Amid the daily planning for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the humble snack is often overlooked. Though frequent snacking can interfere with appetites at mealtime, healthy, well-timed snacks can sustain kids’ energy, keep them alert and prevent overeating at meals. Try to time your kids’ snacks a few hours after one meal ends and one to…Read more
There’s no way around it: Weekday mornings with kids are jam-packed busy. From getting dressed and brushing teeth to packing lunches and backpacks, there’s never enough time to do it all.
Despite the rush, with a little planning and creativity, you can still carve out time for a healthy breakfast that will keep kids energized, happy and full through their morning. Breakfast is important for adults too: Recent research shows that eating breakfast may decrease the risk of heart disease. Here are 25 ideas to put on the table or take on the go before everyone heads out for the day.
Start your breakfast prep early with these make-ahead items. Prepare a batch and keep them in the fridge for five days or less for optimal tastiness.
- Overnight oats. This no-cook method of oatmeal creates a rich, creamy and dense breakfast that allows for a variety of recipe variations. Add in anything from almond butter and bananas to tropical fruit and Greek yogurt.
- Slow-cooked oats. Place your ingredients on the stovetop and let this fiber-rich breakfast simmer on low for several hours. We love adding apples and cinnamon for a warm and comforting spin.
- Breakfast burritos. Load up whole wheat tortillas with protein-packed scrambled eggs and diced peppers, onions and tomatoes. Reheat these in the oven or microwave.
- Hardboiled eggs. Not only is this portable meal good for breakfast on the go, it doubles as the perfect after-school snack.
- Whole grain muffins. Top with low-fat cream cheese or your favorite nut butter spread.
- Homemade pancakes. Ditch the store-bought mix and try this blender pancake idea: mix together 2 cups of oats, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 eggs, and a dash of vanilla.
- French toast. Use a high-fiber, whole grain bread (look for one with at least three grams of fiber per serving), and consider a 2:1 ratio of whole eggs and egg whites. Prepare as usual on a griddle or in a frying pan. Top with powdered sugar or fresh fruit instead of syrup.
- Egg cups. These muffin-sized cups are perfect for making ahead of time and can be refrigerated
until you’re ready. Egg cups are a great vehicle for veggies—our favorite add-ons are frozen peas and shredded carrots.
- Breakfast grains. Amaranth, quinoa, millet—breakfast grains go beyond traditional oats, but can be prepared nearly the same way for a twist on the expected. Add milk or a milk alternative instead of water for a calcium-filled, creamy treat.
- Energy Bites. If your kid has a sweet tooth, no-bake energy bites could make the perfect breakfast. Balance the nuttiness of oats, flax seeds and chia seeds with honey, chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
Only have a few minutes to whip up breakfast on the spot? No problem—these go-to solutions load up on nutrition and convenience.
- Smoothies. Not only are smoothies quick to throw together, they’re also a great opportunity to get extra fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet. Try everything from spinach and blueberries to carrots and dates.
- Easy eggs plus fruit. Switch up breakfast in a flash to keep kids from getting bored. Serve sliced fruit alongside a rotating side item such as scrambled eggs, fried eggs or simple omelets.
- Avocado toast. Here’s a savory, rich treat that you and your kids can enjoy. Mash up a quarter of an avocado on whole wheat toast. If you’re little one is up for it, add some additional veggies on top such as sliced cucumbers, sauteed spinach or sliced tomatoes! The healthy fat from the avocado will keep your little one full until lunch time.
- Greek yogurt parfaits. Kids can get in on the fun with this one. Have them layer their own ingredients from a pre-made “bar.” Include anything from sliced fruit and slivered almonds to low-fat granola and fiber-rich oats.
- Nut butter sandwiches. Who says a sandwich is only for lunch? Perfect to take on the go, this breakfast is even better with sliced bananas layered in with your favorite peanut butter alternative.
- Egg in a hole. This classic and easy egg recipe is great for toddlers and kids. Cut out a circle in high-fiber wheat bread with a cookie cutter, and use coconut butter or olive oil for cooking the bread and egg.
- Whole-grain bagel. Spread on some cream cheese, add a few
veggies (sliced cucumber and tomatoes are two of our favorites), then add protein with smoked salmon or sliced turkey.
- Chia pudding. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and more, chia seeds amp up a breakfast pudding that’s easily made with almond milk, fruit and even some nuts for crunch. Check out these recipes for inspiration: Chocolate Raspberry Chia Pudding or Blueberry Chia Pudding.
- Boiled egg and soldiers. Your kid will love this easy, dippable breakfast. Make a soft-boiled egg to serve in an egg cup and slice a piece of whole wheat toast into “soldier” slices. Breakfast has never been so interactive and fun!
- Fruit Wrap. Spread a thin layer of low-fat cream cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese or nut butter onto a whole wheat tortilla. Top it off with fruit and roll it up for a sweet breakfast wrap!
No Prep Breakfasts
No time doesn’t have to mean no breakfast. Check out these super-quick options to fill kids up with a minute to spare.
- Cereal. Look for whole-grain options that are low in sugar and high in fiber. One of our favorites is the Original Puffins Cereal, which has five grams of fiber per serving.
- Frozen breakfast burritos. Go for brands that include more than just eggs and cheese—tofu, black beans and diced vegetables add a nutritious twist. Try Amy’s Breakfast Burrito for a healthy start to your kid’s day.
- Frozen pancakes or waffles. Turn to the toaster for this easy-prep breakfast. Opt for whole-grain varieties that are high in fiber.
- Yogurt. Choose wide variety of flavors will keep kids interested, as will a mix of toppings they can take on the go—sliced almonds, cereal, diced strawberries and more. Look for Greek yogurt without any added low-calorie sweetener such as aspartame, stevia and the like.
- Granola bars. The ultimate grab-and-go option, granola bars offer fiber and protein in a handheld form. KIND Healthy Grain Bars is our brand of choice. For an extra oomph, pack your kid a small container of nut butter for dipping.
Your family can conquer the morning time-crunch with these quick, kid-friendly meals. Take advantage of healthy store-bought breakfast foods and use your weekends to prep a few make-ahead breakfasts. No time is no problem, and your kids will begin their day healthy and full.