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Friday, August 31, 2012

Think Outside The Box Breakfast Challenge

What's for breakfast?  In our house, especially lately, it has been either cereal, or...cereal.  While searching for inspiration and variety, I came up with the Think Outside The Box Breakfast Challenge.  A way to challenge myself to go beyond the cereal box and feed my family healthy, homemade breakfasts.

Many I will be able to make ahead.  Many will be freezable.  Many will be from my Breakfast Ideas board on Pinterest (go look for a sneak peek!).   

The easiest way for me to prepare for this challenge was to plan the entire month in advance.  That's right, I know what I'll be having for breakfast for the next 30 days.  Of course, this is subject to change, as I expect the occasional hiccup of not having time to prepare something, or not liking a new recipe, may come up.  But I have a plan.  If you'd like to work on your own plan, here is a suggestion - assign each day of the week a general category.  For example, mine are:
  • Sunday: Egg-Based Meals
  • Monday: TBD (Breakfasts that didn't really fit in any category)
  • Tuesday: Muffins or Breads, which will be served with whatever fruit we have around
  • Wednesday: Egg-Based Meals again
  • Thursday: Oatmeal
  • Friday: Treat Day (Because some of those recipes on my Pinterest board are pretty decadent-looking)
  • Saturday: Pancakes or Waffles
I know that the rest of my family might not always want what I have planned.  Jesse, for example, doesn't like oatmeal, so Thursdays he'll be on his own for breakfast.  He also likes to eat scrambled eggs and toast quite often, which the boys will have the option of eating instead of what I have planned.  And I do have a few boxes of Cheerios in case I make something the boys don't like.  I have confidence in my cooking, but I'm also a realist.  

I have several goals for this challenge:
  • Spend less money on boxes of cereal.  The past two months or so we have gone through probably 20 boxes of cereal.  Even with coupons, that's a lot of money! While we will be spending "more" on ingredients, or at least on eggs and fresh fruit, I still think it will come out to be less than buying all that cereal.
  • Make more REAL food.  Yes, some of the breakfasts I planned have sugar in them.  But you know what they don't have?  All those not-so-easy-to-pronounce preservatives.  That, to me, is better.
  • Try new recipes.  What's the point of saving all of these yummy-looking ideas if I never make them?
Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting daily with our breakfast for the day, along with links to the recipes I'm using.  I'll also be including our breakfast plans in my Meal Plan Monday posts, along with the usual dinner plans.  I'm excited to try something new! Will you join me?

P.S. I just discovered a blog challenge for Unprocessed October, a month (or week, or however long you choose) dedicated to eating unprocessed foods.  Go read more about that too!  I still haven't decided if we'll participate in that, but I figured I would mention it, because it's a similar idea to this challenge.

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