I'm going to answer some of the menu questions here. LOL
My kids all love the homemade breakfasts. My older kids grew up on cereal and do not see it as a treat. Evie does horrible on cereal, she can't focus and bounces off the walls all day if she starts her day with it and Isaac doesn't like it.
Morning here starts at 6:00am. Eric wakes the older kids and Sophia wakes me.LOL The older kids grab something from the freezer and sometimes a smoothie, Eric eats peanutbutter toast and a smoothie and then Eric goes to work and the kids go upstairs to "school". Sophia usually stays up until 7 and I entertain her and sometimes grab a piece of toast to tide me over. After she goes to sleep, I go into SUPER-OVERDRIVE!!!LOL Evie always gets up by 7 and either helps me with breakfast or watches cartoons. If Sophia is sleeping hard, then I fix a big breakfast. Yesterday was peanutbutter-chocolate chip pancakes, smoothies, and bacon. I fix double what the kids can eat, freeze half and feed the other half to the kids. I also cook all bacon and freeze the leftovers. Today was a quick day, since Sophia only slept an hour, so I fixed a couple of eggs, leftover bacon, and some cut up strawberries. I keep the extra eggs on the warmer on my stovetop and keep refilling their plates until they can't eat anymore.LOL I've found that if I keep filling the littles plates until they are full, they won't need a snack before lunch time. I usually take some fresh breakfast up to the working kids on days when I have time but they don't get snacks unless I do that. Yesterday, they got pancakes, today, nothing.LOL
Produce is HUGE around here. I don't know how to reduce that cost, although, we planted blueberry bushes in our backyard and we have two orange trees that produced maybe 4 oranges this past January.LOL I am starting a garden with Jon and will hopefully be able to reduce our bill by freezing the extras. Also, I'm planting strawberries and watermelon because we eat a lot of those over the summer and they're expensive.
The older kids finish all their work by 11:00am and then we start lunch. The older kids do most of the lunch duty since I do breakfast. Jon just made omelets and I'm going to have leftovers. The littles will have sandwiches since they had eggs for breakfast.
I've found that with a hot breakfast, the kids are not hungry like with cereal. Sometimes, they aren't even ready for lunch when it's lunchtime.
The kids get a snack around 2:30-3 and it's usually peanutbutter crackers or creamcheese crackers and carrots or fruit.
Jon is doing culinary arts for school this year and fixes dinner 2-3 times a week and helps with bread baking on Tuesdays. Allison is doing home ec this year and helps plan menus and grocery lists each week along with her other duties. She's not a big fan of cooking but does help with lunches and baking.
For those last minute kind of days, I like to have on hand or in the freezer; muffins, pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, granola bars, yogurt, and granola. I fix these mostly in the morning but some of these are made during our Tuesday baking times.
This is how I plan my week:
Monday-laundry day (I do all my regular chores as do the kids but our focus is getting the laundry caught up and the house in order from the weekend.)
Tuesday-baking day and/or ironing (Muffins, bread, granola, buns, rolls, sandwich loaf, anything needing baking done today, along with our regular chores. Allison loves to iron and usually does this while Sophia is taking her afternoon nap.)
Wednesday-declutter (We all pick a room and work through it, taking out things we no longer need. Books, outgrown clothes/shoes, papers, mail, office work, etc...)
Thursday-deep clean (We all pick a room and deep clean it. Bathrooms get the bleach treatment, kitchen gets scrubbed, bedrooms get sheets changed, toy room gets organized, dust is removed, etc...)
Friday-laundry and grocery day (Laundry gets caught up for the weekend and the grocery list is made. The house gets a once over and then we either go shopping or play.LOL)
Saturday and Sunday are for us to enjoy.LOL
Now, we worked up to this slowly over time. Until I had a bunch of stuff in the freezer, we still had cereal on those days that I couldn't cook. Now managing the freezer stuff is easy! I may only need to stock up on one thing each week and sometimes I can skip a week. When the kids weren't working so early, they did help with breakfast. Jon is great at eggs and Allison is great at pancakes but I'd rather have school over with than help with breakfast.LOL
About dh's who don't like hot breakfasts, don't feed them it.LOL Just cook something for the kids, get them used to something better than cereal. I don't know of any kid who would turn down chocolate chip pancakes. You can always add in the healther stuff slowly over time. You may want more cooler stuff for the summer, like smoothies, granola bars, and fresh fruit. Even if they eat that cereal, it doesn't mean they can't have something healthier with it.