Back to School Breakfasts and Snacks

Each week when I chat with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio, I select a subject that’s timely. And with kids back in school (virtually or otherwise) it’s a challenge to come up with ideas for snacks, breakfast, etc. And did you know that home schooling dated back to before Christ was born?

With the kids back in school in various ways – some are learning virtually at home, some are in school physically but with safe distancing. Regardless, it’s fun to go back in time to Bible days and see how our children were educated during the time of Christ. The challenges if your kids are at home all day can be daunting, especially when it comes time for breakfast and snacks.

Now in the Old Testament, you’ll find lots of references regarding how people felt religious training was important, so the primary purpose of education among the Jews was the learning of and obedience to the law of God. But there was another reason, too. 

The secondary purpose in educating the young was to teach the practical lessons for everyday life, which meant a trade for the male and the care and feeding of the household for the female. Think of Jesus apprenticing under Joseph for carpentry. 

And the blessed virgin learning from her mother and relatives all about the dietary laws, how to make the home ready for special holidays and Sabbath, and important skills like weaving, spinning and my favorite, making home remedies! 

Did they have proper establishments like schools that are common today?

Home was considered the first and most effective way to teach, and parents were considered the best teachers.

That responsibility is expressed in Genesis 18:19 where God states his expectation that Abraham will train his children and his household to walk in the ways of the Lord.

You see the same thing in Proverbs 22:6 for parents to teach their children according to the way of the Lord.  But the synagogues were places of teaching, weren’t they?

Yes, they provided additional education for Jewish males who started studying there quite young, around the age of 5, for perhaps a half a day, six days a week for about 5 years. Reading, writing and arithmetic were also taught.  When they weren’t at synagogue, again, the males were home learning a trade from their father. 

Today whether the children are homeschooled or schooled traditionally, they are just like the children of long ago Bible days. Yes, they get hungry! But unlike children of Bible days, our little ones today have the advantage of modern appliances, so Mom or Dad can bake up a tasty snack like these!

BANANA CHIP MUFFINS

I freeze real ripe bananas specifically for banana bread and this muffin recipe. Kids favorite!

1 dozen.
Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Couple dashes salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate, butterscotch, etc.)

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg, bananas, melted butter and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • 2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Adapted only slightly from Taste of Home. Photo from Taste of Home.

BIBLE BREAKFAST IN A GLASS TO GO
Grapes, honey and yogurt, staples during Bible days, are mentioned throughout the Bible .

This can be assembled in minutes and is a great way to start the day. Put in disposable cups with lids as a to-go breakfast in the car or at work. You can measure out the ingredients but let the little ones layer them.

No stove required!

Layer as follows:

1/4 cup granola

1/4 cup favorite yogurt 

1/2 cup chopped fresh fruit or frozen fruit

1/4 cup yogurt

More fresh fruit

Chopped walnuts or almonds

Raisins

Drizzle of honey

ALMOND GRANOLA CLUMPS

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 5 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups raw almonds chopped coarsely
  • 2 cups dried fruit chopped

InstructionsPreheat oven to 325.

  1. Whisk the maple syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Whisk in the oil. Mix in the oats and almonds until well-coated.
  2. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Compress with the back of a spatula until very compact. 
  3. Bake at 325 just until lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break into pieces of your desired size. Stir in the fruit.

Adapted slightly from:  America’s Test Kitchen, 

HIGH PROTEIN SWEET AND SAVORY TRAIL MIX

An easy recipe for the best homemade trail mix that’s high in protein, with the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Made with simple & healthy ingredients. This recipe is ideal for little ones learning to count. This is a very small batch recipe, so feel free to double, triple, etc.
A bonus is this is a nice appetizer before your Labor Day holiday gathering! Thanks to the listener who shared this recipe. “A good one from online”, she said.

Ingredients

Vary the nuts, fruit, etc. to suit your taste.

  • 10 almonds
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp dried coconut, chopped (not flaked, sweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a reusable container. Store sealed in the pantry.

CHERRY PECAN POWER BARS.

From my book “The Official Snack Guide”. 
Ingredients

2 cups quick-cooking or instant oatmeal

3/4 cup chopped pecans1/2 cup butter or substitute

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup honey3/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup chopped dried dates (these help “glue the bars together and dates were a staple fruit in Bible times)

1 cup honey graham cereal squares (such as Golden Grahams)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour uncooked oatmeal and chopped pecans onto a cookie sheet with sides. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant (stir every 5 minutes because the mixture on the edges will brown first). When done, set aside.

 Combine butter, brown sugar and honey in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. (This can also be done in a a glass bowl in the microwave).

Pour oat mixture, cherries, dates and cereal squares into honey mixture. Stir until well-blended. 

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable spray and pour in mixture.

 Press firmly into pan. (You may want to let mixture cool a few minutes before pressing into pan.) Bake 10-12 minutes.

Press mixture down again with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Let cool and cut into 12 bars.

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