Breakfast time can be hectic for bustling families, but fitting in a nutritious meal before everyone heads to work or school is critical for your family's overall health. Breakfast drinks and smoothies are quick, nutritious options that your on-the-move family can grab and go for a fast and delicious morning pick up. A range of healthy ingredients leaves plenty of space for customizing drinks to please all the tastes in your house.
Tips for Quick Drinks
Breakfast drinks and smoothies whip up in a flash if you've made some simple preparations. Fruits are staple ingredients of many breakfast drinks because they are refreshing and rich in essential nutrients and vitamins. Cut up fresh fruit and store the chunks in sandwich bags in your freezer -- you'll eliminate the need to add ice to your drinks and you'll save time. Dedicate a portion of your cabinets to the supplies you'll need for your drinks, like a whisk, blender and enough plastic to-go cups with lids for each family member. Anytime you have extra drinks leftover, store them in the fridge or freezer for an after school treat or another round of breakfast later in the week.
Blended or shaken drinks usually include ice cream as a base when they are served for dessert, but the high-fat and high-sugar ingredient isn't appropriate for breakfast drinks. Swap out the ice cream for other creamy dairy products for a healthy dose of dairy and calcium. Low-fat vanilla or fruit yogurts add sweetness, and thicker Greek yogurt is closer in texture to ice cream. Instead of fatty whole milk, opt for skim milk or slightly sweet low-fat almond milk or vanilla soy milk. Traditional breakfast juices and juice concentrates like apple or orange are also sweet bases for fruit smoothies is you want to skip the milk or dairy completely.
Pick Your Flavor
Instant breakfast shakes have recognizable flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and coffee. Recreate these flavors with powdered instant pudding or gelatin mixes, sugar free syrups and creamers or the real-deal -- fresh strawberries, flakes of chocolate or leftover coffee from the pot. Fruit smoothies provide you with ultimate customization. Let your family members pick their favorite fruit ingredients like banana, strawberry, melon, blueberry, mango and pineapple. Condiments like sugar-free jams add sweetness and additional flavor without too many unnecessary calories.
Keeping your kids filled with the right nutrients helps them stay alert in class and keeps them focused until lunch time. Though fruits and low-fat dairy provide a good supply of vitamins, additional mom-approved ingredients make up for any gaps in fiber and protein. Whey or protein powders up the nutrient content with minimal added flavor or effort. Nut butters and spreads create unique flavors when paired with banana or strawberry smoothies. Ground nuts and oats add just enough texture to make your breakfast drink feel thick and filling, and they add a hearty dose of healthy fats and digestive fiber.
- "Smoothies"; Louise Pickford; 2008
- "Stonewall Kitchen Breakfast"; Jonathon King, et al.; 2009
Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.