Quick Fix Family Breakfast & Snack Ideas

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Quick Fix Family Breakfast & Snack Ideas
by:  Rachel Harris, Managedmoms.com

We have been back in school for one week now and I'm already feeling the pressure of getting my kids fed and out the door quickly in the mornings.  They both participate in activities that require them to leave early in the AM and they both need good hearty snacks after school as well since they attend afternoon events.  Were we this busy as kids?  I don't think so!  With that said, here are some quick fix ideas for breakfast and for those much appreciated after school snacks.
Quick Fix Breakfast Ideas
*Yummy Yogurt Parfait - Simply layer with yogurt, then berries, more yogurt and then top with KIND Healthy Grains Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seeds.  To make it healthy, make your own flavored yogurt first.  This is so easy.  Here is my recipe for sort of homemade blueberry yogurt.  Just blend plain nonfat Greek yogurt (as much as you want) with 1/2 cup of blueberries and a dash of Stevia (add to your taste).  Then take a clear plastic cup and layer the bottom with the yogurt, then add your kids' favorite berries, add another layer of yogurt and top it off with the KIND Healthy Grains.  I like the KIND brand because it contains 100% whole grains that include gluten free oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.  I also like that I can pronounce and recognize the ingredients. 
*My Favorite Frozen Quick Fix Healthy Breakfast Burrito - PJ's Organics knows how to make a tasty burrito that can be quickly fixed for a family on the run.  I especially like their breakfast burrito selection because they have the Denver Breakfast Burrito that is hand rolled with organic eggs, cheddar cheese and red and green bell peppers for my kids.  For me, they have the Skinny Breakfast Burrito that contains organic egg whites, feta cheese, spinach and sun dried tomatoes.   The PJ's line is USDA Certified Organic and does not contain GMOs, pesticides or preservatives.  I buy mine at Sprouts Farmers Market locations.
*A Scrumptious Banana Breakfast Milkshake - I found this tasty and easy recipe on Parenting.com's website and we love it because the peanut butter provides protein and the banana provides potassium plus cinnamon has health benefits, too.  Here it is.  Combine...
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon raw organic honey
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 banana, frozen (or fresh bananas and add a handful of ice cubes)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
And check this out, to add a dose of calcium, sprinkle some flax seeds in the shake with the Carrington Farms Flax Paks that are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.  These cool and healthy super seeds are packed in portable and convenient single serve packets with a pre-measured daily dosage.  Sprinkle over yogurt, cereals, salads, oatmeal or simply enjoy on their own.  Plus, with no refrigeration necessary, ready-to-eat Flax Paks can be used at after-school activities, in the car, at home, and more.  This is a pretty cool invention and can be purchased at Whole Foods, local supermarkets, health food stores and online at www.CarringtonFarms.com.
Savory Snack Options
After school snack time can be hectic since a lot of kids have to go straight to an extracurricular practice, rehearsal or meeting.  Here are some of our go to snack solutions...
*Homemade Protein Plate - Like Starbucks sells, I create my own protein plate that I make in a Bento-ware Laptop Lunch Box.  I fill it with a hardboiled egg, almonds, grapes and a slice of cheese.  My kids get protein, calcium and a little sweet treat with the fruit. 
One cool invention I found that easily and successfully preserves left over fruit and veggies is called the Food Hugger. This brilliant invention is a brand new food gadget that simply slips onto the unused portions of your fruits and veggies like lemons, limes, avocados, bell peppers and more (and open cans and jars too). Food Huggers are silicone covers that prolong the life of your produce by providing a seal around your unused portions. A set of four FoodHuggers is $14.99 and they last for years.  Purchase at www.foodhuggers.com.  So sometimes I just grab a leftover apple or cucumber in the Food Hugger and run out the door since my kids don't always finish their fruits and veggies. 
*Rhythm Super Food Chips - are low sodium baked snack chips that have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and are instead made with quinoa, amaranth and oat bran.  We like the Nacho flavor.  This brand is sold at Whole Foods.
*Lance Whole Grain Cheddar Cheese Cracker Sandwiches are baked, made with real cheese, and contain 4 grams of protein.  Lance recently re-launched their Whole Grain line, increasing the amount of whole grains to 11 grams per serving.  These crackers are available in three varieties that include Cheddar Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Peanut Butter and are sold at WalMart and other retailers.
*Looking for a unique protein bar with a little kick?  Try KIND's new line of the Strong & KIND bars that are the brand's first-ever savory snack line featuring 10 grams of soy-and-whey free protein made from ingredients you can see & pronounce.  Made with whole almonds, seeds and pea protein, these bars provide 10 grams of natural protein and all nine essential amino acids.  New unique flavors include Thai Sweet Chili, Honey Mustard, Roasted Jalapeno and more.  Try the Honey Smoked BBQ flavor to replace your BBQ potato chip craving as the KIND bar is a healthier option.  See the complete line at www.kindsnacks.com.  KIND bars are sold at Sprouts Farmers Market and I have seen the line at my Safeway,  too.
*1/2 Sandwich on the run - Make your child 1/2 of a sandwich earlier in the day and store in the cool and environmentally friendly Ecocozies.  This nice alternative to plastic baggies are reusable, insulated, neoprene food containers with a food-safe liner. The interior lining is made out of food-safe material.  An added benefit to using reusable containers is teaching your children the importance of protecting our planet. Ecocozies are free of BPA, lead, PVC, vinyl and phthalates.   Each sells for $19.95 at www.daisycontainercompany.com.  I pack sandwiches like a grilled cheese or turkey and Swiss with avocado that I can give my kids on the run right after school.
*Lucy's Gluten Free Cookies is a good brand for kids with allergies who still want a little something sweet.  These gluten free gems contain no peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs.  All ingredients are from natural sources.  We like the Berry Best and Lemon Goodness flavors.  In fact, my husband almost ate the entire box of Lemon Cookies that I needed to bring to the show because he liked them so much!  Each cookie has only 40 calories and are non-GMO, vegan and kosher-certified.  The line is sold at Whole Foods stores.
What quick fix breakfast ideas and savory snacks do you give to your family? Share here in the comments section and remember to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more recipes and family food ideas.