Parents (USA)

Be a Breakfast Whisperer

If everything in your family’s day is starting to feel same-same (what’s the date, anyway?), wake up your morning routine with these surprising yet quick recipes.

- by KAREN CICERO / photograph­s by MARCUS NILSSON

Rock the first meal of the day.

WHEN YOU WANT TO PREP IT AHEAD 1 Upside-down Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place 1 tsp. each butter and brown sugar in 24 mini muffin cups. Bake 5 minutes. Whisk 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt in a large bowl. Whisk 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 11/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract in another bowl. Mix wet ingredient­s into dry. When butter mixture is cool, cut 3 bananas into 24 thin slices; place 1 in each muffin cup; fill with batter. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Store in an airtight container on the counter up to 3 days.

2 Apple-oat Tart

An idea from Lauren Harrispinc­us, R.D.N., author of The Protein-packed Breakfast Club: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix 2 cups rolled oats, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. each baking powder and cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt in a bowl. Then mix 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 egg, 1 ripe banana (mashed), and 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract in another bowl. Add dry mixture to wet one; pour into a greased 9-in. round pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, slice 2 apples or pears into wedges. Use a bowl to toss with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Spread on a parchment-lined baking pan. When oat crust is out of the oven, raise heat to 400°F and roast fruit for 30 minutes. Top crust with roasted fruit. Store in a container up to 3 days.

3 Pumpkin-spice Oats

Pour 1/2 cup steel-cut oats into a bowl or a Mason jar. Add 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup canned pumpkinpie puree, 1 Tbs. maple syrup, 1 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice, and 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Cover; refrigerat­e overnight. Heat; top with fruit and nuts.


When Alison Cayne’s kids couldn’t agree on what they wanted for breakfast, the author of The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School put an assortment of yogurt, fruit, nuts, granola, and honey on the table. “They made themselves exactly what they wanted, and I got an extra ten minutes in the morning,” she says.

5 Pancake Topping Bar

A fun twist on weekend pancakes: Lay out toppings like cream cheese, jam, shredded coconut, and fruit alongside a freshly made stack.

6 Toaster-oven Scones

With this forgiving recipe that doesn’t require a lot of measuring, bakers as young as 8 can whip up a batch on their own. In a small bowl, stir together 1 egg, 2 Tbs. oats, a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of baking soda, a dash of pure vanilla extract, a handful of raisins or dried cranberrie­s, and enough all-purpose flour to make it resemble the consistenc­y of cookie dough. Form into 4 balls and bake in a toaster oven at 300°F for 5 minutes, or until set. Top with jam.


This is a popular kids’ pick on the breakfast menu at the restaurant chain Rush Bowls. Combine ¾ cup milk, ½ cup each frozen bananas and strawberri­es, and 2 Tbs. peanut butter. Blend until thick; top with jelly and halved seedless grapes.

8 Weekday Shakshouka

Cookbook author Dina Cheney makes a quick version of this Middle Eastern egg dish: Simmer 2 cups marinara sauce with a pinch each of cumin and coriander over medium-high heat in a deep 10-in. skillet. Bring to a boil. Crack in 4 eggs, cover, and cook over low heat until the whites are opaque but the yolks are still molten, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with toasted pita and top with cilantro, if the kids are into it.

9 Breakfast Nachos

Chips for breakfast? Go for it! “Whole-grain baked tortillas are similar nutritiona­lly to whole-wheat toast,” says Parents advisor Jill Castle, R.D.N. Top a plate of tortilla chips with scrambled eggs, guacamole, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese.

10 Apple Pie Oatmeal

Perk up an old fave. Mix ½ cup quick-cooking oats, ½ cup milk, 6 Tbs. unsweetene­d applesauce, 2 Tbs. apple juice, and ¼ tsp. each kosher salt and cinnamon in a 12-oz. mug. Microwave covered on high for 2 minutes, says Cheney, author of Mug Meals. Top with diced raw apples and more cinnamon.

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