A Week with the Leakes: Breakfast

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As I shared on facebook last week we’ve been working on a project where we record and photograph every single thing our family eats for a week. I’ve been posting a lot of our kids’ lunches lately, and it’s provoked some readers to ask…”Well, what do you eat?” So it was a lot of work and sometimes hard to delay taking that first bite until we took the picture, but we figured we would just share it all! And what we ended up with were a ton of photos so I am breaking up the results into four posts: breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner/dessert.

Now, based on some of the feedback I’ve gotten when I share school lunches on facebook I feel as though I need to preface these posts with a disclaimer:

These meals are just a brief snapshot of our lives, and while I am sure some will feel we ate too much of X and not enough of Y, please know that we do not claim to be perfect (who is?). We simply do our best to eat a wide variety of satisfying whole foods while also only eating enough in order to feel full. In most cases we took pictures of our plates before we started eating and sometimes it was the right amount of food, but other times it was too much or too little. We didn’t prepare a special meal plan for the project, we just captured what happened.  And I’d also like to add that it’s much easier to make judgments about one’s eating habits when you see their meal photos all laid out on one page like this (while you are NOT simultaneously trying to race out the door to school or work or after school activities)!

So in summary, this is a typical week at our house and while we are always open to suggestions and feedback we ask that you please be respectful in the comments as we put ourselves out there like this. As always, our mission is to share our personal experiences to hopefully inspire other busy families to eat more real food. :)

I would also like to mention that most of what we buy is organic including everything from produce to grains to dairy so rather than me saying “organic” over and over a hundred times please just assume that most everything you see is organic.

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A Week with the Leakes: Breakfast

Sunday Family Breakfast: Scrambled local eggs, local strawberries, organic bacon, homemade granola chunks, and water to drink.

Most Mornings with/after Breakfast: I had a maple mocha 5 out of 7 days after breakfast and my husband had one cup of coffee with milk (no sweetener) most mornings at work. He also had herbal tea a few mornings instead of coffee.

Kid Breakfast Most Weekday Mornings: A homemade granola cereal and puffed whole-wheat cereal mix (1-ingredient store bought cereal – we usually get puffed brown rice, but it was sold out), bananas, and whole milk.

Weekday Breakfast for both Lisa and Jason (most days): Homemade granola with fresh berries (in the winter we use frozen berries), whole milk, and a glass of water. We eat the same thing most weekdays and like it. :)

Morning Snack for our First Grader: She’s the only one in the family who typically has an AM snack and it’s almost always oatmeal (by request) made with whole milk and topped with a drizzle of honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and raisins. She brings it to school in the pictured thermos to keep it warm until snack time.

Another Version of the Weekday Kid Breakfast: Homemade granola cereal mixed with a shredded wheat “biscuit” (Barbara’s brand), fresh berries, and whole milk.

Wednesday Breakfast for Jason: He was running late for work so he grabbed a banana, a Lara Bar, and some water before heading out the door.

Thursday Breakfast for our Preschooler: Our younger daughter doesn’t start until 9 A.M. so there is a little more time for something special…here she had plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce topped with granola and bananas.

Friday Breakfast for Jason and our Preschooler: No preschool on Fridays (and my husband happened to take that day off of work) so there was plenty of time to make oatmeal with whole milk, raisins, a drizzle of honey, a touch of vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon for them. I still had granola with whole milk and berries.

Saturday Family Breakfast: Whole-wheat banana pancakes (our 7-year-old made them on the griddle by herself…hence all the odd shapes!) with local strawberries, a little pure maple syrup, and water to drink.

Stay tuned for the lunch and dinner version of this series!

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102 comments to A Week with the Leakes: Breakfast

  • Katrina

    Thanks so much for sharing. Your breakfasts look great; seeing them is inspiring. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

  • Annie

    My 16 yo daughter made Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes for me yesterday for Mother’s Day. They were awesome!

  • Julie

    Thanks for sharing your breakfast with us! I am wondering if you have make ahead tips that help you get breakfast on the table when you are trying to get kids ready for school? I feel like we are always pressed for time and eat something quickly like sprouted grain toast with all fruit jam. But I feel like they get bored with eating the same thing. Both of mine will not eat oatmeal and it is so frustrating!

