Breakfast for Lunch(box)

Before you read this, there are a few things you should know about me.

  1. I love food. I love cooking, meal planning, and reading food blogs.
  2. When sharing my food with loved ones, I prefer that they rave about appreciate the dish I offer them.
  3. My son does not like sandwiches. He also has whimsical food tastes that change more quickly than a clean and orderly playroom.
  4. I am turning into my mother. Perhaps not completely, but I hear her words coming out of my mouth when my child begs for Lunchables. Poor child, it’s the circle of life. 

And most importantly, perhaps I become a bit more irked than the average person when meal preparation is rushed and stressful, the food is criticized, and the ingredient options are limited. Unfortunately, this is the exact scene in my kitchen most weekday mornings as I pack the School Lunch.

Food is love, so as I send my little guy off to his first year of full day school, I want his midday meal to scream I LOVE YOU. I also want that lunch to be chock full of delicious, filling, brain developing, muscle building, immune system boosting nutrition. 

Enter breakfast for lunch. 

Since this meal is packed in a lunch box, does not include a mimosa, and is eaten in about 20 minutes, I’m hesitant to call it brunch. We’ll save that term for the leisurely weekend event, lest my son start requesting a cinnamon roll appetizer. No, breakfast for the lunch box is responsible, weekday food, but the change from the usual lunch fare means it’s still a nice surprise. 

The idea to put breakfast food in my son’s lunch started with oatmeal. We’re fans of steel cut oats. These take forever to cook so I usually whip up a large batch at the start of the week. At a loss for lunch options one day, I heated up a bowl and put it in my boy’s thermos. I included a small container of dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds because toppings are always fun. My son raved.

Pancakes are also a hit, especially mini pancakes. I’ll include syrup in a small container because, like toppings, dipping is always fun.

Cereal in a covered bowl with a side jar of milk gets two thumbs up.

The full breakfast experience.

To create the full breakfast experience, I’ll often add a few breakfast sausages or a hard-boiled egg. I have goals of adding egg muffins like these to the repertoire, but so far I’ve been met with resistance. Food introduction, mamas, it’s a marathon. Regular muffins, while breakfast-y, are whole wheat, filled with veggies like carrots and zucchini, and a general staple in school lunches for us. (no sandwiches, remember?)

Breakfast for lunch offers a nice relief in meal planning. Once a week I’m confident my kiddo’s lunch box will come home empty and his belly full. Success. It’s the small things, no? 

What foods are lunch box winners for your kids? Please share your ideas in the comments, because there are four other days in the week where I’m still struggling.

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