Breakfast is key for your child. It refuels them, giving them energy for the day.
Weight control may also be easier for breakfast eaters, both as children and later, when they're adults.
17 Simple, Healthy Breakfasts
Breakfast, or any meal, doesn’t need to be elaborate to be satisfying and nutritious. A bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk and topped with fruit is a fine choice.
No healthy food is off-limits for the morning meal, even if you don't think of it as a traditional "breakfast food."
It only takes a few minutes to make these breakfasts:
- Frozen whole-grain waffle sandwich with sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, or almond butter, California raisins, and low-fat yogurt
- Ice cream cone parfait: Layer low-fat lemon or vanilla yogurt with sliced fresh or previously frozen mango and crunchy whole-grain cereal.
- Hot cocoa (made with milk) or chocolate milk, slice of whole grain toast, fruit
- Breakfast berry parfait: Layer low-fat cottage cheese with whole grain cereal and fresh or frozen berries.
- Hard-cooked egg (make 6 or so on the weekend), fruit, and ½ whole-wheat English muffin with tub margarine
- Banana smoothie: Blend 1 cup low-fat milk with a medium banana and teaspoon vanilla extract in blender or food processor. Serve with half a whole-wheat English muffin.
- Slice of pizza, and orange juice with calcium and vitamin D
- Turkey or roast beef roll-up with cheese on a whole-wheat wrap
- Whole-grain crackers, string cheese, and dried figs
- Half of a sandwich, milk, and fruit
- Sliced cheddar cheese melted on top of whole-wheat tortilla, and low-sodium vegetable juice
- Whole-wheat graham crackers, hard-cooked egg, small banana
- Trail mix: whole-grain cereal, shelled pistachios or sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and low-fat milk
- Mini pizza: Layer a small whole-wheat pita round with marinara sauce and grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Toast or broil.
- Whole-wheat bagel (mini for younger kids) spread with sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or peanut butter and drizzled with honey; orange juice with calcium and vitamin D
- Plain low-fat yogurt topped with chopped walnuts, California raisins, and molasses or honey
- Microwave plain, 1-minute, or instant oatmeal with low-fat milk. Top with 1/4 cup dried fruit and 2 tablespoons chopped almonds.
Keep convenience foods to a minimum because they are often loaded with added fat, sodium, and sugar.
"A little sweetness is a great way to work in good nutrition," says Sally Kuzemchak, RD, a nutrition consultant in Columbus, Ohio, and creator of the Real Mom Nutrition web site.
But don’t overdo it.
If your kids eat sugary cereals, wean them by mixing in cereals that are lower in sugar. Serve hot cereal, such as plain oatmeal, and add your own sugar or dried fruit to cut down on the sweet stuff, too.
Serve the most nutrient-rich foods possible, such as whole-grain breads and cereals; orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D; fortified eggs; and by preparing hot cereal with milk instead of water.