Calm down school day mornings with these 9 breakfast time hacks

If you dread schoolday mornings, read on for some sanity-saving hacks that will restore breakfast time to a state of blissful calm… well, almost.

Whether you have some kind of routine in place or not, these tips are going to take your breakfast time wrangling skills next level.

9 Breakfast time sanity-savers

1. give yourself an evening before headstart

I know that doing stuff the evening before is in essence just moving boring chores around, but the difference that it will make to your mornings is invaluable.

– School uniform/outfit

Make sure kids clothes are laid out the evening before, this includes underwear, socks and any other bits they need.

Have kids do this chore with you if they have a particularly strong opinion about what they wear.

Make it clear this is the final selection, end of.

– Backpacks/bags

Check all homework and projects have been done and all the books, stationery, pens etc are in the school bag ready for the morning.

2. Avoid schoolgate heartstoppers

Set a reminder in your diary for Saturday morning to check for any extra-curricular/World Book Day/Own Clothes Day shenanigans that the school has planned for the week ahead.

Why Saturday morning? Because you then have the rest of the weekend to manoeuvre yourself out of any tight corners – papier mache modelling, panic purchasing outfits on Amazon…

3. become a lunch prepper

Do not. I repeat, do not make lunches in the morning. Not only does it take up loads of time, it also means there is more mess to clear up.

If you’re super organised, get lunches prepped at the weekends. Follow the lead of Patty Catalano over at The Kitchn to work out how to do this.

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Then take a few minutes in the evening to pack the lunches and fill water bottles, so all kids have to do is grab and go in the morning.

Related: Healthy school lunch ideas for kids and healthy school lunch ideas for teens

4. it’s a kitchen not a diner

Banish open-ended questions about breakfast like “what would you like for breakfast?”

If you’re really hardcore just have one options, if you are softer-hearted, limit to a choice of two things.

You can always ease up at the weekends and make like your kitchen is an upscale diner at the weekends.

I’ve put together a roundup of quick healthy schoolday breakfasts if you’re looking for inspiration.

5. Curate the mood

Have a no devices rule for school mornings. No devices equals zero kids with the attention diverted whilst you’re trying to get them to focus.

Set the mood with everyone’s favourite radio breakfast show or if you aren’t into radio shows, how about putting together a school morning playlist?

6. help kids visualise their routine

A morning routine chart can go a long way to keeping younger kids on track, especially if there is an end of week reward attached to it.

I’ve put together a simple morning routine chart that you can add your own tasks to. Here’s some ideas:

  • Use the bathroom
  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Eat breakfast
  • Make bed
  • Grab lunch and school bag

7. Use a wake-up light alarm

The discovery of alarms that wake you with a gentle dawning of light was a real game-changer in our household.

They are especially useful in the darker winter months and for people who aren’t ‘morning people’ (looks in mirror then at teen).

We have a couple of Lumi Bodyclock alarm clocks in our household.

8. Avoid failure to launch

Failure to launch – AKA getting out of the house/getting a call from the school to say that something has been forgotten.

Avoid failure to launch moments by making a Launch Pad area. Ideally close to the door you all leave from for the school run.

This is where everything goes when it’s ready: Backpacks, shoes, coats, school projects.

Ok, so you might not want to leave lunchboxes there, but if you leave ready-filled water bottles there, they serve as a visual reminder not to forget lunchboxes.

9. Share The Load

Give kids a single, age-appropriate morning chore to help share the load.

Whilst chores are great for teaching kids responsibility, they can also create friction in the morning, just when you least need it, which is why I suggest sticking to just one. For example:

  • Make their bed
  • Feed a pet
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Make breakfast
  • Clear the breakfast table

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