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Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Five ideas for back-to-school breakfasts

It’s back–the hurried morning routine. Over the next few weeks, the days of sleeping in until a 9 a.m. swim practice or 10 a.m. day camp start will give way to the race to meet the school bus, or to not miss carpool.

With homework assignments, after-school sports equipment and so much else to remember, we figured you could use some help with breakfast. Here are five ideas that come together quickly:

1. Make-it-in-your-sleep oatmeal. It’s a little different (and a little cheaper) than dry boxed cereal. Takes some planning ahead, but the kids can add the fruit of their choice in the morning. Find a recipe here.

2. Fruit and cheese kabobs. Why does cheese belong at breakfast? Because protein will help keep your kids from getting hungry before the first school bell rings. Stack fruit pieces and cheese cubes on wooden or plastic skewers the night before. You could serve with honey for dipping, and maybe some whole wheat toast for fiber. A colorful way to wake up your kids’ imaginations.

3. Breakfast quesadillas. Place a whole-wheat flour tortilla on a lightly oiled skillet over medium-low heat. As it warms, sprinkle with shredded cheese and whatever other ingredients you know your child will eat (ideas: scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, chopped tomatoes, leftover chicken or ground beef from the night before, spinach). Fold over and cook until the cheese is melted and ingredients are warmed through. A good way to keep your kids from thinking that breakfast always has to be sweet and sugary.

4. Yogurt “sundae” party. Set out ice cream dishes and let your kids fill them from an array of yogurt, granola, fresh or dried fruit, nuts and other ingredients. Let them experiment with ingredients you might not immediately think of for a yogurt parfait, like peanut butter or coconut flakes. A small number of dark chocolate chips aren’t a bad addition, either, and might complete the “sundae” theme.

5. Power smoothie. There may be no better way to cram nutrition into your kids’ food than the smoothie. Place a banana, some frozen berries, plain or vanilla yogurt and a few ice cubes in a blender. Additions can include any other fruit you have around, spinach or kale (which they won’t taste and might not be able to see in the finished product), ground flaxseed, wheat germ, honey, orange juice, etc.

Happy breakfast-ing!

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