It's deep into school season, which means you may already have blown through all your usual options and enthusiasm, and sometimes you need to thrust a kid-friendly breakfast into Junior's hand and go. After all, who wants to fuss in the kitchen first thing in the morning when everyone is on a time crunch? Instead of piling up dishes and forcing your kids to cram a bowl of soggy cereal in their face, leave them with a breakfast that's easy to eat on the run and will satisfy on so many levels. With that in mind, here are some easy, tasty, kid-friendly and totally portable homemade breakfast options that make everyone happy.
While many think of quesadillas as a simple Mexican appetizer, they actually work wonders in the morning. After all, the premise of this dish is cheese and tortillas, which can be spruced up in all sorts of fun ways. The first step to making a primo quesadilla is to take a splash of olive oil and heat it in a pan. Then add a tortilla and pile on whatever kind of shredded cheese your kid likes. From there, start embellishing the dish with morning favorites such as sliced apples or pears, crumbled breakfast sausage, a hard-fried egg, leftover fried rice, chopped tomato, and whatever else Junior craves. Once the filling is set, add another handful of cheese and press the second tortilla on top. Wait a minute and flip, letting the other side brown and the cheese melt. After it's done, let the quesadilla sit for a couple minutes and then slice into wedges. Pop in a bag and a hot and tasty breakfast to go is done in under ten minutes.
Keeping a package of pita in the house proves useful time and time again, especially if you need a meal to go. These round discs of bread literally turn into little pockets when you cut them in half, making them the perfect vehicle for stuffing all that breakfast goodness into. The quickest and simplest way to achieve this hand-held goal is to scramble some eggs with your kid's beloved foods such as cheese, bacon, salsa, and corn. Next, scoop the mess into the pita, being careful not to over-stuff and split the bread, then hand to your child as they head out the door. And, if they are a very hungry tot, fill both halves; kids do have two hands after all.
You don't have to spend money on questionably healthy Pop Tarts or frozen toaster pastries to give your kids a hand-held morning treat. Make your own with this smart cheat. First, take bread of choice and cut the crusts off. Then slightly butter the insides and smear with your child's favorite jam and/or peanut butter. Close this odd little sandwich and crimp the edges with fork. Next pop it into the toaster on medium-low and let the heat meld the bread and gooey sweetness together for a homemade version of those name-brand classics. You can also do the same thing (minus the butter) if you have some pastry dough hanging around.
Oh glorious muffins, how simple to make and how easy to hide good food in you. Unless it's Junior's birthday, you probably shouldn't dole out chocolate chip muffins before school. However, you absolutely should make loaded muffins for your kid to take on the bus. Banana muffins are a great option, and chances are you have a few too-ripe specimens lying around. You can keep it simple with that fruit, or pack a healthy punch by grating in some carrot or zucchini, adding raisins and nuts (if that devil food is allowed at school), flax and/or sunflower seeds, and substituting up to a third of the white flour for a whole grain option (I like buckwheat). The best part, you can make the muffins the night before so it's one of the quickest take-away breakfast foods around.
Like the quesadilla and the pita pocket, a tortilla wrap focuses on stuffing a carb product with your morning meal. Add scrambled eggs, potatoes, salsa, cheese, and sour cream for a mini breakfast burrito. Whip two eggs together with feta, olives, and tomatoes, then heat in a frying pan for a Greek-style eggy wrap. Peanut butter, strawberries, and banana slices to create a sweeter breakfast option. Another great way to use the tortilla to secure a portable breakfast is by smearing cream cheese in it—lox, onions and other bagel accoutrements optional. Once you have decided what flavor to go with, simply wrap a paper towel around the bottom and hand off to your little darlings as they leave for school.