8 make-ahead breakfasts and lunches for busy moms

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, especially for growing children with hours of brain work ahead of them at school. We know, trying to get everyone up, dressed and ready for school is challenging. But, this doesn’t mean you or the kids have to skip breakfast.

These make-ahead breakfasts can be enjoyed on the way to school in the car:

ALSO SEE: 5 common breakfast myths busted

Sunny side muffins

These eggy muffins are a great option for make-ahead breakfasts, and they keep well in the freezer, so make in bulk and take out to defrost as needed. These are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfasts and are great additions to lunchboxes too.


  • 8-10 eggs
  • ½ tin corn
  • 1½ cups of your little one’s favourite vegetables (baby marrows, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, sweet peppers, tomatoes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Beat together the eggs, corn and vegetables.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour the mixture into a non-stick muffin pan.
  4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until set.

Blueberry pancake smoothie  

If you don’t have a smoothie maker, a handheld blender will also do the trick. If you’re using ice, crush it with a rolling pin before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.


  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp raw oats
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon.


  1. Blend all the ingredients together. Add water or ice as needed until the desired consistency is achieved.vPour the smoothie in a kid-friendly bottle for the next morning.

ALSO SEE: 7 healthy smoothies that moms and kids will enjoy

Overnight carrot cake oats

This can be served with a spoon in the car on the way to school, and kids love the combination of cinnamon, honey and carrot.

How to make it:

Mix together 4 tablespoons of oats, ½ cup yoghurt, one grated carrot, cinnamon and a squeeze of honey. Spoon into containers or jars with tight-fitting lids. Close and refrigerate overnight.

Breakfast parfait 

Place in a glass jar or any other container with a lid, and grab on your way out of the house in the morning.

How to make it:

Alternate layers of fresh fruit like banana, apple, mango or berries with yoghurt and muesli or oats. Top with a sprinkle of nuts and seeds.

Quick-and-easy lunches

Sweet chilli chicken wrap 

To prevent the wrap from getting soggy before break time, spread large lettuce leaves over the wrap before topping it with the filling, and wrap it in foil.

How to make it:

Arrange a line of chicken-breast strips about 3cm from the edge of a wholegrain wrap or roti. Add your child’s favourite veg (chopped tomatoes, cucumber, carrots). Drizzle with sweet chilli sauce and roll up the wrap.

ALSO SEE: Stuffed pita pockets

Lunch in a bowl

Children love the surprise of fun and interesting lunches and as bowl food is very trendy, this is a winner. Bowl-shaped containers with lids are easy to find, but square lunchboxes work just as well.

How to make it:

Arrange one row of protein, one row of veg, one row of carbohydrates and a row of salad, side by side in the container. The protein could be leftover lean mince, shredded chicken, tuna, beef strips, chickpeas, red kidney/baked beans or chopped boiled egg. Great veg options are diced carrots, tomatoes, red onion, peppers, corn, courgettes, cauli rice or a mix of your child’s favourites. For carbs, try leftover brown rice, couscous, samp, mieliemeal or rice. For the salad row, add chopped green salad, grated cabbage, diced cucumber, tomato or a combination of these. Top with a dollop of plain yoghurt.

Tuna pasta salad 

Cold pasta salads are filling and tasty. Don’t forget to send with age-appropriate cutlery.

How to make it:

Mix tuna (in brine, drained) with half mayo/half plain yoghurt. Mix with wholegrain pasta of your choice and serve on bed of leafy greens like lettuce or baby spinach..

ALSO SEE: 5 quick and easy pasta dishes the whole family will love

Finger lunch

Finger lunches work well for children with smaller appetites. For example, yoghurt + fruit and wholegrain crackers, or carrot sticks, baby tomatoes, celery and hummus (to dip).

How to make it:

Choose one option from each food group: lean protein like. boiled egg, sunny-side muffin (see above), biltong, leftover meat balls, falafels, leftover chicken strips, yoghurt of choice, hummus and high fibre starch like wholegrain crackers, wholewheat toast or pita fingers or ruit and your little eone’s favourite veggies like baby carrots, cucumber sticks, sweet pepper strips, baby tomatoes or gherkins..

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