    • Netta

      Try making a whole batch of Lisa’s waffles or pancakes and then freeze them. Everybody can pop them straight from the freezer into the toaster or toaster oven and then eat them on the go like toast….if they have fruit in them (we’ve done bananas, blueberries, and strawberries) there is no need for syrup. We have both of these items once a week, so I only have to cook them every two weeks. We get 16 waffles/16 pancakes out of Lisa’s recipes (1/4 cup batter each) and that’s 2 waffles or pancakes per person…two meals for a family of four cooked all at once. We also cook hardboiled eggs the night before…everyone gets two. Lisa’s Egg Casserole Bites also go great from freezer to toaster oven for a quick breakfast. Try finding hot cereal recipes that can be cooked the night before, “fridged”, then nuked for a minute or two in the morning to warm them up. If you aren’t leery of the microwave, all sorts of scrambled egg combos/quiches/frittatas can be “fridged” the night before and warmed up quickly in the morning. Except for weekends, I always plan for breakfasts that can be handled the night before. :)

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      What I do is the night before I set up every single thing possible (basically all the dishes, utensils, and non-perishable foods) so in the morning I literally just get out the milk and everything is all set up for me to make oatmeal…it takes 2 -3 minutes to cook. Since your kids don’t like oatmeal you could make pancakes ahead of time and just pull them out of the fridge and toast them in the morning. Same goes for french toast, waffles, etc. Cut up fruit and have it ready to go in the fridge. Set out the plates/napkins/forks/cups the night before. I really think having it set up saves a lot of time! I hope that helps.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I want to give this real food diet a shot and this helps SO much to see what a daily day is like for you all!

  • Chrissy Kinney

    Lisa, please let me know if you find anything about the whole grain puffs. I eat them, as well as offer those to my 1 year old son as a snack with goji berries almost everyday. Would hate to know that I’m feeding my family something toxic!!! Thanks again for all that you do, as you’ve greatly helped impact our families eating habits and making the transition to wholesome nutritous, foods!!!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Chrissy – I will…my husband is going to help me research the topic, but so far with only one unpublished study he does not think there is any reason for alarm. We are definitely going to look into it though and just like with any one food we won’t be relying on it solely for breakfast.

  • tuxgirl

    Thank you so much for posting! It doesn’t look like much food to me, but I’m not sure if that’s related to dish size or what. Would you mind mentioning how many eggs (approximately) you eat when you do eggs for breakfast? Or, how much dry oatmeal you use to make a serving? I find that when I make eggs, I make 2 for me, and I’m still a little hungry, and I give 2 to my 2-year-old, and she begs for more food (I give her usually some yogurt or cheerios (we had 2 costco boxes in the pantry that i’m trying to work through… i hate wasting food))…

    I know I’ve always struggled with portions, and my daughter seems to be a giant eater, so getting a good idea of how *much* food would be extremely helpful for me. So far, I’ve been mainly focusing on making sure that if my daughter’s going to eat a ton, it’s at least mostly healthy food, but I don’t think more than 2 eggs in a morning would be good for her!

    • Katelyn

      I don’t know about Lisa, but I use 1/3 cup dry oatmeal for myself sometimes with berries or chopped apple mixed in. I also make a 1/3 cup dry oatmeal for my 21 month old son. Sometimes he almost finishes it and sometimes he only eats half. I’ve found that any he doesn’t eat at breakfast he’ll usually finish reheated about 2 hours later for morning snack. He loves! oatmeal. For your daughter you might try sticking with two eggs but add other food like the yogurt you mentioned and some sort of fruit to give her a larger nutrient variety at one meal. You may find that she eats larger amounts of food at different times of the day (i.e. maybe she eats a large breakfast, a medium lunch and a small dinner) and that’s perfectly fine. I myself am an all day snacker eating 4-5 smaller “meals” throughout the day.

    • Sarah

      I can speak to the granola – it is a LOT more filling than store bought cereal. I make Lisa’s recipe, and I eat about 3/4 cup of granola with fruit in the morning. When I was eating cheerios and other cereals, I was eating closer to 1.5 cups. Even with half the amount of food, I now stay full until lunch. Plus it tastes so much better!

