Start Their Day With a Brain-Boosting Breakfast

Welcome to our guide to Back-to-School Success: 31 days of tips, apps, recipes, and more to help you make this your family's best school year yet. Today, day 28, includes 17 inventive recipes from some of our favorite chefs that are sure to get your kids' days off to a smart start.

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it's often the most overlooked as busy families grab and go on their way out the door. While back to school tends to focus on lunch-box ingredients, we rolled the clock back to the breakfast hour and asked some of the country's leading chefs to share their favorite before-the-school-bell recipes. From Martha Stewart and Marcus Samuelsson to Weelicious's Catherine McCord and Jessica Seinfeld, here are 17 recipes that will send kids off to school with full bellies and brains that are ready to grow. Check them out!


Red, White, and Blue Parfaits

When Weelicious's Catherine McCord's son took a liking to her morning bowl of Grape-Nuts, she was inspired to work them into more than just a serving of cereal to start the day. Red, white, and blue parfaits combine fruit, dairy, and carbohydrates in one easy-to-serve dish. "I try to make this dish first thing in the morning, so that by the time Kenya's ready for breakfast the Grape-Nuts have gotten a chance to soften up from the yogurt."


Breakfast Quesadillas

Nothing's worse than going to prepare a meal and realizing that there's nothing in the cupboard. Catherine McCord's breakfast quesadillas grew out of a morning when she only had a few ingredients on hand. "There are three things that I always have on hand: eggs, tortillas, and cheese. They're all relatively inexpensive, last for weeks if properly refrigerated, and combined, make the perfect breakfast meal that will send your kids off to school with tons of energy for their day."


Oatmeal in the Crockpot

Oatmeal is a fiber-rich breakfast that helps keep kids satisfied until lunch. Unfortunately, it can take some time and care to prepare in the morning. Weelicious's oatmeal in the crockpot takes the time out of the equation because it can be prepared the night before. "I loved the idea of preparing something the night before that, no matter what time each of us fed ourselves in the morning, would seem totally fresh and special."


Ham and Cheese Muffins

Protein, dairy, and whole grains in one easy-to-serve dish? Weelicious's ham and cheese muffins combine it all and can even be made in advance, frozen, and defrosted, as needed, each morning! "Make a batch of these muffins on a Sunday afternoon, freeze them, and you'll be so relieved every morning that you have to race out the door but need to feed the kids first."


Banana Dog Bites

As simple as rolling a banana in peanut butter and a tortilla, Weelicious's banana dog bites add protein, fiber, and potassium to little ones' morning routines!


Epicurious: Whole Biscuit Shortbread Editor in Chief Tanya Steele believes in grab-and-go breakfasts. "We love shortbread, but it's made with so much butter and white flour that was always a special-occasion treat in my household — until we developed this recipe, which uses almost exactly half and half all-purpose to whole wheat. We also reduced the sugar and the upshot is that these delicious crunch biscuits are only 81 calories a cookie. You can [also] dip them in semisweet chocolate, and give them as a lunchbox snack."


Cooking Light's Quick Breakfast Burritos

A breakfast burrito might sound like a fancy breakfast that is only worthy of a leisurely weekend brunch, but Cooking Light's quick breakfast burritos only take a few minutes to make, and they're full of protein to help keep kids going until lunch.


Cooking Light's Blackberry-Mango Breakfast Shake

Smoothies are the ultimate grab-and-go breakfast drink, but you have to be wary of the amount of sugar in some recipes (you don't want your kids bouncing off their classroom walls). Cooking Light's blackberry-mango breakfast shake uses tofu for some added protein and honey to replace the sugar.


Cooking Light's Overnight Honey-Almond Oatmeal

Mornings can be a rush, so Cooking Light shared a recipe for overnight honey-almond oatmeal that only needs a few quick additions in the morning.


Martha Stewart's Mountain Berry Scones

Packed with cranberries and blueberries, Martha Stewart's mountain berry scones are a delicious way to start the school morning. Though the recipe looks time-intensive, the scones can be made in advance and frozen until the night before you need them.


Marcus Samuelsson's Avocado-Banana Smoothie

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, Marcus Samuelsson has mastered the art of mixing unusual flavors to create tastes that simply make mouths and stomachs happy. A longtime supporter of charities that help give children a healthy start, such as UNICEF and the World Childhood Foundation, the chef is offering up an avocado-banana smoothie recipe to give kids a quick brain boost before heading off to school. "This is a great healthy breakfast option, as it's filling and nutritious; plus, kids dig the green color of the drink. It's inspired by the Indian drink lassi and is sure to be a family favorite."


Martha Stewart's Green Fruit Bowl With Frozen Grapes

Talk about a refreshing addition to the breakfast routine: Martha Stewart's green fruit bowl with frozen grapes is a welcome change from a bowl of berries and bananas.


Lorena Garcia's Huevos Pericos

According to Lorena Garcia, "Huevos Pericos [are eggs] scrambled with onions and tomatoes, and then lots of cilantro and scallions are added. This quick egg dish offers unique flavors for the morning that will not only wake taste buds but also, your brain!"

14's Good Day Pear Crisp

As the editor in chief of, Tanya Steel's encountered picky eaters, moms who don't think they have time to cook, and those who are hesitant to introduce healthy foods to their kids. She loves this recipe for good day pear crisp because it tastes just like pie for breakfast (but it's healthier)! "At only 162 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat, it is a flavor-packed way for little ones to start the day," Steel says. "You can substitute apples for the pear (Granny Smith or Royal Gala are good varieties) and, in the Summer, stone fruit, like nectarines, plums, or apricots. It's seasonal, inexpensive, fast to make, and delicious to eat."


Lorena Garcia's Spinach and Goat Cheese Empanaditas

"These crescent-shaped spinach and goat cheese empanditas are a high part of South American tradition," Lorena Garcia shares. "The spinach, which is high in iron, will help keep [kids] focused and full throughout the day. These can be prepared before and put into the fridge or freeze for eating when desired."