There may be no better way to start each day than by enjoying a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Setting the tone for the rest of your day, consuming breakfast every day, is the most efficient way to fuel your body with the energy you need to take on all the tasks ahead. The same is true for children.
With all the tasks on their plate, from school studies to extracurricular activities, children need nutrient-dense meals that keep them full, focused, and energized. But, unfortunately, nearly 1 in 5 children don’t eat breakfast in the United States. The most significant factors contributing to their lack of breakfast included poor time management and lack of appetite early in the morning. Eating a healthy breakfast can increase focus and motivation while providing the nutrients they need to help them develop and grow.
If your child is a picky eater and you find yourself struggling to feed them a breakfast they’ll gladly eat, we are here to help. Here are some of our favorite, nutritious breakfasts to try today.
An excellent on-the-go breakfast option, smoothies can be tailored to your child’s taste preferences, and fruits and vegetables can be hidden well under the creamier notes of the smoothie base. When making their smoothie, we suggest adding in their favorite fruits, a heavier protein option like peanut or almond butter or protein powder, and including some sort of greens to keep them fuller, longer. Our go-to is a strawberry-banana smoothie with a cup of almond milk, a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, and a big handful of kale and baby spinach. This option is the perfect choice for picky eaters who don’t want to eat a lot in the morning or those who struggle to wake up early in the morning.
A great option for those looking to plan out breakfast for the week or prep it the night before, baked oats can be customized to your child’s favorite taste. From fruity and sweet to more savory and satisfying, there are hundreds of different combinations to make a nutritious breakfast using oats.
Our favorite baked oats recipe includes the following ingredients:
- Two cups rolled old-fashioned oats
- One teaspoon cinnamon
- One teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Two cups of unsweetened almond or oat milk
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- One egg
- One teaspoon vanilla extract
- Two ripe bananas
- ¾ cup dried fruit
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend all ingredients and pour into an 8” x 8” glass baking dish. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. This will provide six meals-worth of breakfasts.
If your child is a fan of eggs, baked egg muffins are the perfect way to incorporate vegetables into their breakfast. The best part? You can bake a week’s worth of egg muffins in under an hour and have breakfast ready for the entire week ahead. Some of our go-to ingredients to mix in with the scrambled eggs include: turkey sauce bits, turkey bacon pieces, bell peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, and tomatoes. Consider this a healthy quiche-style alternative sans the crust. Filling and nutritious egg muffins will keep your child full until lunchtime.
Protein-based pancakes or waffles
One of the best ways to stifle a hungry belly is to fill it with protein-based goodness. If your child has a sweet tooth and would love to indulge in sugary cereals, doughnuts, or muffins for breakfast, consider swapping out the high-sugar treats with a healthier alternative like protein pancakes or waffles. Tasting similar to their non-protein-based counterparts, they pack a punch when it comes to protein amount, with some boasting over 30g per serving. Serve with a small bowl of fruit, a side of turkey bacon, or ½ a cup of greek yogurt. Consider switching out syrup products with jams, honey, or real maple syrup. As a bonus, mix in some of their favorite fruit with the batter to make it more appealing and delicious for them.
Healthy eating habits start at a young age. No matter what nutritious option you choose to try for your child, remember that the essential factor is consuming something healthy at the start of each day. Encourage them to try new foods while helping them understand the importance of breakfast in their daily lives.