    • Carrie

      When I make eggs just for me, oftentimes I’ll make one whole egg and one egg white. You get the added protein which keeps you satisfied, but not the cholesterol of the second yolk. I put it on a whole wheat biscuit with some cheese, and it’s your own breakfast sandwich! Keeps me full for most of the morning.

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Tuxgirl – We find real food to be much more filling than the refined/processed stuff. Also part of eating real food is really listening to your internal cues and stopping as soon as you feel full…meaning not overeating at all. When you eat eggs do you eat anything on the side? I usually make 2 eggs per person as well, but if we have fruit, toast, and bacon there will occasionally be some leftover. For oatmeal I use about 3/4 or 2/3 cup milk and 1/2 cup oats.
      My younger daughter is also a BIG eater. Most meals end with me telling her the kitchen is closed (poor thing!) but I do worry about her getting a tummy ache from eating too much. She can eat more than my husband and me more often than not. I’ve asked the pediatrician about it and he says if I tell her I am done serving food (and she’s clearly had plenty) and she leaves the room without bringing it up again then she’s fine. I hope that helps!!

  • Martha

    Thanks so much Lisa. I can’t wait to see the lunches – it’s been a challenge for me since we are trying not to eat processed meats. Last week was chicken salad, shrimp salad and pimento cheese which all take mayonnaise although I use it sparingly. We eat lots of salads in warm weather and soup in the winter. Your blogs are very helpful.
    A tip to others about breakfast – your pumpkin muffins (pumpkin bread recipe) doesn’t use a whole can of pumpkin so I use that in your pancake recipe instead of bananas sometimes. Yummy.

  • Mica

    Inspiring keep up the good work!! I love it!! Helpful hints!!

  • I actually did something like this for the past 2 summers and I posted a list of exactly what we ate for each breakfast, lunch and dinner AND included pictures and “HELPFUL TIPS”…. http://pinkcookieswithsprinkles.blogspot.com/search/label/3%20months%20of%20no%20shopping%202011

    It was our challenge to go three months with no major shopping (we would allow ourselves $20.00 to spend a week on produce and we purchased a gallon of milk every other week). No other money was spent on food for that time frame and all of our meals were cooked from food storage ingredients and what we had in our freezers and what we grew in our garden. My goal was to show just how GOOD and healthy you can eat from your food storage and by cooking every meal from scratch!

    ANYWHO, I love to see the creative and yummy things that other people make who try to eat REAL food and not very much processed stuff. You have an awesome and amazing blog and I always go away feeling INSPIRED by you!! Thanks for all you share!

  • Amber

    Thank you so much for all your hard work. We have slowly made changes to our eating and are seeing such great results. Your posts give me great ideas. Love, love, love! Thanks!

  • Katelyn

    I find that I can eat the same 3-4 breakfasts without wanting much variety. It’s lunch and dinner that I struggle with more. My husband likes lots of variety for dinner. Variety to him means not the same taste origin multiple meals in a row (no Italian three nights running) and not the same meat multiple meals in a row (no three nights in a row of chicken even if it’s different flavors.) I sometimes struggle with coming up with a good mixture of flavors within a week. So, all that to say I’m looking forward to your lunch and dinner posts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Debbie

    Thank you!! I really appreciate this. Our family is eating a lot better since I first found your blog about a year ago. And my packed school lunches have greatly improved as well, thanks to the information that you post. Just last week, my kids were wishing that we had cold cereal, and pulled out the granola I had made previously and said “We can eat this as our cereal!” I was surprised and pleased. I hadn’t offered it to them that way (only as a dry snack) because I didn’t think they would like it. But they did! I’m very pleased at the progress we are making and I owe so much of it to your blog.

  • Kristin

    Like all the others who have responded, I am so very appreciative of your efforts, Lisa. I have shared your blog with lots of friends. I’m a grandma now so I’ve lived though the little kid stage. Knowing what all the moms with little ones have to go through in a day, I’m even more impressed with what you are doing. I find your posts extremely helpful and inspiring. Keep up the great job that you are doing!

