Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Champion of Breakfasts

by Lynn Bowen Walker

It’s not always easy to get your family out the door in the morning. There are the gym clothes to remember, homework to collect and shoes to unearth. And, if your family includes a reluctant eater, there is: The breakfast problem.

The breakfast problem arises when you, trying to do your good-mom job, direct your kids to the breakfast offerings. Cereal, maybe, or frozen waffles, or a piece of fruit. Your child – let’s say, for argument’s sake, a son – says he doesn’t like breakfast. Never has liked it. Doesn’t want any. Thank you very much.

You know that this young man will burn off approximately 13 trillion calories in the next six hours, starting with climbing on and off every bench he sees between his bedroom and his school locker. He will spend all breaks between classes with a ball of some sort, bouncing it, catching it, whamming it against inviting-looking walls. Then, he will take all opportunities to burn a few more calories trading jabbed elbows with best friend, which will inevitably wind up in a friendly wrestling match on a grassy field, a gymnasium mat, or the lunchroom floor. He will also, after school, head straight to a two-and-a-half hour basketball practice, whereby, in just stopping at the water fountain, he will burn the remaining 25 calories that presently cling to his 95-pound frame.

In short, this young man desperately needs calories. Good solid calories that you, chief-mom, know come especially from that all-important, crucially nutritious, early morning meal. But, as I believe I’ve mentioned, he refuses to eat. I feel your pain. I have been there.

On that remarkable day when my teenage son turned to me and said (finally), “Mom, I think I want to eat a healthy breakfast; it’ll help me in sports,” the heavens opened, the angels rejoiced, a thousand hallelujah choruses rang out. I immediately began researching breakfast options that contained words other than “chocolate” and “Pop-tarts.”

Here are a couple true and tried breakfast offerings that your oh-so-not-a-morning-person child might actually eat. You can prepare them while humming a made-up little tune to the following words: “She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household . . .” (Prov. 31:15a)

And what do you know, someday her household might (finally) actually eat it.

Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Bars

Make these ahead of time. They keep well on the counter and can even be frozen.

Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil.

In large bowl, mix together ¾ c. peanut butter, ¾ c. brown sugar, and ¼ c. butter, until well blended. Stir in ¼ c. honey, 1 egg, and 1 t. vanilla. Add 1 c. oatmeal (uncooked), quick or regular, along with 1 c. uncooked oat bran and ½ c. nonfat dry milk.

Stir until mixed. It will be a little crumbly. Press into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. After it cools, lift out of pan by the foil and onto cutting board. Cut into two-inch squares.

Berry-Lime Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to get fruit into your kids. If they like them, you can experiment with all kinds of ingredients, from mango to blueberries to peach nectar to yogurt. Here’s a tasty start.

Place in blender 1 c. frozen strawberries, 1 c. fresh or frozen pineapple chunks, ½ c. frozen raspberries, ¼ c. orange juice, and 2 T. frozen limeade concentrate. Whirl together- you can add a bit more juice, if needed. Bendy straws make it even more delicious.

Lynn Bowen Walker is the author of “Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker.” You can read a chapter of her book at


{ L } said...

That's so funny about your son... ;) LOVE that story, lol. I'm saving this post to make those oatmeal bars!! They sound excellent and just the thing I've been looking for. I'm burned out with breakfast ideas.