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How to De-Stress Your Morning Routine

How to De-Stress Your Morning Routine

Words Kasey Hickey

With young kids chaotic mornings are a given, but we have ways to de-stress the routine.

With a child in preschool, two babies at home, and a nanny who comes over at 9 a.m., I know a thing or two about chaotic mornings. Mine usually start at 6 a.m., a lifetime before I actually begin to tackle my work day. Most days, my husband and I dance a highly choreographed routine that involves packing lunches, changing diapers, feeding babies, making coffee, and yes, showering (priorities!).

Since my daughter’s school starts an hour earlier than it used to, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I can de-stress my morning routine. Here are a few tips I thought I’d share with you:

Prepare Big Batches of Food for the Week Ahead

My daughter is particular when it comes to lunch, but she’s not averse to routine. We often pack avocado or hummus sandwiches with veggies and fruit—but the best morning starts with the realization that I have a container of leftovers to last several days and require minimal prep.

Some of my favorite big batch lunch combos include:

Rice & Beans: pack in separate storage containers. Chop some leftover grilled chicken or pre-sliced avocado, and store in a third container; this one is the perfect size. In the morning, all you have to do is assemble. Rice and beans are a fantastic lunch for your baby, too. Just put them through your mash maker to make a nutritious puree.

Soba Noodles & Edamame: Toss pre-made soba noodles with edamame, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and crumble nori on top (if your kid likes nori!). Need a few minutes after work to pull dinner together? Give your baby some leftover soba noodles! They can practice their pinching skills and also nibble off some bites.

hummus

Veggies and Dip: Whip up a variety of veggie dips with your One Stop Chop. Hummus, white bean dip, and lentil dip are some personal favorites. Pack in these glass round containers. (Hint: I’m not averse to using canned chickpeas and beans. Again, priorities!) Kids love foods that are tactile so let them go to town dipping crackers and veggies. They make great snacks or could become a whole meal if you slather some hummus or another dip on bread with crisp veggies—instant sandwich.

smoothies

Don’t just focus on lunch. Breakfast can be less stressful, too.

Here are a few of my go-to breakfast combos for kids and adults alike:

Morning Smoothies: What kid doesn’t love smoothies? You can even sneak in some spinach or kale 😉 The beauty of this breakfast is you can pack it to go for yourself, so if you need to get out the door and haven’t eaten, pour it in a to-go cup. Here are some 3-ingredient combos we love. I also like to boost my smoothies by adding bee pollen, chia seeds, or hemp seeds. Throw in an extra banana to make a thicker smoothie for your kiddo for breakfast while you prep lunch.

weekday meal prep
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Steel Cut Oats: These take forever to cook, but years ago I learned this tip from Heidi Swanson: stir steel cut oats into boiling water, top with a lid, and let them sit overnight. They’ll be ready in the morning. Blammo. This is a breakfast you can feed your baby (you may want to put it through your mash maker first) and your toddler. Put it in this bowl and throw on the accompanying lid to save leftovers for tomorrow.

IcedCoffee-16

My Last Tip: Coffee, Of Course

Coffee is one of the most important parts of my day, so here’s a tip to ensure you don’t have to fret about your morning coffee: try cold brew. You can prep it the night before using this Cold Brew Coffee Maker and enjoy it first thing in the morning. Bonus: if you’re like me and rarely drink your coffee hot, this will become your new routine.

 

Photos by Mia Reade Baylor

By Kasey Hickey

Kasey Fleisher Hickey is a freelance writer for OXO, and a mom to three cute kiddos (a toddler and boy/girl twins). She is the co-founder of Turntable Kitchen, the first and only food and music site and subscription service. She lives in Seattle, by way of San Francisco, where she keeps busy as a writer, content strategist, and brand marketing consultant.

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