Grab & go breakfasts for busy teens

When my kids were little, they would launch themselves into my bed at sparrow’s fart every morning. And then start talking. Loudly. Talking. And singing. And talking some more.

As my eldest entered adolescence, she became less and less enthusiastic about leaping out of bed at dawn. Now at the ripe old age of 13, she stumbles out of bed five minutes before she needs to leave for school and barely has time to eat before she heads out the door.

Chia pudding in a jar with raspberries on top
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

I know some people have no appetite in the morning.

I know she doesn’t want to sit down with her siblings and listen to their endless chatter.

I know she has packed a decent lunch.

But I notice that on the days she skips out the door without eating, she comes home HANGRY. And it’s me that has to bear the brunt of it.

So we’re trialling some grab & go breakfast ideas where she doesn’t have to think, and I don’t have to worry about stepping on eggshells when she gets home from school.

The focus is on (1) portability, (2) make-ahead-ability, and (3) satiety. So protein, fibre and good fats are the backbone of these ideas, to keep her mood and energy as stable as possible. All of these can be made ahead so they’re good to go for the school week.

Chia pudding

Pros: endlessly customisable – change the flavour and toppings to suit; can make a week’s worth ahead of time and leave in the fridge; portable if you portion out into individual containers; contains good fats and some protein; satisifies a sweet tooth

Cons: those little seeds get stuck in your teeth


Pros: easy to change up with different veggies/herbs/spices; will last the whole school week in the fridge; portable – cut into slices; a good savoury option; contains protein, good fats and some veggies

Cons: no good if you don’t like eggs or dairy

Toasted zucchini bread with nut butter

Pros: much more filling than regular bread; loaded with protein, good fats and veggies; toast a slice and top with nut butter or avocado or plain old butter or whatever takes your fancy; lasts a full school week in the fridge – slice it first to make it easier to grab & go

Cons: contains nuts and eggs – and chia seeds stick in your teeth

Nutty granola with/without yoghurt

Pros: hearty and filling; can eat it like scroggin if yoghurt is too hard/too messy; good source of healthy fats and protein

Cons: contains nuts

What do your kids like to take for a hearty breakfast on the run?

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