Simple, easy and ready to go on a weekend or school-day morning, breakfast is the one meal that I really want my kiddos to enjoy. It is also the one meal that I know they will devour like little piglets. There are some mornings where I have a lot going on and not enough time to cook up a fresh omelet or whole grain waffles. Preparing a hearty breakfast dish overnight (like my super tasty crockpot oatmeal recipe in The Wholesome Baby Food Guide) is a time saver and at the same time lets my kiddos have a filling meal that keeps their tummies happy as they head out the door.
This is a go-to fave and can be offered up to your little ones as young as 8 months of age. The ingredients are simple: eggs, bread, milk, spices, maple syrup. Before you go to bed, throw this together and then bake in the morning. Sometimes we get a more firm and “french toasty” texture and other times we have more of a bread pudding-y texture. My kiddos enjoy both as long as it’s not soggy – which happened once, ick!
Large mixing bowl or 8 quart glass measuring bowl with spout
9×13 Baking dish
- 16 slices whole grain sandwich bread (you can use French bread or challah – sliced about 3/4 of an inch thick) I keep the crusts on but you can cut them off if you like.
- 8 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup* – use whatever amount you prefer, I use 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Grease a 9×13 baking dish with a light coat of butter or shortening, I use butter.
Tear apart bread slices and arrange in the baking dish in a relatively uniform pattern (make sure that the bread overlaps and that no empty pockets are showing. Empty pockets=lots of cooked egg=not a lot of baked bready goodness)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon
Pour egg mixture over the bread in the baking dish
Press the bread down so that you know all pieces are thoroughly soaked in the egg mixture
Cover with tinfoil and put the dish in the fridge
Baking Time – the next morning
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees
Take out the bread dish and place in the over, leave foil on
Allow to bake for 45 minutes or so for a more bread-pudding like texture; bake up to 1 hour for a more crisp texture.
My kiddos love this warm with maple syrup and whipped cream but are happy to eat it plain too.
For little ones:
Mash it all up into pieces that babies can pick up on their own – not good pureed but chopped lightly in a food processor with a bit of plain yogurt is nice!
Use rice or soy milk in place of whole milk
Maple syrup can be exchanged for 1/2 cup brown sugar or demerara sugar if you’d like
Eggs really cannot be substituted in this recipe as they are the all-important ingredient. I’d love to hear of a way to make this without the egg if anyone has done so!
*maple syrup is not a botulism risk like honey is!