Redeem time and energy in your homeschool morning by stocking up on breakfasts the kids can make themselves!
I’m not a morning person.
There, I said it.
But, it’s not just that I’m not a morning person. My husband also is not a morning person…or a breakfast person. Because of this, our family has never thrived on big breakfasts early in the morning. We’re stragglers who like slow mornings filled with coffee, Celtic music, and simple, leisurely breakfasts.
The only exception to this is a birthday breakfast, but that only occurs a dozen times a year – not exactly the norm.
Besides the fact that we don’t prefer big family breakfasts, I also tend to do some of my prepwork for the homeschool day prior to starting school around 10 am, so I need to have that time freed up. In order to keep this morning planning time open, I have taught most of my kids to get their own breakfasts.
If you are like me and have no desire to make a big breakfast for your crew and would rather spend that time prepping for homeschool, taking care of the babies, or simply waking up, then read on…
Now, before we get into the specific foods that work well for kids to make for themselves, let’s do a bit of prep work by talking logistics of kids making breakfast.
How to Teach Kids to Make their Own Breakfast
- Keep it simple. – Don’t give them too many choices and make sure they know what is available.
- Keep it stocked. – Your breakfast foods should always be on your grocery list so you stay stocked.
- Make it accessible. – Bowls, plates, utensils, milk, cereal, etc need to be at their reach or set out on the counter the night before (milk should be on a reachable shelf in the refrigerator).
- Show them HOW to make their favorite breakfasts. – Don’t assume they know how much milk to pour, how to cook an egg, how to toast the bread. SHOW them.
If you have all littles (under 5), you probably don’t want the milk where they can reach. And if you have littles ones who are prone to get into things (that would be my current 4 year old!), you might not want cereal easily accessible either.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still train toward this kind of independence!
My 11 year old knows how to make an egg. My 8 year old knows how to toast bread. My 6 year old knows how to carefully pour milk. It’s a process of showing them how, letting them try with your assistance, and then allowing them to do it on their own. Which leads me to my 5th point:
5. Don’t hover. – Letting kids get their own breakfast means you have to eventually be brave enough to let them try…on their own…without you. Got it?
Easy Breakfasts Preschoolers Can Get by Themselves
- Cheese and fruit
- Yogurt cups
- Cereal and milk (buy smaller jugs of milk or keep a mason jar with a lid or small pitcher of milk on a shelf in the refrigerator at a level your children can reach).
- Granola bars
- Overnight oats
- Portioned out breakfasts you make ahead of time (more on that further down)
Easy Breakfasts Kids 10 & Under Can Make By Themselves
- Sausage links
- Oatmeal Packets (store bought or homemade)
- Toast (with butter, peanut butter, jelly, etc)
- Granola Bars
- Beef jerky
- Nut packs
- Banana or Apples with Peanut butter
- Casseroles or other Breakfast dishes that have been prepared ahead of time (see below)
Easy Breakfasts Kids 11 & Up Can Make Without Help
Pre-teens and teens are quite capable of making a wide variety of breakfast dishes as well as helping out with any pre-prepared breakfasts you might make at the beginning of the week or weekend.
Besides the above mentioned breakfasts, here are some ideas for what your older kids can make by themselves.
- Homemade oatmeal (stovetop or baked in a casserole dish)
- Eggs – fried, scrambled, hard boiled (you can even do eggs in the microwave!)
- Smoothies (they can even help make smoothie packs!)
- Toad in the Hole
- French Toast (or French Toast Casserole!)
- Dutch Baby (otherwise known as an oven pancake)
- Pancakes (try our Autumn Pancakes for a special treat!)
- Waffles (you could even get a mini-dash for the fun of it!)
Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas
It is my dream to someday have a “baking day” the way our great grandparents once did. Over the years I have tried, but something always seems to come up that prevents me from doing as much as I’d like.
However, even getting one food item prepared for the week ahead is better than nothing. I’m always on top of the world when I manage to hard boil a dozen eggs in anticipation of quick snacks or breakfast for the upcoming week, so imagine my delight if I manage to make a casserole!
But even better than ME preparing something ahead of time for breakfast would be if MY CHILDREN would pitch in to make something! They learn valuable cooking skills AND they get to eat the fruit of their labor during the week!
Get your kids cooking as part of your homeschool!
Here are a few ideas for breakfasts they can help you prepare in advance:
- Pancakes or Waffles – freeze or simply keep in a container in the refrigerator
- Egg-based casserole (for a fun twist, try our Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole!)
- Scones or Breakfast cookies
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Smoothie Packs
- Cinnamon Rolls (these Quick Rise Cinnamon Rolls are super easy!)
The possibilities are endless! And you may find yourself quite surprised by what your children can do on their own!
Check out my Large Family Recipes page for more ideas!