in Muffin Tins with Strawberry Syrup

Jamie Bell

1 cup milk

6 eggs

1 cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. orange zest

¼ cup melted butter


Butter and brown sugar or Strawberry Syrup 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two muffin tins. Blend the first six ingredients, and then add melted butter a little at a time. Bake for 15 minutes until they look puffy and golden. As they cool, they will indent making the pancake look like a cup. Fill with butter and brown sugar or berry syrup.

Strawberry Syrup

Puree 2 pints of strawberries, blueberries or blackberries (or all three) and put in a pot. 

Add 1 or 2 Tbsp. white sugar, couple of squirts of lemon or lime juice and 1 tsp. cornstarch. Bring to a gentle boil, and stir until it thickens just a little bit.

Bundt Breakfast Pizza

Michelle Hodges

2 containers canned biscuits

Chopped ham

Shredded Swiss cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Open one can of biscuits. Tear biscuits into pieces and cover bottom and small portion sides of Bundt pan.

Add ham and Swiss cheese on top of biscuits. Tear off second canned biscuits and add to top of ham and cheese.

Repeat with more ham and cheese. (Remember to add biscuits to side of Bundt pan, so ham and cheese won’t burn) Final layer will be biscuits on top.

Let it sit for 7 minutes, then place Bundt on cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until top becomes golden brown. Take out of oven and cool for 5 minutes.

With a spatula, go around Bundt to pull biscuits off sides of pan. Place a plate on top and turn over and shake. Cut into pieces like a cake and serve.

Overnight Baked French Toast

Simply bake and serve.

1 loaf French bread

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1 cup half and half

1 ½ Tbsp. sugar

¾ tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. vanilla


2 Tbsp. butter, softened

Confectioner’s sugar, optional

Slice French bread and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Mix eggs, milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla and two dashes of cinnamon. Pour over bread; cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, spread softened butter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with syrup or fruit topping.

Blueberry Muffins

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 egg

½ cup milk

1½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. soda

1 ½ cup blueberries, coated with 3 Tbsp. flour

Combine sugar and butter. In separate small bowl, beat egg; add milk.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and egg mixture to sugar and butter. 

Fold in floured blueberries.

Pour into greased muffin tins.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Can use frozen blueberries that have been thawed.

Make-Ahead Orange French Toast with Orange Syrup

Linda Deyo

16 oz. loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch slices

3 cups milk

6 eggs, beaten

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 orange

Butter or margarine

Orange Syrup (recipe follows)

Place bread slices in a large baking dish. Combine milk, eggs, sugar and orange rind; beat well, and pour evenly over bread slices. Place in refrigerator overnight. 

Melt about 1 Tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a few slices of bread at a time and cook until golden brown on both sides; add more butter as needed. Serve hot with orange syrup. 

Makes about 8 servings

Orange Syrup:

6 oz. can frozen orange juice

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes. Serve hot over French toast, pancakes or waffles. Makes about 2 ½ cups. 

Oatmeal Pancakes

(Can freeze ahead)

2 cups pancake and waffle mix

1 ½ cups water

½ cup oatmeal (uncooked)

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

¾ tsp. cinnamon

Heat griddle to 350 degrees. Grease lightly. Combine all ingredients; mix just until large lumps of pancake mix disappear. For each pancake, pour ¼ cup batter onto griddle. Turn when pancakes begin to rise and edges looked cooked.

To freeze: Wrap pancakes in foil or place in freezer bag. Store in freezer up to three months. To reheat, stack three pancakes on plate; microwave for 1 ½ minutes.

Lemon-Honey Yogurt Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup sugar

2 Tbsp. honey

2 eggs, room temperature

1¼ cups plain or lemon yogurt

¼ cup melted butter, cooled

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Syrup Glaze

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. water

Combine dry ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, mix remaining muffin ingredients. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees about 15 minutes.

While muffins bake, combine syrup glaze in small saucepan. Boil 1 minute. When muffins are done, pierce top of muffins two or three times with a fork. Drizzle 2 to 3 tsp. glaze over the muffin. Cool 3 minutes; remove from tins.