REND LAKE (WSIL) -- It's back to school for kids across southern Illinois, and sometimes it can take families a little while to get back into that early morning routine.
To help, there are a few easy breakfasts that parents can make in 20 minutes or less, and kids can take it with them while in the car or on the bus ride to school.
Chef Robert Wilson, Culinary Arts Lead Associate Professor at Rend Lake College, suggests a french toast sandwich with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese.
The meal can be prepped the night before and placed in plastic wrap in the fridge. Then parents just need to fry up the sandwich in the morning.
Wilson says if you cut the crusts off the sandwich, it helps to pinch and seal the ends. This means no messes in the car or on clean clothes before getting to the classroom.
While Chef Jeff Fairbanks, Culinary Arts Associate Professor, says a fruit smoothie is a good option for parents who are really short on time.
His banana-strawberry smoothie has honey as a natural sweetener and yogurt as a protein to help keep kids full.
Parents also want to pack a lunch for their kids hat will hold them over until they get back home for a snack or dinner, especially if their child has any after-school activities.
Wilson says parents can quickly make "build your own tacos," which is like a homemade lunchable.
All parents need to do is brown some ground lean beef with taco seasoning and cut up as many vegetables as possible.
Then, put the side items and tortillas in small plastic bags, while the the taco meat can be put in a thermos.
Wilson says a pro-tip is rinsing the thermos with hot water before putting the meat in, which will keep it warm for around 4 hours.
Kids can pick and choose what toppings they want to put on their tacos during lunch and it's fun for them.
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