Easy “Brinner” and Other Recipes for Back to School

By  Ann Dunaway Teh & Lesley Baradel

This post is sponsored by General Mills Cereals. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Back to School Week Menu Plan featuring Brinner aka Breakfast for Dinner

Slowly but surely, the carefree sounds of summer are being swept into the background as we start to focus on the new beginnings that come with each new school year. Instead of the swish of the ocean waves, the laughter of the kids playing in the sprinklers, or the sound of a new app your child just downloaded (let’s be honest, they were on their electronics more than you wanted this summer!!), we begin to hear lots of questions that have an air of excitement about them.

“When can we go to the store to get my new notebooks and new clothes?” 

“Can I get a new back pack this year?” (Lesley’s can get one every two years!)

“When do our new books arrive?”

“Has anyone seen my book reports that I was supposed to complete this summer?”

“Do I have to take Math again?!?!?”

This list of questions continues for at least a week leading up the start of school and then during that first week until things begin to settle into the new routine.

Amongst all the excitement, parents, as we know, are excited to get back into the routine of family dinners at a normal hour. It seems that summer time dinners get later and later each week! So, to get your families, and our families, back into a routine, we vote for easy, simple, kid-friendly meals during those first weeks of school to make sure there is no whining and kids get to bed on time!

We thought that there is no better way to get the kids to the table fast than to do “BRINNER”!

What’s Brinner, right?

Brinner is breakfast for dinner, which is a kid’s all-time favorite. You know you hear all about it when they serve breakfast for lunch at school and how great it is. So, be the star of the show and serve breakfast for dinner!

Cereal-lific Whole Grain Pancakes_v2_Labeled

We decided to get a bit more creative with our standard Whole Grain Pancake Mix, so we added some of our favorite “Big G” (a.k.a General Mills) cereals to create these Cereal-ific Whole Grain Pancakes to make them super yummy, festive, and pump up the nutrition.

Did we say pump up the nutrition?  Yes, we did.

But how, you ask?

Well, Big G cereals contain more whole grain than any other ingredient and have the vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D and calcium, that we know we all need. And another bonus is that 90% of General Mills cereal recipes do not contain artificial flavors or colors form artificial sources. Instead, for delicious flavors, Cinnamon Toast Crunch uses real cinnamon, Cocoa Puffs and Reese’s Puffs use real cocoa, and Honey Nut Cheerios uses real honey. For colors,Trix and Fruity Cheerios use extracts from blueberries, purple carrots, and turmeric. 


We had so many cereals to choose from that it was hard to pick which makes this recipe so fun, but ultimately we decided on Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Cheerios. Some other good choices would be Honey Nut Cheerios, Reese’s Puffs or whatever are your family’s favorites. You can let your kids come up with their own creations using one, two, or even three different types of cereals. You may feel like a bit of a short order cook, but trust us, it is really no big deal to create lots of different types of pancakes and it so fun to have your kids get creative in the kitchen.

Making cereal-ific pancakes for "brinner"

And because we are menu planners, we had to help you with some other great meal ideas for those first weeks back at school. We hope you’ll try them all and let us know what you think.


Pan-Fried Fish with Almond Lemon Parsley Sauce

PanFried Tilapia With Almond Parsley Lemon Sauce

The sauce is what makes this fish so yummy! Lesley could eat it by the bowlful. The sauce can easily be served on the side as a dip though if your family prefers that.


Spinach, Turkey Bacon & Egg Muffins

Spinach, Turkey Bacon, and Egg Muffins

Another brinner winner in our households, this recipe is super versatile to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. The Fiber One topping gives them some crunch and a boost of fiber. These are also a great make ahead grab-n-go breakfast for hectic mornings.

Brinner is the winner for easy #backtoschool dinners. Get more #recipe inspiration here: Click To Tweet
Wheaties Oven Baked Ravioli

Baked Cheese Ravioli

Have you ever had fried ravioli? Apparently it is a Midwestern treat. We made our own healthier version by using Wheaties as the breading and then baking in the oven. Our children (and husbands!) went wild over these and loved dipping them in the marinara sauce.


BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas are a fun spin on traditional quesadillas and sure to please your family!

Quesadillas are a household staple for Ann’s family. They are quick and easy to throw together to use up whatever leftover meat, beans or veggies you have on hand. In this version, we combined chicken with kid-friendly BBQ sauce for a different spin on a traditional quesadilla.


Zucchini “Meatballs” and Spaghetti

Zucchini Meatballs

Okay, so technically there isn’t any meat in these meatballs, but we promise your family won’t even notice! These vegetarian balls are fun to make and even better to eat. Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs?!


"Brinner" (aka Breakfast for Dinner) is always a winning choice to bring the kids to the table, especially during the hectic back to school time.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful New School Year!

"Brinner" (aka Breakfast for Dinner) is always a winning choice to bring the kids to the table, especially during the hectic back to school time.


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