Homemade pancakes cooking on an electric griddle. Pan-fried batter is a delicious and nutritious breakfast perfect for school mornings. Photo by Toryn Seeberger

For me, the beginning of the school year comes hand in hand with groggy mornings, rushing to complete a last-minute assignment, and grabbing a granola bar on the way out the door. It’s a frenzied way to start the day, and I have learned I can avoid the stress by creating a structure for my mornings—a structure centered around breakfast.

Growing up, my school day breakfast was always cold cereal, with more complicated meals reserved for the weekends. This stands in line with the stereotypical portrayal of student breakfasts, with most teens either making easy foods or skipping the meal altogether.

After making them regularly for friends on sleepovers, I realized that pancakes were a delicious and easy breakfast, and a perfect way to structure my mornings.

I normally make the batter the night before, using a recipe adapted from the griddlecakes recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook:

⅞ cup milk (or yogurt)

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

I like to melt the butter on the stove, and mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a separate bowl while I wait for it to be ready. Then, I crack an egg into another bowl and mix in the butter and milk. When I’m cooking on the weekends, I’ll sometimes use ½ cup milk, ⅜ cup yogurt, but school day batter is strictly milk-based, as it thickens when left in the cold fridge overnight. While not necessarily indicative of a bad taste, it can be difficult to work with batter that is too thick or too watery.

Once the wet and dry ingredients are prepared, I combine the two into a single bowl. Then I cover the batter, storing it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it. In the morning, I will wake up early to make pancakes, providing me with both a morning structure and a delicious way to kick off my day.