If you’re short on time but want your kids to eat a good breakfast, here are some fast and easy foods that are sure to be “little people” pleasers. These breakfasts taste so good, it’s hard to believe mom’s “secret:” they’re healthy, too!
1. Sassy Scrambled Eggs (Prep time: 5 mins.)
Think colorful and fun! One egg has about 6 grams of protein and just 70 calories. The yellow center (yolk) is the part that holds most of the nutrients. It’s a great source of lutein, a vitamin that helps prevent certain eye diseases.
- Whip up 2 eggs.
- Add 3-4 tablespoons of milk (1% lowfat or skim milk).
- Pour the mixture into a frying pan with a bit of oil or butter to prevent sticking (on low-to medium heat).
- Mix while cooking until the egg mixture is fluffy, not runny.
- Keep tilting the pan to move the egg mixture around—kids love this part!
- Be sure to watch out for the flame and/ or electric coils. No fires… except under the pan ;-).
- Spoon out some small dollops of grape jelly to make eyes, nose and a mouth
Voila! You’ve got a happy egg face!
2. Fun Fruit Shake (Prep time: 3 to 4 mins.)
This shake has lots of energy-boosting natural sugars. Add yogurt for protein, along with your child’s favorite fruit (frozen or fresh). Fruit is a vital source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Some kids’ favorite fruits include strawberries, oranges, and raspberries. If you want to try a bold move, add ¼ cup of spinach. Your child likely won't even notice the slight spinach taste, and it will be a great way to introduce more greens in your child’s diet. Here it goes:
- Put ¼ cup each of raspberries, strawberries and/or oranges in a blender.
- Add ½ cup of milk (1% low-fat plain or chocolate milk. If you child is lactose-intolerant, then go for rice milk or almond milk.)
- Add some ice and ½ cup of yogurt. (Pick a natural yogurt with no sugar added, like Stonyfield YoBaby or FAGE Greek yogurt.)
- Top it off with bit of whipped cream for a festive start to your day!
It's fine to get your fruit in juice form, but make sure it’s 100% fruit juice, or else you might be adding more sugar to your child’s diet, which can bring cavities and extra fat!
3. B-fast Pizza Two Ways (Prep time: 5 to 8 mins.)
If you struggle to get your child to eat breakfast in the morning, healthy dinner food can be a option for breakfast. Pizza made on an English muffin can introduce a homemade fast-food treat that is like dinner for breakfast!
- Slice up the cheese the night before and have spaghetti sauce ready (i.e. Prego in a jar).
- In the morning, pop the muffins in the toaster oven.
- When the muffins are slightly toasted, add the cheese and toast until it melts.
- Then, top it off with fresh veggies, like bell peppers.
You may also wish to resort to traditional breakfast foods, which is just fine. In this case, you'd follow much of the same recipe as above, but add a few tiny twists:
- Place a slice of bacon on a heated pan and cook until it is firm and crisp.
- Crumble the bacon up into small pieces, using either your hands or a knife.
- Put the bacon to the side.
- Scramble or boil one to two eggs.
- When the eggs are almost done, pop the muffins in the toaster oven.
- Once the muffins are slightly toasted, pull them out.
- Spread the scrambled eggs or slices of boiled egg over the muffins and then top it with shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle the bacon and fresh veggies like bell peppers, tomato and/or onions on top.
- Place the muffins back in the toaster oven and let them sit until the cheese melts.
4. OMG! Oatmeal (Prep time: 1 to 2 mins.; serves 2)
It can be difficult to get any child to eat oatmeal, but there are ways you can make it appetizing.
- Simply boil 1 cup of water.
- Stir in some milk to taste, along with 1 /2 cup oats. (Just use Quaker Oats “Quick 1-minute.”)
- To add more flavor, sprinkle on brown sugar and/or pure honey. (Honey is only recommended, however, for children over the age of 1).
- For an extra burst, toss a few pieces of fruit on top, such as blueberries, peaches, strawberries, or any other fruit your child enjoys. With this step you can make it fun, by placing the pieces of fruit in such a way that it looks like a smiley face.
5. Easy-Prep Muffin (Prep time: 2 to 3 mins.)
Did you know there are 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in only two tablespoons of peanut butter? So, instead of spreading butter or cream cheese on a bagel, go for a lighter, healthier alternative: peanut butter, jelly, and banana on a whole-grain English muffin! The protein found in peanut butter, according to nutritionists, helps regulate blood sugar levels, while the fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in whole grains can reduce your child’s risk of certain diseases. Bananas also contain fiber, vitamins, and potassium that support heart health. Here’s how to put everything together:
- Place a whole-grain English muffin in the toaster or toaster oven until it is crisp.
- After removing the muffin from the toaster, spread peanut butter on top.
- If your child likes bananas, cut half of a banana into slices.
- Place the banana slices on top of the peanut butter.
- Should your child take a liking to jelly, you may wish to spread their favorite jam on top of the peanut butter, before adding the banana slices.
6. Yum-Yum Yogurt (Prep time: 1 to 2 mins.)
"A breakfast parfait would make a great, very convenient breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, M.A., a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Burbank, CA. A 6-ounce serving of yogurt has just as much protein as would a serving of meat. It turns out that Greek yogurt typically has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Help kids who are overweight to choose plain or vanilla non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt. Fruit-flavored yogurts can have a lot of sugar added, so make this meal healthy by adding your child’s favorite natural fruit. Here’s how it works:
- Place a cup of yogurt into a bowl, jar or cup.
- Sprinkle a handful of granola and your child's favorite fruit on top.
- Drizzle with pure honey.
Now that you have six easy, kid-friendly breakfast ideas, go for it! All you and your kids have to lose are some unhealthy habits.