No more racing out the door with a Pop-Tart — or, worse, nothing! A well-balanced breakfast provides seriously positive benefits for school-age children, from increased energy to improved concentration. Of course, it’s not easy to mastermind an elaborate nutritious meal on a groggy Tuesday morning, so we’re simplifying your AM meal planning with fast, healthy breakfast ideas that other Circle of Moms members swear by.
1. Fruit Smoothies
Combining fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt or milk in the blender yields a quick breakfast that delivers both solid nutrition and deliciously sweet flavor. As Shellie D. shares: “I usually will give my daughter a smoothie shake with fruit, milk etc.... She loves them. Two seconds in the magic bullet!” She adds “It's so quick and easy!! I usually have one for myself so I just make a little extra for her.” And as Cynthia S. shares, fruit smoothies can easily be made in large batches and saved for another breakfast: “The other thing about smoothies that’s great is if you make extra you can pour the rest into an ice pop mold and then the kids think they're getting an awesome treat for breakfast! I usually use fat-free French vanilla (all natural) yogurt and frozen strawberries.”
2. Breakfast Sandwiches
If your kids prefer eating en-route to school, a healthy breakfast sandwich is a winning strategy. Christy W. shares: “I'll cook up some turkey sausage patties over the weekend (enough for the following week) then all I have to do is pop them in the microwave for a few seconds while I am toasting whole wheat English muffins and fixing a couple of eggs. Then just make a breakfast sandwich out of it. This so far is one of their favorites and I feel good about it too. Not only does it give them a great start to their day but it’s healthy too!”
3. Yogurt Parfaits
“Granola and yogurt with berries,” is the top pick of Samantha S., and she's not alone. Numerous moms suggested this winning combination, which can be easily adjusted with different fruits, yogurt flavors, nuts, and grains to stay interesting. D’Janis R. suggests “Greek yogurt with a couple of spoons of oatmeal or granola cereal, walnuts, and honey drizzled on top,” while Nancy K. recommends “half vanilla yogurt, half lemon yogurt, lots of mixed fresh fruit, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc...then top with granola cereal!”
4. Whole Grain or Veggie Pancakes
Pancakes are quick? You bet! As Candy D. shares, advance prep turns pancakes into a one-minute meal on weekday mornings: “You can make them up early and freeze them. Pop in the microwave for 45 seconds and you have a hot healthy breakfast.” To round out the meal, toss a handfull of fresh fruit (think blueberries, raspberries, and bananas) on top, and go easy on the syrup.
Whole wheat isn’t the only healthy pancake variety recommended by moms. Kathleen H. suggests: “For older kids you can make some veggie pancakes (google it) that taste fabulous! I make three different kinds: beet, carrot and butternut squash, and sweet potato. I make large batches of these and freeze them so they’re on hand.”
5. Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast
Misty P. is one of many moms who recommend this nutrituous combination of protein, fruit and whole grains: “We do our favorite peanut butter with sliced bananas on whole wheat toast with milk. The kids love it.” Melissa L. does a similar combo: “I toast a Nutri-Grain waffle, slice it in half and put peanut butter on it. I put the sides together as a sandwich. That and a banana. VERY easy, and healthy too.”
6. Oatmeal or Whole Grain Cereal with Fruit
Although many cereals are loaded with sugar, whole-grain cereals served with fruit and milk are a healthy, quick standby. Beth O. shares: “I give my son multi-grain Cheerios and a fruit (usually kiwi, bananas, clementines, strawberries, blueberries) for breakfast.” Oatmeal is easy and very nourishing (not to mention affordable) Try sprinkling with cinnamon and adding berries, sliced banana or almonds.
7. Scrambles and Omelettes
"Eggs are a great breakfast, lots of protein," share Eva E. While stove cooking may sound ambitious for a rushed morning, with pre-cut veggies (dice them all on Sunday) and pre-shredded cheese in the fridge, cooking should take all of five minutes.
8. Breakfast Burritos
As Heather A. suggests, wrap your scramble in a whole-wheat tortilla for another meal your child can eat on the go: “Scramble eggs, add cheese and onion, mushroom, meat, etc. and put it in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito.”
”My son loves quiche!" Katie S. shares. "Veggies, protein, a little whole grain. It's fantastic.” A healthy quiche (check quiche recipes from Circle of Moms members for ideas) for can be made on Sunday and microwaved by the slice on school mornings.
10. Forget Traditional Breakfast Foods
Got healthy leftovers from last night’s dinner? You don’t have to stick to meals you might see on a restaurant’s breakfast menu. Shares Karen V.: “One thing I learned with all of mine was if they really like something that’s healthy for them even if it’s not traditional ‘breakfast’ food, give it to them! No rule says you can’t give them tuna fish sandwiches in the morning if it’s what they want to eat!"
Looking for more ideas on nutrional meals?
Whether you're looking recipes for a healthy postpartum diet, tips on picky eaters, quick and easy lunch recipes, or easy healthy desserts, communities like Recipe Swap are great places to ask questions and trade tips. Plus, don't miss our list of Top 25 Foodie Moms.