I am partnering with Mom’s Best® Cereals to help you conquer hectic weekday mornings. I’ve got 5 things that really help me get organized, stay on top of family schedules, and plan meals with a printable weekly meal planner. Below is also an easy healthy cookies recipe using breakfast cereal that I make for on-the-go snacks, breakfasts, or school lunch extras. Together these things will help you be victorious with your morning battles too.
This year I have two kids in middle school and one in high school. Not a one of us is a morning person. As you can imagine, we all struggle with morning routines Monday thru Friday. But I find that if I can get organized and streamline our routines, mornings DO run better and that sets the stage for the rest of the day.
1. Create A To-Do List
To get things done, you need a clear plan to get organized and prioritize your time. A To-Go List is that plan! Without it, it’s easy to become stressed and frantic about “ALL the stuff” you have to do. Write down (digitally or physically, whatever works for you) and clearly lay out what needs to be done for each day. I find that it’s best to make my list the night before. It helps plan the next day but also helps me sleep because I’m not worrying about “all” the things I have to do. As you finish tasks, cross them off, and gain a sense of accomplishment as you conquer your day.
2. Create a Family Calendar
One of my biggest frustrations is learning we “forgot” something, especially the morning they are due. It could be the school party that needed me to bring 2 dozen cookies, the track meet that was rescheduled, or the day I forgot to write down that I was the class volunteer. Creating a family calendar and placing it in a place visible to everyone helps us keep organized. As appointments get scheduled, activities are planned, special events announced, they all get put directly on the board. The same with homework projects, birthdays, meetings, trips, etc.
For our family, we do both a physical calendar in the kitchen and shared digital calendars on our iPhones. This family calendar is on my kitchen whiteboard calendar. It isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done. It gets updated weekly and serves as a place to jot down events, appointments, list groceries we ran out of, attachment notes or mail pieces, and more.
3. Plan Quick & Easy Meals
Weekdays in general are busy for families. Between work, homework, after-school activities, and errands, your time is limited. So meals need to be healthy, yet quick and easy to prepare. This goes for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Here are a few suggestions that can all be added to a weekly meal planner (more on that in a minute).
Breakfast at home: Whole grain toast with bananas and honey, overnight oats, Mom’s Best Crispy Cocoa Rice or Sweetened Wheatfuls cereal with whole milk, vegetable frittata or cheesy scrambled eggs.
Before the kids head off to the bus, I want to ensure that they start the day with a healthy breakfast. Mom’s Best offers an assortment of breakfast cereals and whole grain oatmeal that is made with wholesome ingredients. There are NEVER any artificial flavors, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup in Mom’s Best. Their Simple Goodness Promise means that they make cereals that balance great taste, quality ingredients, and are affordable. They also make #1 Natural & Organic chocolate cereal, Crispy Cocoa Rice, which is another one of my kids’ favorites.
Breakfast On the Go – Fresh fruit and yogurt, green or fruit smoothie, healthy cookies like our Cinnamon Cookies made with leftover Mom’s Best cereal (shown below)
Lunch: Repurposed leftovers as a stir fry or rice bowl, salads, wraps, homemade lunch-able with deli meat, cheese and vegetables.
Don’t forget to plan healthy snacks too. I like to bake on the weekends and will make batches of healthy cookies, like these cinnamon cookies, for school lunches, quick snacks, on-the-go-breakfasts, or anytime.
Cinnamon Cookie Recipe
This Cinnamon Cookie recipe takes one of my kids’ favorite breakfast cereals, Toasted Cinnamon Squares from Mom’s Best, plus assorted nuts and dried fruit (trail mix), old fashioned oats, maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil, and spices. It’s actually a great way to use that last bit of cereal left in the bag. You can use a single type of breakfast cereal or you can combine with other cereals like Mom’s Best Sweetened Wheatfuls or Oats and Honey Blend. If you are looking to make these gluten-free, substitute a GF flour and opt for one of Mom’s Best’s GF options. You can substitute honey or agave for the maple syrup.
These healthy cookies are chewy and are great anytime of day. I use a bulk bin trail mix because it is often less expensive than buying the individual ingredients. You can substitute any combination of dried fruit and/or nuts for the trail mix in this recipe.
- 2 cups Mom’s Best Honey Grahams or Toasted Cinnamon Squares cereal
- 2 cups trail mix (assorted nuts and dried fruit), coarsely chopped
- 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cereal, trail mix, oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together.
- In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, heat the coconut oil for 5-10 seconds or until the coconut oil is just melted.
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and eggs to the melted coconut oil. Whisk together until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and combine well. Mixture will be crumbly but will hold together when pressed together.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Take rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough (about 1.5” diameter) and press together slightly between wet hands. Place onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
- Bake at 325˚F for 12-14 minutes or just until cookies start to lightly brown. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
- Store in a sealed container.
Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 111mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 4g
4. Use a Weekly Meal Planner
Save time and money by using a weekly meal planner. You can plan meals around your family schedule/calendar, make the best use of weekly store specials or coupons, and shop seasonally. I recommend planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few grab and go options like the ones I mentioned above. Grab and go options are perfect any time of day.
Here is the printable weekly meal planner template I use. It includes a printable grocery list too. Once you plan out your meals, you can create your grocery list based on what you need and any staples you are out of. With that completed grocery list in hand, head to the store or order groceries to be picked up or delivered (my favorite option). Plus this will prevent you from waking up one morning and realizing you are out of milk and coffee!
5. Play the 10 Minute Game
As a mom, I can’t be expected to do everything for my family. The family can and should help around the house to get ready for the next day. Making chores a game helps reduce the amount of complaining and actually makes it fun. After dinner, we take 10 minutes to prep for the next day by. That includes making lunches, selecting outfits, setting backpacks by the door, and picking up around the house. Setting a time limit makes the work go by faster and the kids will often compete to see who can do the MOST work. That’s music to my ears and less stress on me.
Together these 5 things help my family and I get organized so our weekday mornings are less stressful and make us ready to conquer the day. Be sure to get the printable weekly meal planner and print off the heathy cookies recipe for my Cinnamon Cookies. These cookies are perfect for snacks, quick breakfasts on-the-go, fall road trips, and on the trail. If you have other tips that help you and your family, please share them with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.