Kids are back in school and if you're like me, your life is in high gear. My husband and I sit down at the beginning of the week and plan out who needs to be where and when.

Kids are back in school and if you're like me, your life is in high gear. My husband and I sit down at the beginning of the week and plan out who needs to be where and when.

Sometimes the hectic schedules mean we don't all get to eat dinner together. But I've vowed to keep healthy muffins around to start the day right and to fill in as an afternoon snack.

Here is a more healthful version of a banana muffin. Whole wheat flour and wheat germ add extra fiber and a little protein, while buttermilk keeps the fat at bay.

BETTER BANANA BREAD MUFFINS

Makes 12 to 16 muffins

This recipe is based on one from Real Food for Healthy Kids. If you want to make this recipe a little more indulgent, stir 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into the batter before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper or foil liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk both flours, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs and sugar in another bowl until well blended. Add the bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir just until blended. Stir in dry ingredients. Fold in nuts, if using.

Divide batter among prepared muffin tins. Bake until the muffins are puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool muffins in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack. Eat warm or cool.

The muffins can be made up to three days ahead. Wrap in foil. Reheat in a 350 degree oven, if desired.

Robin Davis is food editor of The Columbus Dispatch . She oversees the Food section, published each Wednesday, which features recipes, question-and-answer columns and reviews of cookbooks, wines and local eateries.