Mornings are not my finest time slot of the day. I stay up late both by preference and work obligation, and yet, my family seems to be very committed to being early risers. What’s a gal to do?
For starters, I have made it very clear that mornings are to be quiet. Wake up and get ready, listen to an audiobook, and *gasp* get a jump start on your chores. I promise, mama will rise. And when I do, I have an established rhythm that makes our morning routine run pretty smooth.
The key for us is a breakfast meal plan.
Getting my crew out the door has finally been simplified thanks to a breakfast schedule. It is posted on our fridge and now there is no scrambling for ingredients, wondering if we have milk, or complaining about “cereal again”.
Moms talk nonstop about dinner meal planning but I have found that a breakfast meal plan is just as important. And here is the best thing – I only need a handful of recipes, ten max, to rotate through. Monday through Friday week one, Monday through Friday week two and then weekends are up for grabs or leftovers.
Here is a peek at our current line up for week one and three of the month:
Tuesday: Yogurt with fruit and granola on top
Wednesday: Scrambled eggs with sausage links
Thursday: Instant Pot oatmeal (see our favorite recipe below!)
Friday: Pancakes, sometimes banana, sometimes blueberry, sometimes chocolate chip
Here is what we kick our mornings off with during week two and four of the month:
Monday: Bagels with cream cheese and a side of fruit
Tuesday: Homemade smoothies, green if I can convince everyone
Wednesday: Breakfast quiche or casserole
Thursday: Instant Pot oatmeal (remember, it’s our favorite!)
Friday: French toast with a side of bacon
And just like that, everyone knows what to expect and everyone can pitch in to get us fed and out the door. Some breakfast meals I prep the night before, like pancake batter, smoothie ingredients portioned out and waiting in the freezer, and breakfast casserole ready for an early riser to pop in the oven.
We have been running this breakfast meal plan for over a year now and it works like clockwork. Way better than my attempt at a dinner meal plan, our evenings are just too crazy for a consistent schedule there. But at breakfast, we’re all home, we’re all hungry, and truly, it is a wonderful way to begin the day – together with a no stress, low mess meal.
Now, the recipe I promised:
I used to make an overnight crockpot oatmeal, but the edges tended to get crispy and no one liked that. Then I discovered oatmeal cooked in the Instant Pot and everyone cheered. It is 10x better this way, quite fast, and the one breakfast we have every single week no matter what.
Instant Pot Oatmeal
- 1.5 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Splash of vanilla extract
Add oats, milk, water, brown sugar, chia seeds, and vanilla to the Instant Pot inner pot. Securely close the lid and turn the steam release handle to sealing. Select the “porridge” setting and you’re set! Jump in the shower, finish your make-up, or help one of the kids practice their spelling bee words – breakfast is covered!
When the Instant Pot beeps, turn the steam release handle and open the lid. Stir well before serving. And don’t forget toppings! Our favorite oatmeal topping combinations include:
Tropical: unsweetened coconut flakes, berries, and cacao nibs
S’more: crushed graham cracker, mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips
The Elvis: peanut butter swirl, honey, and banana slices
Apple Pie: apple bites, cinnamon sprinkle, and granola
See why oatmeal morning is the best of all? Delicious!
One of these days I might figure out meal planning when it comes to dinner time, but for now, I’m going to ride the wave of our smooth morning routine thanks to our family’s breakfast schedule. After all, don’t they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I’ll take this as my win for now. Cheers to oatmeal and more!