  • Angela

    Thank you for posting this. It is most helpful for the visual. Also, like stated earlier, I am sorry you had to post a disclaimer in the beginning. My question comes from your comment about eating until you feel full. I am working on this currently. In your picture of the eggs with bacon, strawberries and granola. The amount of bacon seemed more like “just a taste”. Is that amount typical? I am not being judgemental here, just trying to understand how others determine portion size. I guess bacon is not really something that fills one up, so maybe just a taste is sufficient, but I did not want to assume.

  • Sarah

    I feel bad you had to list that disclaimer. Of anything it makes me realize I still could do better with our meals. It is slowly coming for me and my family and your blog is helpful. I bought block cheese today and plan to shred it myself after your post last week. I have fresh jam from your post and now seeing your meals I may mix it in Greek yogurt as a treat.

  • Laura

    Thanks so much for writing this! I am such a slacker at breakfast time – I feed the kids the exact same thing (plain oatmeal made with milk and topped with honey). It’s so nice to get some delicious looking new ideas – especially some lighter fruity foods going in to summer.

  • 1. It shocks me that you’d even need to put a disclaimer like that on there. Actually, no, it doesn’t. It just disturbs me. No judgment here!

    2. I’m craving granola like a maniac right now because of this post. Gonna have to make some tomorrow night!

  • Thanks for sharing your awesome example!

  • Marc Manieri

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m new to the blog and totally diggin’ it…great job. Our family has been working on eliminating processed foods, and I love the advice of “shopping the perimeter” of the grocery store. Anyway, I’d be curious to learn if you and your family are moving towards eliminating meat and/or dairy from your diets. I recently read a book called The China Study that talks about the toxicity of animal based protein. Just curious if you have a take on that.

    loved your blog post and pictures, can’t wait to see what’s for lunch!

    marc

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Thanks! I am familiar with The China Study and we watched the movie that features the author called Forks over Knives. We are already conscious of keeping our overall meat consumption down, but we have zero plans to cut it out completely or stop eating animal products all together.

      • Marc Manieri

        Gotcha. Thanks for the personal reply! I’m brimming with questions but I don’t want to “hog” your time…you’ve got 80,000 other fans to attend to. I’ll keep reading and enjoying myself. Have a great night.

  • Love this post and I am looking forward to the others. I need to check out your berry sauce. I am transitioning from flavored yogurt to plain and am having trouble adjusting to the more sour taste, but I don’t want to add tons of honey or maple syrup. Maybe the berry sauce will help me get there. You have also inspired me to create my own food blog and start doing some research on my own. I have In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan on my night stand. Thanks for all that you share.

  • Jan

    I just wondered if you ever drink orange juice? fresh squeezed orange juice is a big treat for me- but I only have between 2-4 oz at a time

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      We have orange juice on occasion…but not very often. We keep juice overall consumption down just because the sugars from the fruit are so concentrated and it lacks some of the other good stuff you get from the whole fruit. Plus we think drinking plenty of water is pretty important so hopefully it will help our daughters get used to having plain water!

  • I really like this peek into your morning meals. I always wonder how other people do things and how other people live.
    I’m just starting to transition into unprocessed foods and downloaded your meal plans. Thank you for those!! They are a great starting point for someone who has been off the wagon for far too long!

  • Laurie

    Thanks for putting yourselves out there for us. Your family is an inspiration! I’m being a chicken about beginning the mini pledges (very picky eaters), but am so greatful for your shared success. :-)

  • Jenn M

    I don’t know why you were worried. It all looks great. It’s not good that people should think you are perfect anyway, nobody could live up to that. When I share my food it’s not because I’m perfect, but shows I eat what I like and still perceived as healthy and that is helpful to the general person. Great job! Looking forward to the rest.

  • Looks yummy! I think all your breakfasts look quite healthy too – lots of good grains, fruits and REAL food! I actually posted my breakfast today – mostly because it contained a recipe for maple syrup whipped cream I was sharing – YUM!!!
    http://behealthybehappywellness.com/blog/2012/05/tuesday-tip-dessert-for-breakfast

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