One of the things I love about travel is the chance to observe so many different ways of doing things once we break out of our routines, especially around food.
In many ways, hotels have the same issues that many of us face each morning with our families — a time expanse of a few hours where sleepy diners need to float in and out of the dining area, grab some sustenance and then rush out to meet the school bus, carpool or morning commute.
Of course, the easy approach is a sugar-laden donut or a fast-food breakfast sandwich. But, with a little planning, it is possible, even easy, to have a healthy, filling breakfast each morning for you and your family that will fuel the rest of your day.
Taking a page from some nicer travel spots I’ve visited, the key is to set up a “buffet” that can be organized the night before and then, in our cases, pulled out by the earliest riser. Here is a selection of items we can easily have on our own breakfast buffets without too much effort:
- storage containers filled with a variety of whole grain cereals and granola
- individual servings of cottage cheese and yogurts (preferably nonfat or low fat and without lots of added sweeteners)
- a basket of whole grain English muffins, bagels and/or toast
- a collection of healthy spreads: fresh fruit jams, natural peanut and other nut butters, herbed cream cheese
- hard-boiled eggs(you can even buy pre-made and peeled versions)
- a plate of lean cold cuts (turkey, ham), smoked fish and sliced cheese
- a plate of seasonal cut fruits
- bowls of dried fruit, nuts or trail mix
- milk and fruit juices (get orange juice fortified with calcium for family members that do not drink much milk)
- breakfast smoothies: Store the unblended smoothie (made with yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, and juice; or peanut butter, banana, milk and chocolate syrup) in the refrigerator overnight, and blend it in the morning.
Planning your buffet once a week before you grocery shop allows your family to have a nutritious breakfast each morning with variety and ease. Grouping items on trays or baskets allows you to arrange plates and non-perishables the night before and pull out refrigerated items in the early morning without much thought. The “buffet” part also allows each family member to choose his or her favorite foods — so no excuses for skipping a deliciously healthy start to your day!