In an ongoing collaboration between me and my dear friend, Andrea Livingston of Phytofoods, we will bring you a recipe (created by Andrea) and some parenting thoughts (created by me) on a common theme each Thursday.Today’s theme: Breakfast.

Breakfast can be a difficult time for families: there are so many various factors all coming together in the kitchen: the interface of ‘morning people’ and ‘non-morning people’, fatigue, school stress (for the kids), work/”all-the-things-I-need-to-do-today” stress (for the adults), pets needing to be fed, lunches needing to made, and so much more. It’s no wonder this can be a time of short-tempers and disconnection.

Here are some things to remember to help morning time go a little smoother in your home:
Remember to make morning a time of reconnection with your child. Especially if your child is under the age of nine, nighttime is experienced as a time of separation from you, requiring a few minutes of focused reconnecting.
Make a breakfast schedule! Knowing ahead of time what is for breakfast each morning takes one element of stress, choice and possible disagreement off the “menu”.
Add a five-minute cushion into your schedule. For example, if you need to leave the house by 8:00am to make it to school on time, plan to leave at 7:55am; these extra five minutes will make the inevitable forgot item, bathroom stop or search for shoes a lot less stressful.

Autumn Pumpkin Spice Granola

I know everything is “pumpkin spiced” this time of year but honestly, this granola is SO much better than that Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte’. It combines earthy, spicy flavors, a great texture, and is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. My family loves this recipe and I hope you will too.


4 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup currants


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the oats, spices, coconut, and pecans in a large bowl and mix well. Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix well until everything is well combined. Spread oat mixture on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown, stirring once at the halfway point. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Add currants and mix well.

Yield: Approximately 1/2 gallon