By: Vanessa Pruett

As a mother of two girls, I've made every effort to make breakfast part of their routine since they started to school.

Unfortunately, I've faced a few battles: When she was in school, my oldest daughter refused to eat before 9:00 a.m. That’s a tough one for a mom who believes you just cannot send a child to school without breakfast. We struggled at first, but the argument just wasn’t worth it. I eventually gave in and started sending fruit, muffins, peanut butter and crackers, or anything else that she would promise to eat between classes when she did get hungry. (Who knows if that ever happened, but the arguments in the morning stopped.)

My youngest daughter opens her eyes and asks “What’s for breakfast?” While that is great and I'm thankful she's eager to eat the all-important meal, it presents another dilemma for a busy mom: What can I cook in such little time? We’ve tried everything from fruit and cereal, to yogurt with fruit and nuts stirred in (like this Blueberry and Maple-Pecan Granola Parfait shown), to hard-boiled eggs and toast. Occasionally I get up early and cook a real breakfast, but prefer to save that for the weekends when there’s more time.

My youngest graduates from high school this year. Soon the only one to prepare breakfast for will be myself. I can only hope the importance of starting the day with a good meal has been passed along to my girls.