Creating art for breakfast can give kids and parents a reason to pop out of bed in the morning. Creative ideas for pancake and egg combos can come from many places: imagination, real-life adventures, art and daily life.
At our house, often Fischer (age 5) will request the scene he wants to eat as he is getting tucked into bed, which gives me the night to scheme and plan it out. Sometimes, if I have been gone on a trip, I use breakfast to paint a picture of that adventure. Other times, we make a scene of something exciting that is going to happen at school that day. I've also taken some of his drawings and recreated them with breakfast food; it's a way to show him I'm really paying attention to his art.
Some days, I do all the prep work and have a plate waiting for him before he wakes up. Other days, I have different shapes cut out and he can arrange them on the plate to create the scene that he wants, with a little guidance from me, such as "Use these shapes to show Grandma rowing the rowboat."
Fischer's class was headed to the fire station the day we made this pancake. I searched through some Richard Scarry word books to find a good picture to copy. He ate everything but the dalmation—"I don't want to eat the dog, Mama. I will NOT eat the dog." Too bad he didn't know that the spots were grated chocolate.
Kai the Ninja of Fire
Fischer feels like he is Kai, one of the lego Ninjas from Ninjago. When I made this for him, he looked at 20 pictures of Kai and made sure I arranged the swords correctly and had fire on the blade of one sword. Then he said, "I am Kai and I am eating myself!!"
This breakfast happened after I got back from moose hunting. He decided who the winning moose would be and ate the losing moose first. As he ate it, he acted it out by eating the moose's legs and then jumping out of his chair to wiggle around on the ground like a legless moose. The cantaloupe antlers were a hit.
Fischer and his grandma play a game at her house where he is a mouse and steals something. She then chases him all over the house trying to get it back. "There must be a mouse in my house!" she whispers and then they run all over. This is a pancake celebrating that game. When he saw it, Fischer scowled and said, "But MAMA! Mice only eat YELLOW cheese!"
I make a fruit base for all the pancakes. Either smash a banana or grate an apple into the batter to sneak in a full serving of fruit. Add just enough water to allow for a thin batter that you can spoon into the pan and create a shape that will hold as it cooks.
1. My favorite pancake mix is Original Kodiak Cakes: Frontier Flapjack and Waffle Mix.
2. Whip the eggs (local and organic if possible) in a bowl and pour into a pan on low heat that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Flip over once, then transfer to a cutting board to cut out shapes.
3. Yogurt makes great snow and clouds. Use it to draw.
4. Sausages can be cut into neat shapes.
5. Blueberries cut in half make easy eyes and dots.
6. Weave shapes together, like an egg tiger jumping through a flaming bagel hoop.
Check out #fischersbreakfast on Instagram for more ideas.
This article was originally published in The Youth Issue of 61°North Magazine. Contact the editor, Jamie Gonzales, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.