Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas For Busy Families

Ready or not, it’s back to school time! It’s important that kids (and moms!) eat a healthy breakfast, but providing that can become overwhelming sometimes.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas For Busy FamiliesHere are a few make-ahead breakfast ideas and recipes to help ease that burden:

Green Smoothie Pancakes

Blendtec calls these Green Smoothie Pancakes, but at our house, they are known simply as Grinch Cakes. “Green smoothie” isn’t the most appealing name to kids, but who doesn’t love the Grinch? We made them around Christmastime one year when my kids were really little and the name Grinch Cakes has stuck ever since.

Now, don’t be deceived. These aren’t Grandma’s fluffy buttermilk pancakes she makes with processed white flour and too much sugar. So if you expect them to taste like that, you will be sorely disappointed. Buuuuuut…..they are delicious. And incredibly healthy. The color comes from spinach, but you can’t taste it at all! We have adapted the recipe a bit and usually make them gluten-free. It calls for wheat berries, but instead, we use equal parts brown rice and steel-cut oats.

I also don’t like the taste of banana, so I often use an apple (core removed) instead. Sometimes we’ll find a tiny chunk of apple in a pancake, but it’s never been a bother. I also omit the sugar, as we put plenty of sugar on top with syrup and sometimes jam.

Pancakes can be time-consuming to cook, but one of my favorite things about these is how nicely they freeze. I usually make a double batch and freeze most of them. Each morning I pop a few in the toaster oven and breakfast is ready just like that!

This recipe is from the Blendtec website, but can be done in any high powered blender. There is also a note about using flour instead of wheat berries. That would make it doable in a smaller blender.  Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cups spinach, packed
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder


  1. Add milk, wheat berries, spinach, and flax seeds to FourSide or WildSide+ jar and secure lid.
  2. Blend on a high speed for 50 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to jar and secure lid. Select “Batters” or blend on a Medium-Low speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Allow batter to rest 5 minutes.
  5. Heat griddle or other pan over medium to medium high heat and grease. Pour approximately ¼ cup batter onto heated pan and cook approximately 1 minute or until bubbles break the surface of the pancake and the underside is golden brown. Flip and cook for approximately 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven at 200°F loosely wrapped in foil.

Substitute 1⅓ cup of flour in place of the wheat berries.

Overnight Oatmeal

Another quick make-ahead breakfast that my kids love is overnight oatmeal. There are two ways you can do this. Our favorite is in the instant pot, set on a delay start so the oats cook in the morning right as we’re all waking up. The other involves putting the oats with milk in the fridge overnight and they soak up the liquid to be ready to eat in the morning.

Instant Pot method


  • 1 1/2 Cups steel cut oat
  • 4 Cups water
  • 1/4 Cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbps hemp hearts
  • 3 Tbps chia seeds
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Cups frozen berries (optional)

Add oats and water to instant pot. Set on porridge setting for 20 minutes with a delay start. I find it takes about 40 minutes to get up to pressure, so set it to start one hour before you want the oats to be finished.
Allow a natural pressure release for five minutes and then manually release the pressure. Add other ingredients, to your preference.

With a little effort the night before, this makes breakfast a breeze. If you would prefer an option that you literally eat with a spoon straight out of the fridge, try refrigerator over-night oats.

Refrigerator method:


  • 1/4 Cup old fashioned oats (not instant or steel cut)
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbps maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 Cup berries

Combine everything except blueberries in a half-pint (one cup) jar and secure lid. Shake vigorously to combine. Add berries and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.

One great thing about oatmeal is that the flavor possibilities are almost endless. Throw in some diced apples and a dash of cinnamon. Chunks of mango with coconut flakes make a yummy tropical option. Maybe some peanut butter and chocolate chips for the sweet tooth. Just about anything goes!

What’s your go-to make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings?

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