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It’s that time of year again, when kids across the country get ready to go back to school and extra-curricular activities—and their parents wonder how they’re going to fit it all in. Enter Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh, former magazine-editors-turned-food-bloggers whose indispensible book, The School Year Survival Cookbook, offers welcome strategies for time-strapped families looking to put healthy food on the table (and in the lunchbox).

Proponents of batch-cooking, meal planning, and “super yield” recipes, Keogh and Marsh serve up a system to help parents make the most of their time and ensure their children get the nutrition they need—from food they love. Their book includes make-ahead mixes to streamline baking times. There are also step-by-step planning instructions to help your week run as smoothly as possible.

Plus, their recipes feature things kids love in amounts they need. While writing the book, Keogh and Marsh worked with a dietician to help pack the most nutrition possible into every meal. The result is a collection of recipes that fire the brain for learning and help fuel kids for the whole school day.

“Eat healthy, live happy, and stay sane for the whole school year.” –The School Year Survival Cookbook

As busy parents, Keogh and Marsh know the value of getting ahead. Each recipe in The School Year Survival Cookbook includes suggestions for make-ahead tasks that simplify meal preparation during busy times of day. There’s also a special chapter on snacks featuring recipes sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Since studies show that kids who skip breakfast have more struggles academically than those who don’t, we opted to share Keogh and Marsh’s delicious recipes for breakfast bowls. Featuring a healthy selection of high-nutrition ingredients along with complex carbohydrates and fiber, these quick-and-easy meals will help kick start your mornings and provide long-lasting energy.

On the run in the mornings? Consider packing these meals into a simple mason jar to take along for the ride. A canning jar lunchbox adaptor will help keep toppings fresh until you’re ready to sprinkle. Or try one of Keogh and Marsh’s many dynamic lunch ideas in an Ecolunchbox to save on time and waste.

The following recipes are excerpted from The School Year Survival Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Sanity-Saving Strategies for Every Family and Every Meal (Even Snacks) by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh. Copyright ©2017 Sweet Potato Chronicles. Photography copyright ©2017 Maya Visnyei Photography. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

From left to right, Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl, Tropical Banana Smoothie Bowl, Blackberry Acai Deluxe Bowl. © 2017 Maya Visnyei Photography

Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls are just as kid-friendly as smoothies but feel more substantial because of all the layers of toppings you can add. Plus, they mimic a bowl of cereal—a childhood classic—without all the trappings of a sugary box of breakfast. Each of the following recipes:

  • Makes 2 bowls
  • Takes 5 minutes to prepare.

GREEN GODDESS SMOOTHIE BOWL

1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut water
1 cup (250 ml) baby spinach
1/2 avocado
1 tsp (5 ml) flaxseeds
1 banana

Toppings
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced green apple
1/4 cup (60 ml) pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) puffed quinoa
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pistachios

  1. In a blender, combine the water, spinach, avocado, flaxseeds and banana. Whiz until smooth.
  2. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

TROPICAL BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk or coconut milk
1 cup (250 ml) plain Greek-style yogurt
2 frozen bananas
2 tsp (10 ml) coconut oil
lime zest

Toppings
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced pineapple
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced kiwi
1 Tbsp (15 ml) raw shelled hemp seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground flax

  1. In a blender, combine the milk, yogurt, bananas, coconut oil and lime zest to taste. Whiz until smooth.
  2. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

BLACKBERRY ACAI DELUXE BOWL

1/4 cup (60 ml) açai powder
1 cup (250 ml) frozen blackberries
1/2 cup (125 ml) plain coconut yogurt or Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup (60 ml) pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp (30 ml) almond butter
1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup

Toppings
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh blackberries
1/3 cup (75 ml) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) roasted pumpkin seeds

  1. In a blender, combine the açai powder, blackberries, yogurt, pomegranate juice, almond butter and maple syrup. Whiz until smooth but not too liquid. You may need to stop once or twice to move things around with a spatula.
  2. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with toppings.

From left to right, coconut oat pudding, raspberry hemp seed pudding. © 2017 Maya Visnyei Photography

Overnight Refrigerator Puddings

Each of the following recipes:

  • Makes 2 puddings
  • Takes 5 minutes to prepare

COCONUT OAT PUDDING

1 cup (250 ml) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup (125 ml) plain Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk beverage
1/2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chia seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until blended.
  2. Pour into two small jars, cover and refrigerate overnight.

RASPBERRY HEMP SEED PUDDING

1/2 cup (125 ml) plain Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) raw shelled hemp seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh raspberries
1/4 cup (60 ml) raw cashews
1 tsp (5 ml) maple syrup
drizzle of vanilla extract
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth.
  2. Pour into two small jars, cover and refrigerate overnight.
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