It’s just after 6am on a sunny Thursday morning in late February. The year is 1987.
Mum and dad are still asleep, but my siblings and I most definitely are not. My sister is on the lookout for “awake parents” and my brother is aggressively trying to pry open the tin of malted drinking chocolate with a dodgy teaspoon.
“Hurry up, Andrew!” seven-year-old me yells at my brother. “If you don’t move faster we’re going to get busted. BUSTED! And that’ll mean no Young Talent Time for two whole weeks!”
He hurries up and the three of us tuck in. Spoonful after spoonful of chocolatey deliciousness shoved into our little mouths. We are now ready to face the day! Or so we think…
Alongside the drinking chocolate we used to consume, there was hazelnut spread on white toast or crackers, cereals of every size, shape and colour, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, and even the occasional peanut butter and honey sambo! Not exactly what the doctors and nutritionists of 2017 would recommend.
Fast forward to today and I am a mum of two kids, aged five and seven. Despite getting up earlier than me pretty much every day, my kids don’t need to be on the lookout, waiting for hubby and I to jump out and berate them, because what they’re eating is not only genuinely delicious, but is great for them too. As far as I am concerned, all the boxes are ticked.
Fresh fruit, nutritious breads and cereals, and yoghurt are what’s on the menu in the Phoodie household for our morning meals. With the fruit, minimal preparation is required. I always have washed and (where appropriate) chopped pieces of fruit in the fridge on the lower two shelves, ready for little hands to grab and eat.
After they’ve had their fruit I am usually out of bed and I prepare their cereal or toast. This is always followed by yoghurt, and Vaalia Kids is my brand of choice. Their range includes a variety of fruit flavours as well as a breakfast yoghurt (fruits with natural grains, natural grains being a mix of natural cereal and quinoa – yes quinoa for breakfast, hooray!). They are packed with goodness - three unique probiotics, plus fibre, calcium, protein, and no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners and no preservatives.
On those crazy busy school mornings, Vaalia Kids yoghurts are a great breakfast option. They're also good for lunchboxes - mix up which flavour you send to school and they won't get bored! Some of the Vaalia Kids yoghurts can even be frozen and popped into the lunchbox to keep things cool. Double win.
Also on the kids' brekkie trend list is avocado toast, or "smashed avo" as it’s more fondly known. It’s super quick to bang together and can be customised (think the addition of smoked salmon, chili flakes, hot sauce and cracked black pepper) for the person who is eating it – adult or child.
Another great option is ‘overnight oats’ or bircher muesli, as the majority of the work is done beforehand. A healthy addition to any bircher muesli is chia seeds. They give both texture and add a myriad of other benefits. In addition, the muesli can be topped with some fresh fruit, nuts or yoghurt immediately prior to serving. My kids love this for brekkie, as do hubby and I.
As a mum, I know what it’s like to be busy. Flat out. Hectic. To literally be running from thing to thing, school to work, appointment to after-school activity and back again.
Then add to that the pressure to teach our children to speak French or Mandarin, to swim like a junior Olympian, to be screen-free for the correct number of hours in the day, to be mentally stimulated just the right amount, not over or under, and to use coconut oil 24/7 for everything - I am actually tired just reading back what I’ve written! But as parents, that’s our reality. Every day. The pressure is always on.
Being able to relieve some of the pressure by having simple food solutions available to us can only be a good thing. It’s not only breakfast where the pressure exists, it’s snack times, lunch times and every other time the kiddies need to get their food fix. So make sure to take the short cuts needed to guarantee you aren’t losing your mind at morning, noon and night!
And as much as I reminisce about ‘the good old days’, the times when life was less stressful, when ‘fashion’ meant scrunchies and leg-warmers, and when music was Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper, one thing, being a mum now, that I’m definitely happy my kids don’t experience, is a chocolate-filled breakfast binge before I wake up!
What does your child eat for breakfast? How different is it to what you ate as a child? Tell us below!
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Vaalia Kids.
Vaalia Kids Breakfast yoghurts are the perfect on-the-go solution for those busy mornings. Made with the goodness of Vaalia Kids yoghurt combined with natural grains (rice cereal & quinoa) they’re a source of calcium, protein and fibre all-in-one! Choose from two delicious flavours, blueberry & banana.
Available at your local Woolworths store.