Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and waffles are all typically considered breakfast foods (unless you’re at a diner at 2 a.m. after a party). But people may look at you strangely if you eat them for anything other than breakfast or brunch—and brunch definitely requires mimosas. That is why I tend to get a lot of strange looks when I tell people I cook breakfast for dinner at least twice a week.
With two kids—one of whom is less than a year old—it has quite literally saved my sanity. And here are four reasons why.
1. It’s Cheap
Breakfast food is probably the least expensive option I can choose for dinner. On an easy night, I serve cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, and some fruit. It’s pretty simple, and the only thing I actually buy for my breakfast-for-dinner that I don’t use elsewhere is the bacon or sausage.
If I want to get fancy, I can whip up some pancakes or make waffles with ingredients I already have in my pantry, so there’s no extra expense there. All in all, it’s probably the easiest thing I can do for dinner, short of ordering a pizza, and it’s infinitely cheaper.
2. It’s Quick and Easy
How long do you spend in the kitchen prepping and cooking a typical dinner? One hour? Two? Longer?
I have to say, if you’re spending more than two hours in the kitchen, take a cooking class. You’ll save yourself a ton of time in the long run.
I can whip up an entire breakfast feast in less than half an hour, and most of that is cooking whatever breakfast meat I’m going to serve with dinner. There’s one pan for the eggs, one for the meat and a third for the pancakes if I’m cooking them on the stove. I’ve got this killer recipe for super easy pancakes that don’t use any flour at all, and even my picky eater devours them. I am the multitasking queen when it comes to making breakfast for dinner.
Don’t ask me to multitask anywhere else. Just don’t. It ends badly.
If I had to spend an hour or more in the kitchen trying to cook a meal that my picker eater probably won’t touch, I’d lose my mind. After about 20 minutes, both of my children will insist on being on my hip, and it’ll take me even longer to get dinner on the table.
3. It Helps Me Deal With a Picky Eater
In spite of my best efforts to expand her palate, my 5-year-old daughter seems happy to subsist on yogurt, cheese, and fruit. Half the time she’d rather go to bed without dinner than even try a bite of something I make.
I do feed her on those nights. Don’t break out the torches and pitchforks quite yet.
She loves her breakfast foods, though. If I set a plate of scrambled eggs in front of her, I have to be careful to make sure she doesn’t eat the dish. This, above all else, is why I started making breakfast for dinner a couple of nights a week. I can make sure she’s getting plenty of protein, from eggs and bacon to the yogurt and fruit that she’ll devour before I can even put them on the table.
Breakfast for dinner helps me protect my sanity by preventing the inevitable battle that will ensue if I try to get my oldest daughter to eat something other than her favorites. I could cook her a Michelin-star quality dish, and she’d turn her nose up at it and ask for a banana. This way, I can make sure she’s getting plenty of good food without the fight.
4. It’s Healthyish
If you eat too many slices of bacon or a stack of pancakes, breakfast foods aren’t the best option, but if you’re careful about your food choices, breakfast for dinner can be pretty healthy. Eggs are full of protein and healthy fats, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals. Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, is full of calcium and probiotics to support gut health. Oatmeal is full of fiber and antioxidants.
There are a ton of healthy breakfast options for you to choose from. Just lay off the pancakes and maple syrup every night and you’ll be fine.
And, frankly, I don’t care what other people think.
When it comes down to it, I might get some funny looks for cooking breakfast twice a week, but you know what? I don’t care. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s cheap but still healthy. Most importantly, it gets my picky eater to enjoy her dinner without starting World War III every night. I call that a win, and it has absolutely saved my sanity.