Back to School – Kids Breakfast Ideas
When school starts up again, your kids will be dealing with a number of changes in their routines. They may be waking up earlier and will also need to readjust to a regular mealtime schedule, including breakfast. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is even more important when school is in session as what your child fuels their body with in the morning can have a direct impact on their energy and focus throughout the day. Even though many parents realize the importance of feeding their kids a healthy breakfast, there are a number of factors that can make this challenging.
Here are the top 3 breakfast challenges I hear from parents:
1) My child is not interested in eating breakfast.
2) My child is a very slow eater and we are in such a rush to get out the door to make it to school on time.
3) We are in a breakfast rut – we tend to eat the same breakfast over and over.
Many children do not feel like eating first thing in the morning and this can certainly present a challenge. The size of the breakfast is not as important as making sure that the meal has a good balance of nutrients. Carbohydrates, which can be found in common breakfast foods like whole grains and fresh fruits, are our bodies preferred source of energy and they are important for proper brain function. Carbohydrates alone, however, will be digested fairly quickly and can lead to a mid-morning “crash” in energy. Combining them with sources of protein or fats will slow down digestion and also add important nutrients to help meet your child’s nutritional needs.
If you are wondering what to make for breakfast, here are 5 easy and healthy kids breakfast ideas:
1) Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and fat. If you are in a rush in the mornings, eggs can either be quickly scrambled or made in advance, if they are hard boiled or baked into muffin tins like mini frittatas. Serve with some whole grain toast or warm up leftover potatoes from dinner. Make sure to also add some fruit or veg. It can be as simple as some orange slices or something like avocado/tomato on the toast.
2) Smoothies: A smoothie is a great way to include extra nutrients into your child’s diet, works well for those with small appetites and can be easily taken to go if necessary. This recipe is a great source of fat, protein and calcium and is a great option for a slow eater.
3) Toast and fruit: A whole grain toast with a nut/seed butter spread on top is a great way to add balance and nutrients. The fruit could be fresh berries on the side, for example, or half of a banana, sliced and placed on top of the toast. If your child is more of a Nutella fan, try this healthier alternative.
4) Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great, hearty breakfast for the cooler months. For increased nutrient content, use rolled oats rather than instant. They only take about 5-10 minutes to cook and you can add different ingredients each time to keep it interesting. Fresh or dried fruits are a great addition but be sure to also add some type of protein or fat, for example nuts or seeds.
5) Simple fruit and yogurt: Another great option for those with smaller appetites. The yogurt would add the important protein/fat component as well as added calcium to the meal. You can even top it with some chopped nuts or granola for a bit of a crunch. Instead of going back to the standard cold cereal and milk, start the school year off fresh with some more nutritious alternatives!
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