Ah breakfast! It can be a joy when out and about on weekends, time on your side, two of you wrangling the small people but I find feeding my 17-month-old son during the week, when we're all rushing to get out the door, a little challenging shall we say. Archie changes his mind about what constitutes an acceptable breakfast constantly and since sleep is a thing of the past at the moment I need all the help I can get comes breakfast time.
I created this recipe after various experiments with hot porridge and oats soaked in apple juice overnight. I found if I made porridge before I got him dressed and ready for the day it had always gone cold and congealed by the time I could get him into his high chair. The handful of times I did make it once he was in his highchair, it resulted in me being screamed at by a hungry baby for a full five minutes as I tried to make it fresh and then let it cool to the perfect edible temperature, just before it congealed and he combusted. And all this before I'd managed a pint of coffee. It was just too damn stressful.
I then played around with oats soaked overnight in cloudy apple juice and a dollop of yogurt on top which was very popular but I wanted something that got some milk into him in the morning as well as fresh fruit. So, porridge oats soaked in creamy greek yogurt and milk with grated ripe, juicy pear and a sprinkling of chopped apricots was born! This may not be a thing of beauty but whatever this breakfast lacks in looks it more than makes up for in taste and ease. I'm not a massive breakfast eater but I do, occasionally, make myself a bowl of this and, once I've inhaled enough caffeine to master a spoon without the danger of piling oats into my chin rather than mouth, I'll eat it at my desk in the oasis of calm that is my home office before my day kicks off and it's a real treat.
Now, it is well documented that my son can be a really fussy eater (click here for more evidence) but this breakfast is always acceptable in his book. In fact, knowing I have this ready in the fridge of a morning keeps me sane as I attempt to maintain an insane juggling act on an inhumane amount of sleep. Most mornings, the Benny Hill theme tune is playing on a loop in my head as I clip walls and trip over the trail of toys still strewn about from yesterday - the ones I never quite got around to clearing up instead favouring an episode of First Dates. Maybe that's just me. Anyway, this brekkie has all the calories and carbs little people need to get going in the morning and the pear and apricot give it a lovely, natural sweetness. The best bit of all is: you can prepare it the night before my friend! Yes, that's right. All you need to do is mix, cover it and chuck it in the fridge then come morning when like me you may well be walking into walls as you attempt to function on 4 hours broken kip, you just reach into the fridge, stir and present to your baby. Tada! Hopefully, they repay you with adoring smiles of appreciation for the effort and not by lobbing spoonfuls at your face whilst insanely giggling but I can't promise!
The other great thing about this is it can be played about with to keep it interesting. Since we're currently in apple season I've been adding stewed apples and raisins just before serving and it's going down a treat.
1 Tbsp Porridge oats (these are my favourite)
2 Tbsp Whole Milk
1 Tbsp Total Greek Yogurt
1/4 soft ripe pear, I use Green William Pears
Some chopped dried apricot (if you're not confident about your little one managing the apricot without the risk of choking just leave them out, it's as delicious without)
1. Put the oats in the bowl you want to serve it in. Add the milk and the yogurt and stir, the liquid should cover the oats.
2. Grate the pear over the porridge mix, sprinkle in the apricots and give it a good stir
3. Cover with clingfilm and place in your fridge overnight
4. Before serving give a good stir and let sit for 5 minutes or so at room temperature so the flavours can come through rather than serving it icy cold.