It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and school has started!
I don’t have any kids heading off to school, but my niece started third grade this week. Watching her get ready for the school year always makes me take a moment to think about how kids are fueling up for long days of learning and playing.
You’ve heard it before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I totally believe the way you start the day sets the tone for your entire day. Same goes for kids!
Starting the day with a sugary Toaster Strudel or Pop-Tart isn’t going to give kids the energy they need to stay focused throughout the school day. A study published in the Journal of School Health says that food affects academic performance in children. Students who eat more fruits, vegetables and grains had higher scores on assessments.
Although I don’t have children, I know getting kids going in the morning can be chaotic. My niece has stayed with me overnight on a weeknight before, and she is not a morning person!
So I’ve come up with some kid-friendly breakfast ideas that can be made ahead of time or thrown together quickly in the morning. These morning meals will keep your kids energized throughout the day because they are a combination of healthy carbohydrates and protein (the perfect combo for long-lasting energy!)
- Overnight Oats – In a jar or container, combine 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 3/4 cup almond milk (or other milk), 1 tsp. honey and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Add dried fruit like cranberries or raisins, if desired. Stir, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, heat in the microwave or serve cold and top with desired toppings such as fresh berries, banana slices, natural jam, nut butter, nuts, dried fruit or honey.
- Breakfast Burritos – Sautee onions, red pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli (whatever veggies your kiddo likes). Set aside. Cook ground breakfast turkey sausage. Set aside. Cook scrambled eggs. Assemble burritos by filling whole wheat tortillas with veggies, sausage, eggs and some cheese. Place burrito on a hot pan until both sides of the tortilla are crispy. Let cool. Store in containers or foil in the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat in the microwave or oven.
- Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas – This one is perfect for this time of year, but you can change the fruit depending on the season – apples in the fall, pomegranate seeds in the winter, etc. You’ll have a breakfast ready to go every morning! So easy.
- Pre-Made Frozen Waffles – Make a double batch of these waffles on a Sunday, freeze them, and reheat them in a toaster or toaster oven. They will be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle just like store-bought frozen waffles! Top them with fresh fruit or pure maple syrup. For a bit of protein, serve with a hard boiled egg on the side, a glass of milk or add a tablespoon of nut butter to the top of your waffle.
- Peanut Butter Banana Toast – Spread natural peanut butter over whole wheat toast and top with a sliced banana. If the natural peanut butter isn’t sweet enough, add a bit of honey.
- Yogurt, Fruit and Granola Parfait – Combine plain Greek yogurt with honey or pure maple syrup. In a bowl, jar or glass, layer yogurt, fresh berries or banana slices and granola. You could also add a layer of natural peanut butter or other nut butter.
- 1-minute Breakfast Blueberry Pie – Place ½ cup blueberries in a bowl. Top with a spoonful of almond butter, 1 tsp. honey and 1 tbsp. oats. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Green Monster Smoothie – In a blender, combine 1 cup milk, ½ cup spinach, 1 sliced frozen banana, ¼ cup berries (fresh or frozen) and 1 tbsp. nut butter. The flavor of the spinach totally disappears!
- Egg Sandwich – Cook 1 egg (however your child likes it) and toast a whole wheat English muffin. Place egg on English muffin and top with a slice of cheddar cheese.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal takes no time at all to whip up. Place 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (or quick oats), 1 cup water or milk, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 2 tsp. honey or pure maple syrup and whatever else you want (dried fruit, raisins, spices, etc.) into a saucepan and cook over medium-low eat until oatmeal thickens. Top with fresh fruit such as banana slices or berries or nuts.
What are your favorite healthy breakfasts for your kids?
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