It’s a popular image in commercials and TV shows. There’s nothing that quite says “I love you” like bringing mom breakfast in bed. Of course, there’s always the comic reveal moments later of the disaster area that used to be the kitchen. And who usually gets stuck cleaning that up?

The good news is, we thought it would be nice to offer some tips for creating the best breakfast in bed experience for Mom this Mother’s Day!

It’s all About Her

Sure, the kids may love pancakes, but is that Mom’s favorite dish? We’re relying on Dad to help out here. Is Mom on a health kick? How about cutting up some of the fresh fruit she never has time to enjoy.

If she’s on a weight loss kick and not vegan or vegetarian, a high protein breakfast can minimize hunger pangs later. Whether Mom’s a fan of sausage, eggs and bacon, or a protein smoothie, catering to her interests will make her morning grander.

Simple is Often Better

Minimize the noise – and the cleanup later – by sticking with simpler, easy to prepare dishes that involve very few ingredients, but look like the rest of the family spent the day watching the Food Network to prepare. There are plenty of quick and easy recipes you can find online. We thought this Dutch Baby Skillet was quick and easy – and is a treat Mom might not find time for in her usual busy day.

You can also help the kids out by pre-prepping a lot the night before. Making everything you can ahead of time so it just needs to be warmed up simplifies things immensely. Of course, if it’s something you just need to microwave, maybe reach a little higher. At least turn the oven or the stove on.

Even if you can’t do it all ahead of time, every little bit counts. If you’re making something that requires measuring and mixing, those can be organized and refrigerated the night before too.  

Minimize the Mess

There are two factors at play here – prep and delivery.

Clean as you go, if at all possible. Quicker picker uppers make less work, and seem less overwhelming than trying to tackle everything later. But even if it comes down to that – you cook, you clean. Don’t make Mother’s Day another day Mom has to tidy up after everyone else.

Not to keep harping on pancakes, but syrup somehow gets everywhere. And so does powdered sugar. Anything that could be potentially messy or stain the sheets or bed clothes might be best avoided. The same goes for a bowl of cereal filled to the brim with frothy milk.

Or get a really good tray. A lot of potential breakfast in bed snafu’s can be solved with the right tools. Handles make carting the breakfast special a lot less likely to spill – and please use both hands to keep everything balanced.  You can even get trays that are designed with fold out feet, so Mom doesn’t have to try and balance everything while she’s eating.

Wide rims on the plates, bowls and cups help minimize the chance of oopsies. Thermos’ can keep the coffee or tea warm longer and there’s no spill factor, as long as they’re screwed on tight. But give Mom a cup and saucer to pour the liquid into for some class.

Make It Extra Special

Speaking of class, it can be the little touches that make the biggest difference. Add a spray of flowers; maybe something from Mom’s favorite little confectionery that she wishes she could go to more often. A little sweet treat, like a dollop of ice cream or a few rainbow macarons (not to be confused with the coconut cookies) can make even a simple dish more special.

If you really want to raise the stakes, why not, in the immortal words of Marie Antoinette (or not), “Let them eat cake!”  Coffee cake, bread pudding, or how about this French Toast Casserole? Homemade is, of course, better, but if you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, splurge at the local bakery. Mom’s worth it.

Now this last suggestion isn’t for every Mom, but if there was any day she really deserved it… Mother’s Day can be a nice excuse for Mom to have a mimosa. And they’re not just orange anymore! Pair grapefruit, cranberry, or even pear mimosas with her breakfast for a fun adult treat.

Above all else – make sure you celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day. It’s the least you can do after all she’s done for you! Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!

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