Christmas Morning Breakfast Traditions
From a registered dietitian
This blog and the following recipes come from registered dietitian Raina Beugelink of Revive Wellness. Revive’s mission is to improve the lives of Canadians through nutrition and wellness coaching.
As kids growing up, it was not uncommon to wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, wake up our poor parents and race to the tree to start opening presents. There was one year we were done everything by 7:00 a.m. After that my parents instituted a rule that Christmas present opening could only start at a certain time, and usually after they had their first cup of coffee. As a parent now myself, I’m realizing how extending the “magic” of Christmas morning makes the whole day feel a little more special and not so rushed.
Whether you open presents before everyone is adequately caffeinated or after, this year why not try incorporating a Christmas breakfast tradition? We all have memories from childhood of this time of year, and sometimes all it takes is a taste or a smell to take you right back to that moment. Christmas morning or maybe Boxing Day breakfast could be a special time to create memories and moments of bonding for your family.
A simple way to do this is to incorporate Christmas flavours into everyday foods. Gingerbread Pancakes are a fast breakfast to whip up yet can be something special and festive. They are also a simple enough dish that kids can help to make – get in the kitchen together in your pajamas and make your gingerbread pancakes in special shapes like snowmen or candy canes if you want to.
Sample Christmas morning breakfast menu:
- Scrambled eggs with red and green diced peppers
- Gingerbread Pancakes
- Orange slices cut out with a star-shaped cookie cutter
Another recipe that can be prepared ahead of time is Plum Yogurt Cheesecake Muffins. You can even call them “sugar plum muffins,” referencing the image of sugar plums dancing in our heads from that old Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas.”
Sample Boxing Day breakfast menu:
- Plum Yogurt Cheesecake Muffins
- Turkey bacon
- “Candy cane” Greek yogurt parfaits (alternating layers of red berries and yogurt) in mason jars
No matter what you choose to serve, or which day you choose to serve it, you can create memories at meals that will be part of your family traditions for a long time. If there isn’t a special breakfast day in your home at Christmas time, pick a day surrounding the holidays that can become part of your family traditions and gather everyone around the table, probably after presents are opened.
About Raina Beugelink, Registered Dietitian
At the start of Raina’s career, she was interested in health and wellness, and knew the impact that food could have on one’s energy, vitality and overall health. Raina quickly realized she was passionate about helping people find their “ah ha” moment and empowering them to choose foods that nourished and fueled their body. As people grow and mature, we develop an intricate relationship with food, sometimes very positive and sometimes a little more negative. Working with someone to define (or redefine) their relationship with food and speak the truth about their health is something Raina feels both passionate and privileged to do. Raina’s areas of speciality include weight loss, shift work, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition.
Plum Yogurt Cheesecake Muffins
PREP 15M | BAKE 30M | ENJOY IN 45M
2 cups whole wheat flour
¾ tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
250 g regular or light cream cheese
⅔ cup skim milk or water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp white chia seeds
2 plums, pitted and diced
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Combine yogurt, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, coconut oil and chia seeds in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth.
- Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Gently fold in fresh plums.
- Scoop batter into greased muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in centres comes out clean, about 20–30 minutes.
Makes 18 muffins (1 muffin per serving)
Nutritional analysis per serving
3 g fat
5 g protein
16 g carbohydrate (14 g available carbohydrate)
2 g fibre
180 mg sodium
PREP 10M | COOK 10M | ENJOY IN 15M
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup milk (1%)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
- In a separate large bowl, combine brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, eggs, oil and milk.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
- Heat a pancake griddle or large fry pan over medium heat. Lightly grease griddle. Pour ¼ cup portions of batter onto griddle. Cook until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Adjust heat setting as needed if pancakes brown too quickly.
- Top with Greek yogurt, maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon to serve!
Makes 10 servings (1 pancake per serving)
Nutritional analysis per serving (without toppings)
4 g fat
4 g protein
19 g carbohydrate (18 g available carbohydrate)
1 g fibre
134 mg sodium