How to Survive your Kid’s Early Morning Breakfast Routine


It’s 5:00 am, and your little one is awake, hungry, and ready to play. The problem is you are still tired, haven’t had your first cup of coffee, and the absolute last thing you feel like doing is making breakfast!

Moms, I feel your pain. You might not believe this, but there will come a time when your kids are teens, and their feet won’t hit the ground until after 11 am on the weekend. I know this because my daughter is now 13, and her absolute favorite thing to do on days off school is sleep in.

This wasn’t always the case. After my daughter moved out of her crib and into a toddler bed-you know the kind of bed they can get out of on their own. I would see her cute face staring at me every morning sometime between 4:45, and 5:00 am.  

For the longest time, I would try to coax her back to bed. At some point, I gave up and tried to find ways to make my mornings easier.

The smartest thing I did was empower her to be more independent (independent is code for buying me time to ease into waking up with my caffeine beverage of choice). I did this by teaching her to “make” her breakfast.

If you want to give it a try here are some tips for setting your kids up for success:

Find a low cabinet in your house. Something your kids can easily reach inside. Keep just their things in it. For instance, I kept the following items:

Plastic Bowls
Kid plates
Plastic glasses
Dish Towel (Because they will likely spill something at some point-a small price to pay in my opinion.)

Meal Prep:

I would spend about an hour and a half prepping breakfast food. You don’t have to make it in the morning. Do it whenever it is convenient for your schedule (when the kids nap, while they are watching Frozen for the 50th time, or after they go to bed for the night).

What to Make:

  • A batch of pancakes. I love this recipe from King Arthur. Once the pancakes cool, wrap each one in saran wrap and place them all in a gallon size ziplock bag. 
    • Clear off the bottom shelf of your freezer-or whatever shelf they can reach, and place the pancakes on that shelf. 
  • Do your kids like french toast? We love getting the Costco cinnamon streusel bread and making french toast with it. Just add a few eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a splash of milk to a bowl. Next, mix it all together. Then dip a slice of bread in it and fry in your skillet. Again, wait for it to cool, wrap in saran wrap, place in a ziplock bag, and store in the freezer with your pancakes.
  • Do you have a waffle maker? We love this waffle recipe. You get the idea, make, cool, wrap, store in the freezer. Bonus: If you make the pancakes and waffles at the same time you’ll get to use all the buttermilk before it spoils.

Now when your kids are ready for breakfast, they can grab a plate from their cabinet, go to the freezer and grab a pancake, waffle, or french toast. If your toaster has a defrost button, they can toss it in the toaster, hit defrost, and wait for it to pop up. Don’t have a defrost button? Everything heats up nice in the microwave.

Other Breakfast Ideas:

Are your kids more of the cereal type? Does the thought of them pouring milk terrify you? Invest in a plastic pitcher. Then at night, pour a small amount of milk in the pitcher, that way it’s easier for them to handle. Are your Kids not mastered how much cereal is a serving size? Portion out cereal into ziplock baggies and place in your kid’s cabinet or bottom shelf of your pantry.

This morning routine evolved over time with my daughter. When she was pretty little, I would still have to supervise, but it was so much easier to watch her from the couch than to have to do it myself when I was still half asleep. As she got older, I was able to phase out being nearby. 

Want to know another benefit of having breakfast prepped and ready to go in the freezer? On nights you don’t feel like cooking dinner declare it “Breakfast for Dinner Night!”

If you decide to teach your kids to “make” breakfast, we’d love to hear how it goes. Tag us on Instagram @toledo.moms.

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Michelle Turner
Michelle Turner was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She can’t imagine a better place to raise her now teenage daughter. She’s been married to her husband for 14 + years and with their daughter and raised a much-loved pooch named Clever. She’s a lover of organization, Gilmore Girls, and baking. She works full time and has also started a side business, Remind and Inspire, to help moms find inspiration from memories and treasured moments. She does this by incorporating baby’s clothes, beloved blankies, and treasured team t-shirts, into a keepsake journal. She also has a blog where she shares ways to create memories with your kids.


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