Make-Ahead Breakfasts (Picky) Kids Will Eat

Because the morning struggle doesn't have to be that bad.

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Breakfast Cookies; Ellie Krieger

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Between dressing three 6-year-olds (yes, you read that correctly), packing their lunches, telling them to put their shoes on 14 times and remembering to send library books back on the appropriate day, I don't have a whole lot of time to make breakfast most mornings — but the kids still need to eat! Here's how I make it happen without losing my mind.

Show me a kid who doesn't want cookies for breakfast and, well, I'll definitely know it isn't my kid. These cookies take just over a half-hour to make, so I can easily whip up a double batch on a Sunday and have more than enough to get us through the week. They're filled with healthy, Mom-approved ingredients like oats and bran flakes, yet they're sweet enough (thanks to brown sugar and raisins) to keep the kids happy.

My kids cannot get enough of these peanut buttery bites, and I can't resist a recipe that comes together entirely in the food processor. Ingredients like rolled oats, crunchy peanut butter and flax seeds help keep little bellies full until lunchtime, and they're super easy to pop into your mouth amid all the morning chaos.

Close-up Freezer Breakfast Panini, as seen on The Pioneer Woman, Season 20.

When life feels really crazy, I like to channel my inner Ree Drummond. (Girl knows a thing or two about having a houseful of kids and a busy schedule!) Her hearty breakfast paninis require a little more prep work, but they're worth the extra effort when it means you can serve a hot breakfast on a Wednesday with minimal effort that morning. I love how these ham-and-cheese egg sandwiches cook from frozen. Note: I leave out the green chiles for little ones, but go ahead and leave them in if yours are more adventurous than mine!

MINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Chunky PeanutButter, Egg, Sugar, Milk, Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Mini Chocolate Chips,MINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Chunky Peanut Butter, Egg, Sugar, Milk, Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Mini Chocolate Chips

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Having a bag of muffins in the freezer has saved me on more busy mornings than I can count. My kids also get a kick out of using the microwave all by themselves (how grown-up), so if yours are as easily entertained as mine, this recipe's for you. Make a batch of these peanut butter-filled muffins on Sunday, freeze and let your kids defrost while you finish packing their lunches.

There's not a single Sunday that goes by in which one of my kids doesn't ask for waffles. The only natural thing to do is make extra to keep in the freezer! This 5-star recipe for light and fluffy waffles never disappoints.

FNK_Pancakes

FNK_Pancakes

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network: 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, Food Network: 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

One kid wants plain pancakes, another one wants them with chocolate chips and another one asks for blueberries. Who's got time for that when you need to leave for school at 7:30 in the morning? This pancake recipe is great for making customized breakfasts in a flash: Just add whatever cut-up fruit (or chocolate chips, if you're feeling nice) before flipping. I also like to make these on the small side so little hands can grab them and go when life gets extra hectic.

101201_FNM_SmoothSpreadLV3_204.tif

101201_FNM_SmoothSpreadLV3_204.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude 917 804 2567 Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 674 4203

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

We all know that keeping washed and cut-up fruit in the fridge is a great way to ensure you and the kids will eat more fruit — when it's in sight and easy to eat, you will eat it! Extending this mentality to the freezer works well for my family too. I cut up and freeze our favorite fruit combinations and — voila! Easiest and creamiest smoothies ever.

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