Becoming a mother has changed me in many profound ways, but there a few core things about my identity that have remained the same. Sure, things shift with the seasons and changing life demands, but ultimately I found that these things are unshakeable. One of those things for me is being an inveterate snooze button pusher.
I don't like to wake up early.
Luckily, to balance this out, I also happen to be hyper-responsible. Like, on the edge of anxiously so, which means that I never snooze past the point of being unable to feed my kids breakfast, pack their lunches, and get them off to school on time. But I'm not going to lie: It's really close every morning, which is why I'm always looking for ways to make my morning routine faster and easier.
My favorite trick is to rely on make-ahead breakfast recipes that can either go from fridge to table or that I can reheat while I pack lunches and the boys get dressed. And because I prep these breakfasts when I have more time (and caffeine in my system), I can ensure that they're more nutritionally balanced than the bowls of cereal and milk that I toss their way when I haven't prepared something ahead.
To arm me with as much inspiration as possible, I've asked five of my favorite busy moms to share their favorite make-ahead breakfast recipes. I did not ask them to share why they like make-ahead breakfasts as much as I do, but it hardly matters. Anything to make weekday mornings easier — and for me, anything to hit that snooze button just one more time!
1. Blackberry Cream Ice Pops from Jacqui Saldana of Baby Boy Bakery
One of my favorite things about Jacqui is how much she loves cooking with her children and her passion for sparking the same love in other families. In her Baby Boy Bakery shop, you can grab everything you need to start your little one off in the kitchen, and her new We Learn online cooking classes for kids are an ingenious way for 5- to 10-year-olds to learn essential kitchen skills at their own pace. So, it's no surprise that her favorite make-ahead breakfast idea is one that she created along with her daughter, Mila.
I love the recipe because it's simple enough that my older kids can make it on their own using protein-rich yogurt, which is a great way to start the day and even to snack during the middle of it.
"Our current favorite make-ahead breakfast recipe is for blackberry cream ice pops! They are tangy, sweet, and creamy with a little crunch for texture. My daughter, Mila, and I like to make these over the weekend to have an easy grab-and-go breakfast option on busy mornings. These ice pops only consist of a few ingredients, and parents can swap out the blackberries for their child's favorite fruit. To be honest, my husband eats these just as eagerly as our toddler. They are perfect!"
Follow Jacqui on Instagram: @babyboybakery
2. Manadonese Porridge (Tinutuan) from Marvellina of What to Cook Today
My older son and I are suckers for savory breakfasts. Also, his doctor has temporarily put him on a special diet that excludes gluten, dairy, and a whole bunch of other foods that make breakfast especially difficult. So imagine my delight when Marvellina of What to Cook Today (one of my favorite food blogs) suggested a make-ahead porridge that works for him and can be made in an electric pressure cooker.
If some of the toppings are a little adventurous for your family, start slowly. Corn, sweet potato, and pumpkin all have a sweet profile that keep this from having too much savory umami flavor for eaters accustomed to sweet breakfasts. You can slowly work your way up to adding spinach and fried shallots.
Check out the recipe on Marvellina's site for specific directions on how to freeze and thaw this porridge to make it a prep-ahead breakfast.
"Tinutuan is a popular breakfast food in Indonesia that is loaded with tubers and vegetables, and is served with delicious toppings. It can be made ahead and frozen for convenience to be pulled out on your busiest mornings. It is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly. It can be made on the stove or in a pressure cooker."
Follow Marvellina on Instagram: @whattocooktoday
At first glance of Shanika's site, Orchids and Sweet Tea, you'd think that you might have to go through her recipes slowly or risk overloading on comfort foods and sugar. But as it turns out, this beautiful young mama is all about healthy substitutions and, as she likes to say, "Having your cake and eating it too," which makes her approach to healthy eating perfect for families.
That's why I knew Shanika wouldn't let me down when it came to make-ahead breakfast ideas. Of course, she came up with an ingenious way to use roasted sweet potatoes, one of my favorite things to keep in the fridge!
When my boys were young, I'd roast one extra large sweet potato a week to keep on hand. I'd mash and spread slices onto toast instead of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. It's tasty, for sure, but Shanika's breakfast ideas is a major upgrade.
"You're sure to love the flavor of these sweet potato berry breakfast boats, an irresistible combination of velvety sweet roasted sweet potato, tart berries, earthy nut butter, and creamy Greek yogurt. But more than that, as the mama of a toddler, I love that they are super easy to make, can be prepped well ahead of time, and that the nutrient-dense ingredients can be substituted based on my picky eater's ever-changing taste buds. What more can I ask for?"
Follow Shankia on Instagram: @orchidsandsweettea
4. Vegan Blueberry French Toast Breakfast Muffins from Sophia of Veggies Don't Bite
Make-ahead breakfasts are great, but I also need to keep a few ideas that are make-ahead and grab-and-go in my back pocket. The challenge is that many grab-and-go breakfast options are high in sugar, which is why I went straight to Sophia of Veggies Don't Bite to see what refined sugar-free recipes she had to offer. And, wow, did she not disappoint.
Not only do these vegan blueberry French toast breakfast muffins look delicious and come packed with nutritional goodness, but her use of nutritional yeast to get that egg-y French toast flavor is also ingenious.
"We love these easy grab-and-go muffins because the kids can eat them on the run. You can even pack a container with some maple syrup as a dipper. They are easy to prep the night before, bake fresh in the morning, or even bake the night before and leave on the countertop. They are super healthy and customizable using your favorite bread. They taste like a treat and, bonus, make your house smell amazing!"
Follow Sophia on Instagram: @veggiesdontbite
5. Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal from Liren of Kitchen Confidante
One of my family's favorite make-ahead breakfast ideas is, without a doubt, overnight oatmeal. It's easy, forgiving, adaptable, and delicious. And it all starts with a great basic recipe that you can rely on like the one at Kitchen Confidante.
As with all of Liren's recipes, her overnight refrigerator oatmeal is reliable, beautiful, and works for the entire family. It's perfect in its simplicity, although of course Liren won't leave you with a dish that will get boring over time: Hop on over for plenty of suggestions on how you can riff off of her basic recipe to change it up and make it your own.
"Hands-down, my favorite make-ahead breakfast, for both myself and the kids, is overnight oats! They're so easy to make, customizable, and a great choice for a healthy grab-and-go breakfast. I make a big batch so that we can enjoy them every morning — my daughter loves hers with a green smoothie — and it keeps us full and energized the whole morning."
Follow on Liren Instagram: @kitchconfidante
What are your favorite make-ahead breakfast ideas?