We have all heard the saying ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, but it wasn’t until I had children that I noticed just how important it really was. I admit, I have been a serial breakfast skipper for most of my life. However, after the birth of my daughter, I found myself making it a goal to create healthy breakfasts for our entire family. Not only does it make me feel healthier and more energized throughout the day, but my children have more energy to learn and play and be a child—which in my opinion, is exactly what they need to be focused on!
Unfortunately, like many Canadian families, time is always a problem in our house during the week. I often leave for work before anyone is awake, therefore making a healthy breakfast when I’m not even home seems next to impossible. I have found that the best way to combat this problem is to take an hour on Sunday to prepare some healthy and delicious menu options so my husband can just grab and go as he gets the kids up, dressed and out of the door.
My children love yogurt. They would be quite content if we just handed them a Danone yogurt pack and a spoon, but sometimes it is nice to elevate that yogurt to the next level. Our favourite way of doing so is to create an Oikos Greek Yogurt and Fruit Bird’s Nest. The granola bird’s nest can be made on Sunday (in under an hour) and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. All you have to do in the morning is grab a bird’s nest, dollop some yummy Danone Oikos Greek Yogurt, top with your own choice of fruit, drizzle with honey and top with a mint leaf (if desired). The best part about this easy recipe is involving your children. They love to mix and spoon out the granola for the bird’s nests, and they can choose their own healthy toppings in the morning. Now, my daughter insists on preparing her own Oikos Greek Yogurt and Fruit Bird’s Nest, which allows my husband to focus on getting our son ready for the day!
Come September, our morning schedule will be even more important as we prepare for our first child to start Kindergarten. Getting a healthy meal before catching the early morning bus already has my mind in a tizzy. I am finding myself researching healthy starts to the day to ensure she can get the best experience in this new school world. From my research, I’ve learned so much about amazing organizations like the Breakfast Club of Canada. Breakfast is an especially important meal for children, and partners like the Breakfast Club of Canada and Danone Canada are doing their part to make sure that a healthy breakfast is accessible to those who need it most. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast generally have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. However, according to the Breakfast Club of Canada, 1 in 5 children are at risk of starting the school day on an empty stomach due to a lack of access to nutritious food.
This is where the Breakfast Club of Canada steps up to make important miracles happen every day. They work hard to make sure that most children get a healthy start to their day, and help them not only do better in school, but also in life. The meals served throughout the program are balanced, thanks to sponsors like Danone, who distribute more than 1.7 million servings of yogurt per year. Danone and The Breakfast Club of Canada share a common goal, which I firmly stand behind as well:
To bring health through food to as many as possible, nourishing children’s potential by making sure as many of them as possible have access to a healthy morning meal before school, in an environment that allows their self-esteem to grow and flourish.
Oikos Greek Yogurt Fruit Bird’s Nest Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup almonds, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup honey, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Danone Oikos Greek Yogurt (flavour of your choice)
- Mixed fruit for topping (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, kiwi)
- Fresh mint for topping (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
- Mix the oats, almonds, seeds, melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a bowl until thoroughly coated.
- Using a muffin tin lined with greased silicone (or paper) muffin cups, press about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into each cup. Use the back of an oiled spoon to help press the granola evenly across the bottom and sides of each cup. *Note: Silicone muffin cups are favoured as the bird’s nest can be tricky to remove from muffin tins if not used.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden.
- Immediately after you remove the muffin tins from the oven, use the back of the spoon to press down the centers of the crust to create more of an indentation, and push up the sides. The bird’s nests puff up in the oven, so it helps to reshape the crust after it bakes while still hot.
- Allow to cool completely in the muffin tins before removing. If you used silicone muffin cups, gently roll down the sides until your bird’s nest pops out. Otherwise, use a small knife to gently release the sides of the crust, working around each side. Then very carefully remove it from the pan, turning over if needed into your hand. The crust should be crisp on the sides and hold together, but will be delicate.
- Store in an airtight contained in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- When ready to use, fill each birds nest with 3 to 4 tablespoons yogurt. Arrange desired fruit on top, drizzle with honey, top with mint (if desired) and serve immediately.
- The baked granola bird’s nests can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge
- You can make this in a large 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom if desired. Simply slice and serve as you would a normal tart. You may need up to 3 cups of Danone Oikos Greek Yogurt for the larger size.
- You can use any flavor yogurt you like. Add honey, maple syrup or vanilla to sweeten up plain yogurt if desired.
- Butter can be substituted for coconut oil.
- Pistachios, peanuts or walnuts can be substituted for almonds.
- Maple syrup or agave syrup can be substituted for honey.
This post is brought to you by Danone and the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, but the images and opinions are our own.