Breakfast can be tricky during holidays

The overindulging season has begun! It starts with Thanksgiving and goes way into the New Year. We all look forward to having family and friends over for the holiday, but it makes for more food preparation. No one should spend all their time in the kitchen while everyone else is visiting. At breakfast, you also have the challenge of people getting up at different times with some who like to eat right away and others who don’t. Some people like a big breakfast while others only want fruit, cereal, toast or coffee.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and too often people who are extra busy during the holidays skip it. People are asking their body to run on an empty fuel tank. We know we can’t do that with our vehicles, but yet we do it to our bodies.

Consider the following breakfast meal tips to lower your stress during the holidays. Set up a breakfast buffet area with an assortment of plates, silverware, glasses and cups. This is something you can do the night before. Guests can also help with this. The night before, ask the early riser to make the coffee or tea. Your coffee maker may even have a built-in timer or you could plug it into a timer. Whatever way your beverage gets made, the early risers will probably appreciate being able to enjoy a cup as soon as they get up.

If you want to provide several hot beverage choices, you can keep water hot in a slow cooker or other glass container like a teapot. Try not to use a coffee pot as the beverages prepared with the hot water will have a coffee taste. For the heated water, you can set out an assortment of hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Don’t forget the cream and sugar.

Make some neat signs that direct guests to the refrigerator for milk, juices, yogurt, cream cheese, fruit salad, and other breakfast items. Set out a variety of breads and bagels by the toaster along with knives and a cutting board. Keep these items wrapped so they don’t dry out. You can make a variety of muffins ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Don’t forget to set out butter, jams, jellies and peanut butter.

When you want hot food, overnight breakfast casseroles are great. There are so many to choose from. There are wonderful overnight French toast casseroles, sausage breakfast casseroles, and of course egg and ham casseroles. Overnight cinnamon rolls are a favorite of many. There is nothing like warm yeast bread.

By planning ahead and asking others to help, you can be a hostess who enjoys the company rather than being a short order cook. Enjoying company and conversation over good food is what holiday gatherings are all about. Enjoy the holidays and make great memories! 

Mary Ann Lienhart Cross is health and human sciences educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or lienhart@purdue.edu.

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