For most kids in New Jersey, this week means back to school. And for parents, that means back to busy mornings getting everyone ready for school. Many parents find that lunch is always a challenge, but what about breakfast? One of the best things you can do for your children, especially if they have anxiety about the first day of school, is make sure they have a healthy breakfast.

Here are three great breakfast ideas for the first day of school sure to please the kids, without too much work for the chef:

1. Fun Pancakes

Pour free-form pancakes that spell out your child's name, or if you want to keep it simple, make a single pancake shaped in the number of the new grade your child is entering. Free-form pancakes not your thing? Use chocolate chips, raspberries, or blueberries to "write" with on the pancake. Need something even easier? Write a message in icing.

2. Personalized Oatmeal

Make a large pot of oatmeal for everyone, and put out a "toppings bar" so each child can personalize their oatmeal. Some additions that work well: raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, honey, brown sugar, and my personal favorite, maple syrup.

3. Fruit Kabobs

I don't know what it is about food on a stick, but my kids love it. Make fun back-to-school fruit breakfast kabobs, and place them on top of waffles or french toast. Kabobs can be a fun addition to whatever your family usually has for breakfast. Hint: make the kabobs on flat popsicle sticks: grapes, strawberries, and pieces of mango and melon all work well.

If you're feeling up to a little night-before-school prep, create a menu for a First Day of School restaurant, and let your kids pick from what you know won't be too hard for you to make in the morning, or the night before. Some ideas: smoothies, muffins, eggs any style and egg sandwiches. At my house the "cafe" always serves bagels with a choice of butter, cream cheese, or egg and cheese. Sides at the "cafe" include fruit salad, hard boiled eggs, and dried fruit.

And one last breakfast idea: for those moms and dads who have the morning off from work to take the kids to school, why not enjoy your own first-day-of-school breakfast, kid-free and in a restaurant? For parents, that's a rare special occasion, too.


What are your family's favorite back-to-school breakfast traditions? Comment below!